Higher Ed Analytics Conference

12-session On-Demand

Higher Ed Analytics Conference

  • Do you think it’s time to get better with digital analytics in higher education?
  • Are you in charge of making sense of all the analytics data for your unit?
  • Have you ever lost yourself in Google Analytics reports, dashboards and, oh, the possibilities?

Entirely focused on analytics in higher education, the 2014 edition of the Higher Ed Analytics Conference is now available on-demand.

It features 12 sessions presented by higher ed professionals working in institutions just like yours — with real analytics solutions to real higher ed problems (you can get a preview by checking out this Storify done the day of the event).

This conference is THE annual event for higher ed analytics professionals and digital teams interested in data-driven decisions to help advance their school.
The 3rd edition will take place on February 4, 2015 – the call for proposals will go out in November 2014.

Access fee: $400

Register Now

Want to watch the HEA14 Conference sessions?

If you previously registered and paid your registration fee, LOG IN!
If you didn’t attend the conference live, buy a $400 on-demand 12-month pass now and get access to the:

  • 12 session recordings
  • handouts (PDF)

2014 Higher Ed Analytics Conference Program

This online conference, now available on-demand, offers 11 focused sessions of 10 minutes each and a closing keynote of 20 minutes.

Before You Measure: How to Identify the Right KPIs for Your Unit or School (10-min session)
Stephanie Hatch Leishman, Social Media and Email Marketing Specialist – MIT

Not sure what you should measure? Don’t count on your analytics tool – or crystal ball – to tell you. In this session, Stephanie Hatch Leishman will explain why only *you* can define your key metrics (or key performance indicators as there are also called). She will take you for a quick back-to-basics: before reporting, before measurement, all the way back to strategy: priorities, audiences, and metrics selection. Starting right can change how you change what you measure and how your report. This will be the bird’s eye view of how to think strategically and how to define metrics that are uniquely important to your unit or your school.

Cross Domain Tracking 101: How to Get the Full Story across Your Web Ecosystem (10-min session)
Philippe Taza, Web Analyst – Higher Education Marketing

Higher ed institutions often have very complicated web ecosystems that include multiple domains, subdomains, microsites and 3rd party applications that students must navigate across to find the information they seek. Without cross domain tracking a visitor’s path from source (ie Facebook campaign) to final destination (ie registration page) is often broken by leaps across these related but separate domains. In this session, Philippe Taza will explain how cross domain tracking works, provides examples of cross domain tracking code, and highlights the benefits of cross domain tracking data at work in Google Analytics reports.

Why & How to Switch to Google Tag Manager(10-min session)
C. Daniel Chase, Lead Web Administrator – The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Are you still tracking your campaigns the old way? Google Tag Manager (GTM) is the new method for ‘tagging’ pages for tracking general analytics as well as more advanced tracking that previously required marking up the tracked page very specifically. GTM allows you to replace a lot of previously embedded code with one for GTM, and then manage all tracking externally. Once the GTM code is in place, you will be even able to track those elusive items like PDF downloads! In this session, C. Daniel Chase will explain Why you should use GTM, and what your need to get it up & running for basic analytics.

Optimize Landing Web Pages with Google Analytics Content Experiments (10-min session)
Tatjana Salcedo, Web Strategist – University of Vermont

Wouldn’t it be nice to take the guesswork out of web page optimization by comparing the performance of up to five different versions of a web page? That’s exactly what Google Analytics Content Experiments allow you to do by testing content, design and interactive features with a random sampling of your site visitors. By comparing goal conversion rates on each page, you can rapidly and effectively optimize your landing pages using data driven decisions. In this session, Tatjana Salcedo will take you through the steps necessary to set up and run an experiment in Google Analytics so you can get started and optimize your landing pages.

Lessons Learned Using Analytics to Drive Web Usability Testing Efforts(10-min session)
Rachel Johnson,Web Content Developer – Case Western Reserve University

Do you think analytics data is where the puck stops? Not always. It can also be what can get you buy-in for web usability tests — and ultimately better websites. You meet with a department to discuss their web analytics and how to improve their content strategy. You show and interpret the numbers, you make recommendations, and then comes the big question: “How do we know what our users are thinking?” In this session, Rachel Johnson will share lessons learned from her experience using analytics to start the web usability talk with clients at her institution.

