My name is Jim, and I feel like I have a lot in common with a young man named Dick Grayson. Allow me to explain. I may look like an average male in his mid-20's, working as a Communications Officer at a marketing agency, but I have a secret identity...I...am Databoy!
I know it sounds nerdy, but I am FASCINATED by data. Those endless pieces of information that tell me how a website is performing and where improvements could be made. It would be fair to say that I didn't always appreciate the finer points of data though.
When I was first asked by my colleagues at Mackman if there was an area that I would like to specialise in, my answer was “I like data, data is black and white”. How wrong I was. Like most people I had mistakenly thought that data was a simple affair. Just a few site visit statistics and a smattering of geographic information arranged in a table, and the whole thing would magically result in an obvious strategy for improvement.
A lot has changed since then. I've decided that I don't want to be Databoy any more. Databoy is a sidekick. I want to stop being Robin and start being Batman. That's where Google Academy came in and my life, and my understanding of data, changed forever.
Google Academy is a free online resource that allows people just like you and me to study Google Analytics in depth, at your own pace. Offering all of the information required to prepare for the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) exam. Through a series of video tutorials, topic assessments and a final module assessment. There are also practical instructions on how to set up a Google Analytics account property and customise the settings of the account to meet your requirements. Quickly getting you beyond “vanilla” Google Analytics and into an entirely new level of understanding.
IQ is an industry recognised qualification. Valid for 18 months upon passing the IQ exam and demonstrates proficiency in Google Analytics. Qualified users have access to the extra level of knowledge required to use the tool effectively within their own organisations and to help others to do the same. The exam takes 90 minutes to complete and is made up of 70 questions to thoroughly test the knowledge gained from Google Academy, and (like the Academy) is completely free. Once I have passed the IQ exam, I will be following in the footsteps of our Digital Lead, James Royce, who coincidentally does have a big red phone, a large spotlight and a fireman's pole in his office.
Perhaps my "powers" are a little more subtle than the average superhero. But if you or your business own a website, my bespoke analytic reports could prove very useful indeed. Imagine a world where a poor, defenceless website sits all alone on the world wide web while visitors pass it by without a second glance. As Databoy, I can sit with the website over a period of time, gather information about it and observe trends and phrases that the website matches or could capture. I can't do it alone though. My abilities can only be fully realised when I share the findings with my fellow heroes at Mackman. Who will all unleash their own individual powers to ensure that no website under their protection is lonely again.
As you read this I am more than likely hunkered down in my secret lair (alright...my bedroom!). Reading through my stacks of notes and preparing for the day that I take (and hopefully pass!) the IQ exam. Then I can finally start to throw off the identity of Databoy. It certainly won't happen overnight though, there is still a lot of information out there that I need to stop being my own sidekick and start a new life as Insightman; I'll be sure to keep you posted on my progress! In the meantime, I've got my eye on a very fetching cape...
(For those of you still wondering who Dick Grayson is: he was the first incarnation of Robin, and sidekick of Batman. I hadn't forgotten about that reference, honest!)
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