ch8 - Exploring Google Analytics Certification

(NOTE: You can download a copy of this chapter in PDF format at the very bottom of this page.)

Fun with Analytics

Chapter 8: Exploring Google Analytics Certification


Welcome to Fun with Analytics. If you’ve come across this material on its own – it has two homes – one is a site where you can download copies of the chapters or read them online, at - the other is a LinkedIn Group, Learning Google Analytics, where you can discuss the material and ask questions:

In This Chapter

In this chapter we’re going to explore some of the opportunities that Google offers directly, in terms of learning material, and the Google Individual Qualification, which can be a nice thing to have on your website or resume.

Top Skill That Got People Hired

In order to give some inspiration, I thought it would be helpful to review how LinkedIn showed Digital/Online Marketing as a top skill that got people hired in 2013, and Web Analytics is one of the core skills for online marketing - being able to understand the performance of Websites and ad campaigns. Analytics is considered a part of Business Intelligence, which also figured prominently on the list:

.Don’t Be Alarmed – Have Fun

I also wanted to revisit the idea that analytics is ultimately about people, mainly because I want to encourage people who may feel a bit of intimidation about the idea of getting “certified” in “analytics”.

So I remember when I started working in various jobs after college, that one thing I knew for certain is that I didn’t feel like I was a “numbers” person. Accounting, finance, or any other type of numbers always seemed forbidding, and outside my experience and comfort zone. It was the last possible door I would want to walk through, and to get me through it, you’d have to drag me.

But the interesting thing was that I got my first taste of analytics without even realizing it.

I had made a website with a friend, and we wanted to know how many people were visiting, and where they were coming from, so we searched for a tool that would help us with that, and it became a part of our “toolbox”:

And it was fun. Getting to see who was coming, what the traffic was like. It was really interesting.

And then, in later work experiences, including some where there had been transition in the companies I worked for, including layoffs, I became more sensitive to how the roles I was in related to the overall business.

At one point, a mentor gave me some advice that really helped me. She was experienced in the world, and she said to me:

“Todd, you need to follow the money trail”

So she wasn’t saying, “bow down to money” – she was just saying, it’s good to understand how money flows through a business, and what makes money, and what costs a business money.

My perspective on money and finance was challenged, and I realized that it would probably be a good idea to consider not just what I felt like doing, but what would be a benefit to a business or organization – especially during hard times, such as a recession, or competition, etc. And I also started to see that the kinds of skills and roles that had a more direct impact on helping a company succeed, were also in high demand.

This was partly an influence that led me to pay more attention to marketing and online marketing in particular, as well as social networking to a particular degree. In the midst of hard economic times, Google was going straight up in their value, at a time when many or even most companies were having serious issues. And it was partly because Google was helping companies to do a good job of tracking ROI, with Google ads – Adwords. Adwords helps business to know what they are making based on what they are spending in terms of online ads.

So as I grew and matured, I also realized that Web Analytics was an important skill – and I started learning more about it, and it helped me to find work, and to be competitive.

So while I’m still not “passionate” about numbers, I do see things like Google Analytics as an important tool.

And maybe I’m in touch with my inner analyst.

So my recommendation is, seriously consider learning Web Analytics, in order to help you strengthen your career. It won’t hurt, and it can also be fun.

Another thing I’d suggest is that with Web analytics in particular, and in any situation where you are dealing with numbers based on purchases, it may look like a bunch of numbers:

But it’s really not about the numbers, in the end. It’s about the people:

Benefits of Certification

So maybe you can take me on faith that certification/qualification is doable. It’s especially doable if you have resources to rely on, including people. There are more than one group on LinkedIn having to do with analytics, including, and you’re welcome to ask questions there.

And the benefits of going through the process are many, including a definite impact on your career.

Imagine adding a certification onto your LinkedIn profile:

It gives an extra impact, whether you are job searching, interacting with other professionals, or just boosting your credentials at your current job.

It can also be a good thing for a business. Take a look at some of the profiles of the people who work here:

And, of course, going through the process helps to round out your knowledge, and to be acquainted with new features that you might end up using at some point.

Exploring Google Analytics Qualification

So what’s the difference between certification and qualification? It’s basically interchangeable, as far as I can tell.