Using Dashboards to Get to Know International Visitors
(10-min session)
Michelle Tarby, Director of Web Services – Le Moyne College

Who doesn’t want to attract international students now? To support a new campus efforts to increase international recruitment, Le Moyne College needed to find answers to some fundamental questions: are recruiting initiatives with external partners driving traffic? What countries are reached? Do these visitors connect with the school? What information are they interested in? In this case study, Michelle will explain how she used the power of dashboards to answer these questions and will walk you through how to create the dashboards, the advantages of using segments vs. filters and see the information you can use on your campus.

Picture your Twitter Data! How to use Netlytic for Text and Network Analysis (10-min session)
Adrian J.Ebsary Online Community Manager – University of Ottawa

How do you make sense of the Twitter data for your school account? You make it more visual! Despite the increasing availability of Twitter data, there are still relatively few tools for digital marketers to visualize and interpret this data. Netlytic, a free web application developed by Prof. Anatoliy Gruzd’s Social Media Lab out of Dalhousie University, offers an easy-to-use interface that guides would-be data scientists through the process of creating their own visualizations in minutes. In this session, Adrian Ebsary will walk you through how to transform spreadsheets of Twitter conversations into coloured reply networks or showcase popular keywords in a timeline format.

When Data Doesn’t Mean Numbers: Content Analysis to Bring Help and Happiness to Your Audiences (10-min session)
Tim Nekritz, Director of Web Communication – SUNY Oswego

Not a number person? It doesn’t mean you can’t based your decisions on data – qualitative data is also part of the analytics approach. At SUNY Oswego, one newer and successful venture is content analysis — tracking and measuring user content — and even interacting with it to discover the kinds of social media and web content that can bring help or happiness to our audiences. In this session, Tim Nekritz will share an interesting case study on how to use content analysis. From having student creators posting videos or blog entries addressing questions and popular topics to extensive use of Tweetdeck and Webstagram to stay on the pulse of current and prospective students, qualitative and quantitative content analysis can bring you closer to your audience. You will see how it can result in user-generated content you can leverage to meet strategic goals.

How to make sure your stakeholders see what they need in Google Analytics(10-min session)
Alan Etkin – BCIT

What do you do when you have keen but untrained university staff asking for access to Google Analytics? Once you’ve logged in, it’s easy to get lost in the reports, even when you know what you’re looking for. But, when you don’t, it’s downright intimidating, especially for complex sites. In this session, Alan will share a useful model for creating views populated with custom dashboards, reports and segments for specific work units. This approach will help focus staff efforts, and reduce the time you spend guiding them though the reports.

Making Your Data Matter – Really: How to Present Analytics Data to Upper Management (10-min session)
Colleen Clark, Marketing Analyst – Ithaca College

Are you still trying to persuade upper management to make data-driven decisions? Does your boss still ignore your great reports and beautiful dashboards? In this session, Colleen Clark will explain how higher education analysts can present (yep, a presentation is the secret weapon!) data in a digestible yet actionable format to senior management. You’ll understand the different types of best practices to use with upper management and which data sets will make the greatest impact. You’ll also learn how you can best put the pieces together even when your story takes an unexpected turn.

How to Make the Case to Hire a Web Analytics Staff Member (10-min session)
Shelby Thayer, Director, Web Strategy and CRM – Penn State – Outreach and Online Education

Measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and optimizing your website presence is becoming more and more important. Depending on your needs, a full-time web analyst is becoming a necessity. Find out some tips on selling the idea of a web analyst and attributes to look for in your new hire.

Not Your Regular Google Analytics: Level Up in Your Analysis (20-min session)
Joshua Dodson, SEO & Web Analyst – Eastern Kentucky University

You’ve covered the basics. You know all about Bounce Rate and Goal Conversions, but want to go deeper. In this session, Joshua Dodson will discuss some new tactics to help you reach the next level in your data analysis. You learn about advanced demographics, content calendar planning with data, and predictive analysis with time series data from Google Analytics.

