Module 4: Think Optimised
Yes, that’s right Utter Terror…possibly tinged with boredom, resentment and mixed feelings of bewilderment and frustration at the scale of ‘not provided’ results.
And speaking of terror and all things awkward we have to go through the whole group thing again with another group of randomly assigned Squares to meet n greet virtually get to know in order to complete a common assigned task together. A quick look at the new group list and I’m pleasantly surprised to see Tim from my last group is joining me for the remainder of the course so at least there’s something familiar to begin with. The email introductions begin in anticipation of the first class of module 4 and our first hangout. A bit of magical-ness has been drafted in to teach us the dark arts of data analysis with a new Tutor ‘Merlin Stone’ who after a few technical teething problems has vast experience in data generally and direct marketing with CRM but little to no experience using Google Analytics? hmmm. Must visit Academics Academy (Again) and watch the video series on fundamentalzzzZZZZZ
Hangout arrives and we say hello to everyone with patchy connections here and there but on the whole everyone is friendly enough and just wanting to ‘crack on’ with the task and get it done. After we have a brief ‘have you any experience with Google Anaytics?’ chat it becomes clear that it’s a love/hate relationship on the whole and no-one really has much to say from a leadership standpoint. One member states he has an outline strategy type thing we can use as a framework to base our assignment on and so it appears he can steer the good ship ‘group 12’ through the murky waters of Google Analytics. So we decide to use trello as our collection and Project management system and off we go armed with our passwords to log in to Google Squared GA panel and see what we can unearth to meet the brief. The same group member later replies that whilst his intentions were good he actually cannot extract that much data from his outline strategy type thing so we head back to the brief and allocate topics to research.
Our next class was packed with yet more magical Merlin Stone background history and overview of Data complete with chocolate bars, books and whizz-bang out of date skewed statistics videos but alas only skimming on actual Google Analytics, this seemed to leave a bad taste with many squares commenting aloud about the lack of analytics insight and up-to-date learnings on the actual workings of Analytics, This seemed to be a trend carrying on from previous modules relating to Adwords…with the essence of replies being ‘google it’.
So we have the hangout and discuss our findings we have filed into trello and also split into groups to research specific areas of the brief to find out data and trends and insights. My section is Geo Location this is quite subjective in terms of discussion as whilst we find out the traffic is split in a high favour to UK there is substantial demand from the US and the Google Brand has it’s orgins there so it would stand to reason to build on this as well as UK it later transpires from our marking that No, it is not of any interest.
My fellow square that I was researching with maintains radio silence throughout the whole data gathering stage which is annoying as I have to take up the slack. (I later find out that he has left the course so just to keep calm and carry on) We have a fantastic pre-recorded video by Simon Rogers of Guardian DATABANK fame and he goes into some great detail about the journalistic approach to bootstrap startup thinkng and using data to tell the story and pulling a story out of data whilst working under a national daily deadline structure which was fascinating to see how data can be manipulated properly to create unique content that is not innane facebook drivel and vanity driven UGC.
We all get a good few hangouts in before the end of the module and our deadline and have a good discussion over the data and our findings. We package the report up as best we can into a word document and submit to Squared HQ for marking and in general feel a bit lost at the whole vagueness of module 4 which was supposed to be Analytics, Attribution and all things Data. Which transpired to be all a bit shallow complete with an inforgraphic class? previewing our module 5 assignment.
When we got our scores back it was a case of it’s all relative. Intensively annoyed at the mark given and the provided comments as to why we just decided to draw a line under it and move on to module 5 and get this thing finished.
Module 5 assignment is an infographic, well that should be easy enough? Oh look the world cup is starting soon and the sun is making an appearance (not the newspaper) so despite having the wind took out of our sails we managed to limp through to module 5 and began to look for the silver lining from the dark data cloud looming over us from module 4.