To explore Google Analytics qualification, check out:

.The Get started material is worth reviewing, including some of the resources you might want to know about when you’re using Google Analytics:

And the Analytics Academy is worth paying attention to. The point is that it’s free training given by a global company, and it’s in their best interests for you to succeed.

.For example, I recommend going directly here:

and here:

To become familiar with some of the self-study material they have.

There’s a variety of courses that you might want to check out at one time or another.


Probably, you’ll want to start out with Digital Analytics Fundamentals:

Treasure Hunt: see if you can find the profile of the Google Qualified individual mentioned earlier, who also included the Digital Analytics Fundamentals course as a “badge” on his profile page. Nothing wrong with that. You could put it as additional coursework on your resume or LinkedIn.

And this particular link is worth filing away and exploring:

Start Easy

To get rolling, even before you take Digital Analytics Fundamentals, you might just want to watch some videos:

Click the Playlists link on the YouTube channel, and see what’s available:


So my general suggested roadmap is to take a peek around at some of the resources mentioned in this chapter, and then do two things in parallel, simultaneously:

  1. Use Google Analytics: you’ll get more out of the materials as you study to take the Google Analytics test, if you’re actually using the program.

  2. Go to the Analytics Academy link, review the roadmap they set up for studying, and if you like, to break the ice, start by watching some of the videos.

.And at some point, sooner or later, you’ll want to read “How to Prepare for the Google IQ”:

And remember to review the “Additional Resources”.

Inspiration – Recap

I want to include this material, again. Sorry, but I think it’s important. Not only do I think the IQ is doable, but I think it could have a good impact on your career, and whatever business or organization you are working for. Even if you’re not on the job market, the fact that it’s a top skill means learning it is important.

I want you to consider this, over and over again, until it’s built into your brain cells!

Top Skill That Got People Hired

LinkedIn showed Digital/Online Marketing as a top skill that got people hired in 2013, and Web Analytics is one of the core skills for online marketing - being able to understand the performance of Websites and ad campaigns. Analytics is considered a part of Business Intelligence, which also figured prominently on the list:

And don’t forget how nice it will look to have this on your LinkedIn profile:

Thousands of people have done it. You can too!

Long-term dream: Certified Partner?

For those who might end up at a “services” company, where you are helping others with marketing, you might want to consider the “Certified Partner” program. It’s a bit involved, but in order to compete, to deliver needed value to other businesses and organizations, you might seriously want to consider going down this road:

Based on what I’ve seen, analytics is one of those areas that is very, very solid. You’re providing crucial insight to businesses and organizations, and in a competitive market, it’s a skill set and a service that is definitely in demand.

It takes some effort, may take awhile to grow things – I just want to encourage you to consider it. Let’s say you find yourself up against 10 other social media businesses or 10 other marketing agencies. How many of them have people who are certified in Google Analytics? How many of them are actually certified on the business level? If you want to have a steady, long-term stream of business, to supplement other things, I have a pretty strong feeling that heading in this direction could only help you.

But don’t take my word for it, do some background research.

A business that can say this kind of thing, inspires confidence:

.Learning More

Here’s some additional discussion and tips that I think are worth reviewing.


Tips for passing exam


Congratulations on making it through this chapter! If you want a roadmap for doing the Google IQ, timeline-wise, I’d suggest reviewing the “units” at a rate of one per week, so that you’re making steady progress, but where you also give yourself time to use the program.

Based on the various chapters in this book, you should have the ability to “generate some traffic”, even if you aren’t connected to anyone else – but I would suggest checking to see if there are any local businesses or organizations who might like some help. You might like to go to a local chamber of commerce or organization that local businesses belong to. Chances are there will be someone who a) has a website and b) would be interested in having someone look at their web analytics – especially for free. If there’s any way you can set that in motion, I do think that actively looking at “some” kind of traffic will help.

But don’t wait – start reviewing the material!

And best wishes!


You are welcome to visit and join the LinkedIn Group at - if you want to come on and say “huh?” or if you would like to set me straight on something, or just have some feedback.

Remember, there are NO DUMB QUESTIONS. If you have the question, someone else surely also did.

(NOTE: You can download a copy of this chapter in PDF format at the very bottom of this page.)