Who teaches the Higher Ed Analytics Conference?

Stephanie Hatch Leishman, Social Media Strategist, MIT

Stephanie Hatch Leishman is MIT’s central contact and resource for social media, email marketing, and interactive digital experience.

She develops social media strategy for university initiatives, advises departments on social, digital strategy, develops resources and guidelines for social media, and trains staff members. She leads MIT’s Social Media Working Group (90+ members) and manages MIT Connect.

Philippe Taza, Web Analyst, Higher Education Marketing

Philippe Taza has worked in higher education marketing and recruitment since 2001. He began his higher ed career as a recruitment officer at a private college in Vancouver, BC. Advancing into recruitment management, he developed his skills in online marketing and trained in web analytics to more effectively manage marketing performance. In 2008, Philippe founded Higher Education Marketing, a digital marketing agency dedicated to helping colleges and universities market themselves online, offering expertise and services in lead generation, web design, content development, branding, PPC, SEO, social media and analytics

C. Daniel Chase, Lead Web Administrator, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Dan Chase has been involved with web development in higher education for over 15 years and has been speaking on the topic since 2002. Chase has been the one-man-shop, responsible for everything from Linux OS system administration to database and web server customization and programming. In his current role, Chase has stepped into integrating and leveraging vendor and local systems.

Tatjana Salcedo, Web Strategist - University of Vermont

Tatjana Salcedo is the web strategist and Analytics guru on the University of Vermont’s central web team. In addition to managing central Analytics reports, she teaches campus workshops on leveraging Analytics for improving departmental websites. She is also currently leading the University’s responsive web design retrofit project.

Rachel Johnson, Web Content Developer, Case Western Reserve University

Rachel earned her undergraduate degree in Media Arts and Sciences and American studies from Wellesley College in 2010. Since moving to Cleveland a year later, she has used her curiosity about content marketing and information architecture to serve the Division of Student Affairs at Case Western Reserve University. As she studies at the Weatherhead School of Management, she hopes to beef up her marketing skills to serve the wider CWRU community.

Michelle Tarby, Director of Web Services - Le Moyne College

Michelle creates and implements online tools within content management frameworks and as stand-alone web-based applications. She provides research and analytics to demonstrate success of online initiatives and progress toward achieving desired online goals. As social media tools become increasingly more critical, she develops social media strategies and recommends tools to meet an organization’s strategic goals. Once the initiatives are in place, I provide benchmarking statistics to measure performance and success.

She works to help users to reach their professional goals by developing both online and instructor-led training sessions addressing HTML, CSS, DotNetNuke, social media, and web usabillity.

Michelle has served on the planning committee of the HighEdWeb conference since 2004, acting as the co-chair for the Content Strategy and Development Track at the annual conference. She has also served on HighEdWeb Regional conference planning committees.

Adrian Ebsary, Online Community Specialist - University of Ottawa

Adrian J. Ebsary completed his BSc. in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from McGill University, and during that time worked in multiple academic and industrial research labs as well as acting as the McGill Science Undergraduate Research Journal’s co-Editor-in-Chief. He studied to receive his MSc. in Biochemistry at the University of Ottawa and during this time founded science podcast and radio show, Peer Review Radio, which several volunteers continue to produce on CHUO 89.1 FM. Adrian’s fascination with social media analytics and influence metrics led him to leave his Master’s and take a job with the Communications Directorate at the University of Ottawa as Online Community Specialist. He now blogs at AttentionEconomist.com and has spoken at a number of conferences about research on attention and its flow in online communities.

Tim Nekritz, Director of Web Communication, SUNY Oswego

Tim Nekritz is associate director of public affairs and director of web communication at SUNY Oswego. He serves as chief content editor for oswego.edu, spearheads the college’s official social media efforts and coordinates its award-winning student blogging program. He regularly speaks at national/international conferences and writes journal/magazine articles on social media, content strategy and emerging digital communication. Nekritz also currently teaches courses in public relations and mass media at Oswego.

