Higher Ed Analytics Conference

1-day Online Event

  • 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 2016 Higher Ed Analytics Conference (the 4th edition) will take place on February 10, 2016 and we need your help to make it as successful as it was in 2015.

2016 Higher Ed Analytics Conference

This online conference will feature a dozen of 10-minute sessions presented by higher ed professionals working in institutions just like yours — with real analytics solutions to real higher ed problems.

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 call for proposals is open until December 2, 2015, so don’t miss this unique opportunity to share your analytics expertise and experience with the higher ed digital professional community.

The program of the 2016 Higher Ed Analytics Conference will be announced on this page on December 9, 2015.

Feb 10, 2016
(11AM - 2:30PM ET)
Only 28 seats left
Register Now

Total fees: $400

Register by Jan 27, 2016

2016 Higher Ed Analytics Conference – Call for Proposals

The call for proposals is open until December 2, 2015!

Should I attend the Higher Ed Analytics Conference?

Definitely, if you are a:

What is included in my Conference registration fee?

The fee is for a single computer/audio connection with an unlimited number of attendees watching the live online event.

It includes the following:

  1. 1 connection to the live event scheduled over 3 hours on February 10, 2016- the audio is done via voice over IP or teleconference
  2. A 1-year unlimited access to the recordings of the sessions on-demand through a link that we will provide to you.
  3. All session materials (slides handouts in PDF)

If the conference cannot be held (due to unforseen events) on its scheduled date, it will be rescheduled on its rain date: February 17, 2016.

2015 Conference Recordings

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

Beyond Numbers: The role of storytelling in effective analytics reporting
Stephanie Leishman, Social Media Strategist – MIT

Good analytics work doesn’t stop at numbers — and sometimes, it doesn’t always start there either. In this session, Stephanie Leishman will discuss why qualitative analysis is essential and will demonstrate the role of qualitative reporting for integrated media campaigns, emergency communications, and more. You will get some great pointers to use storytelling techniques to make your analytics reporting more effective.

One Google Analytics Account to Rule Them All: How to move to a centralized account
Avalee Harlton, Web Content Designer/Editor – York University

Got dozens (hundreds?) of Google Analytics accounts originally set up by decentralized units? It’s time to consolidate to get the big picture and track your website visitors throughout your institutional website. In this case study, Avalee Harlton will explain how York University recently moved to a single university-wide account. You’ll learn how you can do it at your school with practical recommendations to consolidate your Google Analytics accounts at your institution.

How Google Analytics can help you focus your energies — and strategy
Matt Hames, Manager of Media Communications – Colgate University

Want to help your stakeholders make decisions on real data? Meet your new friend: Google Analytics SEO Queries Report. In this session, Matt Hames will explain the data you’ll find in this report. You will also learn why and how you can use this report to help make the case for your integrated digital strategy.

When Google Analytics meets your Calendar: What on earth happened at 6pm?
Shannan Palma, Senior Online Producer – Emory University

When you track analytics on a quarterly or annual basis, it can be difficult to figure out what caused a particular spike in traffic on a specific day. In this case study, Shannan Palma will show how Emory University tracks significant events throughout the year (admission cycle, conferences, and even snow days) and correlates those dates with analytics data. You’ll learn how you can do the same to tell coherent stories in your reports and to guide future decisions about content and the organization of information on your website.

Lessons learned from analyzing an academic program marketing campaign
Erik Hagen, Director of Web Communications – California Lutheran University

California Lutheran University rolled out a major marketing campaign for its Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals program in Summer 2014, incorporating both digital and offline media. In this case study, Erik Hagen will share the process used for planning and measuring relevant data to find out what worked and what didn’t. Through this example, you will learn how to analyze campaign results and to break down the performance of each channel using advanced segments, multi-channel funnel analysis and A/B testing.

Measuring the Performance of Academic Program Sites and Pages
Tatjana Salcedo, Web Strategist – University of Vermont

One of the biggest selling points of an academic institution is its academic programs. In this session, Tatjana Salcedo will explore methods to measure programs pages accounting for prospective student interest, potential for program growth, and institutional enrollment goals. You’ll gain insight on how to approach improving these important pages and measure your efforts going forward.

How Google Analytics Can Help You Assess Your Social Media Program
Liz Gross, Social Media & Market Research Strategist – Great Lakes ELS

If you’re assessing the success of your social media program using only Facebook Insights or Twitter Analytics, you’re missing important data points. In this session, Liz Gross will show how you can use segments in Google Analytics to gather information about the behavior of your website visitors referred by Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites.

Silo-Busting Using the Google Analytics Social Report
Vanessa Theoharis, Integrated Marketing Manager – Babson College

The Google Analytics Social Report can do more than simply capture traffic from social networks to your college website. In this session, Vanessa Theoharis will explain how this report can spark discussions about social media, but also content strategy, audience analysis, and education. You’ll learn how Babson College has integrated data from the Social Report into the school’s dashboards, thus giving social media a place at the analytics table.

Social Media Scorecard: A Single Overarching Metric for Social Media
Ted Hattemer, AVP Interactive Communications – The Ohio State University

Ohio State’s Board of Trustees asked University Communications to report, on a monthly basis, a single metric that would track and show progress on the university’s use of social media. This seemingly simple request blew open the lid on how difficult it is to compare retweets to Facebook comments, how traffic pushed to social media compares with traffic driven to owned properties from social media posts. This presentation will share a process Ohio State has established for the monthly tracking and reporting of a single metric for measurement.

Using Digital Analytics to Help Secure Project Funding
Todd Gregory, Digital Analyst – Penn State University

How do you make the case for the digital initiatives that should be implemented at your school? In this session, Todd Gregory will show you how to prove the true value of your proposals by leveraging digital analytics and some basic business modeling techniques. You’ll also learn about one specific framework for value and ROI modeling he used at Penn State to build a case for additional funding.

How to Show the Financial Value of Your Website Conversions
Alan Etkin, Senior Systems Analyst – Web Analytics – BCIT

What’s the contribution of your website to the bottom line of your institution? To answer this (hopefully!) million dollar question, you need to put a dollar value on each of your key conversion events – everything from contact forms submitted to program applications paid. In this session, Alan Etkin will share the steps he took to identify the value of each site conversion. You’ll get details about the process, lessons learned and examples of the resulting reports demonstrating the real value of a web conversion for the institution.

Showing Impact by Predicting What Could Have Happened: This was the Result of That Campaign… Really!
Joshua Dodson, Digital Marketing Strategy and Optimization Manager – EKU

Getting the metrics is not the hard part. Knowing what caused the results can be more challenging. By using intervention analysis, it is possible to see the overall impact of a campaign or initiative. In this session, Joshua Dodson will show how you can use Google Analytics data to perform an intervention analysis to determine campaign impact. He’ll also explain why this kind of analysis can be used to make positive changes within higher education marketing and enrollment. You’ll learn this technique to improve your analysis and add value to your institution.

2014 Conference Recordings

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

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

Stephanie LeishmanNot 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

ptazaHigher 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

cdanielchaseAre 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

Tatjana SalcedoWouldn’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

rjohnsonDo 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

Michelle TarbyWho 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

Adrian ebsaryHow 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

tnekritzNot 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

Alan EtkinWhat 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

Colleen ClarkAre 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

sthayerMeasuring 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

Joshua DodsonYou’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.

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, Senior Systems Analyst – Web Analytics – 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.

Got Analytics Success Stories to Share?

Submit your 10-min session proposal for 2016 Higher Ed Analytics Conference

-- BEFORE DEC 2, 2015.


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