Alan Etkin, Project & Web Analytics Manager - BCIT

Alan has been using analytics to manage websites for the past decade, including 7 years at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. He knows first-hand the complexity and challenges of working with post-secondary websites, and has developed a number of tricks for extending the influence of analytics across the institute.

Colleen Clark , Marketing Analyst - Ithaca College, NY

As a Marketing Analyst at Ithaca College, one of Colleen Clark’s main responsibilities is managing analytics dashboards and reporting associated with the college’s website. She is heavily involved with all online campaigns and site optimization including e-mail marketing, SEO, paid search, mobile, and social media. Colleen also dedicates her time training key personnel to access and interpret data on their own. She is also in charge of identifying technical issues with analytics programs and managing resolutions.

Colleen received a certification from NYU in web development and has an MA in Integrated Marketing Communication from Emerson College. She is also Google Adwords certified and worked previously for the NYC-based agency, Razorfish.

Shelby Thayer, Director, Web Strategy and CRM, Penn State - Outreach and Online Education

Shelby has been a web professional for more than a decade and has always been interested in web analytics – ever since she pulled her first report from Web Trends in 2002. The report took 4 hours to run, but it was still super cool. In her years as a practitioner, she has used Google Analytics, Adobe SiteCatalyst and Discover, IBM Coremetrics, and a bunch of smaller tools like CrazyEgg, 4Q, and others. She’s been speaking at conferences on the value of web analytics in higher education for about five years.

Joshua Dodson, Google Analytics Qualified Web Expert

Joshua is a Google Analytics Qualified Web expert who has worked with numerous colleges and universities to improve their Web presence and better understand their user trends. His extensive back-end Web knowledge is equally matched with an understanding of the importance of driving results on the front end—and proving return on investment. His in-depth SEO experience ties campaigns to results to show true impact.

Before joining Eastern Kentucky University as a SEO and Web Analyst, Joshua worked as a Web Analytics Strategist and a Web Developer for Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN.

Joshua has presented at industry conferences on advanced Web analytics, open source technology, WordPress for academic libraries, and other topics. He has published extensively on WordPress and his most recent publication for the American Library Association explores methods of Website architecture as related to academic libraries.

Should I sign up for the Higher Ed Analytics Conference?

Definitely, if you are a:

What is included in my Conference access fee?

The access fee covers 1-year licensing and includes the following:

  1. A 1-year unlimited access to the recordings of the 2014 sessions on-demand through a link that we will provide to you.
  2. All session materials (slides handouts in PDF)

2013 Conference Recordings

If you previously registered and paid your registration fee, LOG IN

Harnessing the Power of Google Analytics Goals (10-min session)
Seth Meranda, User-Experience Architect – University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Can’t do much with Google Analytics without setting up goals, right? As the most important feature in Google Analytics, they provide immediate context to clickstream metrics. In this session, Seth will help you go back to the (very important) basics. You will explore the importance of goals, when to use each type and review examples of reporting enhancements from goal tracking.

Tracking Online and Offline Marketing Efforts: Setting Your Integrated Tracking Management Plan (20-min session)
Colleen Clark, Marketing Analyst – Ithaca College

Imagine (or remember?) you’ve been asked to provide insights to drive decision making for all online and offline channels. Where do you start? In this presentation, Colleen will explain you the importance of tracking every marketing effort around all medium channels including print, banner, social, and search engine. She will show you how an integrated tracking management plan can make a difference to streamline the communications process across all higher ed clients. You will review how to properly implement tagging, note the main issues you may encounter and the types of engagement metrics you should evaluate.

Analytics Case Study: Homepage Automated Click Event Tracking in Google Analytics (10-min session)
John Mills

In November 2012, Emory added automated, categorized click-event tracking for Google Analytics as part of a ground-up rebuild of its main university web site launched. John will explain how this was implemented, the results in Google Analytics and how they are used.

Extending Your Reach with Customized Dashboards (20-min session)
Alan Etkin, Project & Web Analytics Manager – BCIT

You’ve definitely heard about Google Analytics reports, but customized dashboards might be one of the best kept secrets of web analytics professionals. Google Analytics dashboards are perfect for keeping key perfomance indicators (KPIs) top of mind. You can customize them for specific departments or functions, and you can even automate their delivery. In this presentation, Alan will share an advanced strategy – and specific configuration tips – for making the most of Google Analytics dashboards.

Actionable Analytics with Email: 1 project to get you started (10-min session)
Tatjana Salcedo, Web Strategist – University of Vermont

With so much data it’s often difficult to know where to start your analysis and generate meaningful and actionable reports. In this presentation, Tatjana will detail one basic but useful Analytics project to get you off and started gathering data. You’ll learn what you can do to make improvements in your institution’s email marketing efforts.

Infiltrating Social Media Influence Metrics: Badly in Need of Better Benchmarking (10-min session)
Adrian Ebsary, Online Community Specialist – University of Ottawa

How do you justify all the work done on social media? Choosing the right metric to quantify return on investment is challenging with social media. While a number of big name companies such as Klout and PeerIndex offer comprehensive dashboards with content analysis tools for multiple social networking sites, their score algorithms lack transparency. Adrian will examine some social media metrics that provide unique takes on online influence. He will share concrete examples and the strategies for benchmarking effectiveness in online communities used at his school.

Anayltics Success Story: Data-Driven Redesign (10-min session)
Mardy Wilson, Web Content Strategist – Maricopa Community Colleges

Analytics can help you make data-driven decisions, but what if you’re not the person making final decisions? In this presentation, Mardy will share her analytics success story featuring the reports created for management in an effort to show the traffic generated to the site through search engine optimization and the usefulness of the site based on event tracking after a redesign. She will explain how analytics demonstrated the importance of the website in her school’s paper reduction campaign and its role in meeting students needs by offering direct email contact to all instructors.

How Analytics Solved my Information Architecture Headache (10-min session)
Michelle Tarby, Director of Web Services – Le Moyne College

We’ve all gotten that call asking for one more call-out button on an existing landing page. The client’s eyes tend to glaze over when the dreaded words “information architecture” or “user experience” are uttered. In this presentation, Michelle will show you how she used Google Analytics to inform changes to her college’s admission landing page. You’ll see how visitor flow to under-performing areas has improved as a result of these changes.

What’s Missing in Your Web Content? Site Search Analytics 101 (10-min session)
Amy Pizzolatto, Multimedia Content Specialist – The University of Chicago

Before embarking on a recent homepage redesign project, the University of Chicago studied its Site Search Analytics to understand what content users were searching for once they came to uchicago.edu. Amy looked for prominent patterns—and gaps. In this presentation, she will share a practical example of how to make a site search inventory and group findings into categories to recommend new web pages and navigation changes. Amy will also show you how to set up Site Search Analytics on your Google Analytics account and gives you useful tips to get started.

Sleuthing with Analytics: Using Analytics to Help Pinpoint Challenges (10-min session)
Rebecca Bernstein, Digital Strategist – University at Buffalo

We often think of analytics as a “how did we do/how are we doing” process losing the opportunity to use analytics to help us identify lost opportunities – things we did not even have on our radar screen. In this presentation, Rebecca will guide you through a “sleuthing” case study. She willl give you a peek at how she used analytics up front to inform the strategic approach to developing the UB International Admissions site and to influencing changes in UB’s top level website. You’ll see a concrete example how to pin point opportunities to better leverage the traffic you already have.

Meet the Analytics Profiler: Profiling Your Actual Audience (20-min session)
Joshua Dodson, SEO & Web Analyst – Eastern Kentucky University

Who is your audience when you work for a higher ed institution? We all use similar labels for them: propspective or current students, alums, parents or donors. But, really who are the people who visit your institution website? In this presentation, our Higher Ed Analytics Prof, Joshua Dodson, will show you how to become an Analytics Profiler – not to catch serial killers, but to understand who your actual web visitors are. He will explore how to utilize a combination of Google Analytics data as well as other external tools to profile your actual audience and make sure your website addresses their needs.

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