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Blog Archive

Archive for the ‘Analytics’ Category

Google Analytics Segmentation

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

This week, Google introduced various segmentation features for Google Analytics. The new features allow users to isolate and analyze the long-term benefit of specific groups of customers. Because Google Analytics will have the ability to track users across multiple sessions, admins will be able to create certain metrics based on user behavior during single or multiple sessions. Analytics admins also have the option to create user segments that allow them to select all of the visits of a user who fits into a predefined segment. 



Multi-Channel Funnels Reporting – Beyond Last Click Attribution

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Every customer journey is unique. Viewing a display ad can instill interest in your brand, even if no clicks occur. Now, when a user views a display ad on the GDN and later converts on your website, that interaction with your brand will be captured in Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels reporting.

Until the integration of Google Analytics and the Google Display Network (GDN), measurement technology separated impressions or “view-throughs” from clicks, and Last Click Attribution gave us an incomplete view of conversion activity. Marketers were missing important insights about how media channels worked alongside one another to drive conversions.


New Excel Add-ins for Marketers

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

This year, Microsoft updated its spreadsheet tool, Excel, making it more functional for its users. Complex tasks are easier to perform in Excel 2013, due to tools like Recommended Charts and Recommended PivotTables tools. New add-ins were built to plug into Excel, including PowerPivot, PowerView, and Excellent Analytics. These add-ins can help you harness the power of your data quickly and save time.

PowerPivot is an authoring tool that allows you to create PowerPivot data in your Excel workbooks. It lets you import, filter, and sort many millions of rows of data, far beyond the one million row limit in Excel. More importantly, you have the ability to build relationships between data that is from completely different data sources by mapping columns that contain similar data. PowerPivot enables you to find better information and insights into the numbers that will drive more efficient marketing decisions and objectives. 



Google Analytics Makes Goals Easier

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Measuring the success of marketing campaigns is essential to the way we evaluate our campaigns. Today, Google Analytics announced changes to how you create Goals to measure conversion activity, making it even easier to determine whether or not your marketing activities are successful.

The biggest change is the addition of goal templates. These templates are dependent on the industry category you’ve selected in your Property Settings. Templates are organized into Revenue, Acquisition, Inquiry, and Engagement goals.

Google Analytics Goals

Furthermore, Google has added twenty additional industry categories you can select from. Your data are made anonymous and then used to create benchmarks for your industry category. These new categories are aligned with Google’s standard for industry vertical classification.

Peter Quale, VP of Technical Search Marketing at Nina Hale, commented on the change favorably, saying, “I just used [the new goal setup] this morning. It worked pretty well and saved me ten minutes!”

Attribution Across the Path to Purchase

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Attributing the Consumer Journey

The Consumer Journey is a hot topic in our cross-platform, digital marketing world. Understanding how consumers move throughout the path to purchase is a necessity for the digital marketer. Between awareness, consideration, intent to buy, and actual purchase, we sure don’t have an easy task in learning how our media channels work with one another! Beyond that, we also need to know what gets consumers to re-engage and become brand loyalists. As we learned at a recent Nina Hale educational event, tracking and attributing conversions across the path to purchase is something many companies struggle with.

Google’s Think Insights recently released a new tool that uses anonymized data from its Google Analytics accounts to set benchmarks for assisting and last interaction conversions across industries. It examines the roles that media channels play in encouraging a consumer to buy. “Assisting Interaction” channels are more helpful as awareness vehicles, while “Last Interaction” channels more directly influence a purchase. Using the ratio of “Assist/Last Interactions,” we can plot tactics along our journey to determine whether they drive awareness or conversion.

We played around with the data a bit and plotted our own clients’ data along Google’s benchmarked journey. You can do this yourself by pulling the “Assist/Last Interaction” ratio from your Google Analytics Assisted Conversions report (under Conversions -> Multi-Channel Funnels -> Assisted Conversions) and comparing it to the journey mapped in the Think Insights tool. It gave us a lot of insight into how our marketing activities currently work toward driving acquisitions and purchases. We also learned a lot about how we might change our media strategy in order to target consumers at specific points throughout his or her journey.

How does your attribution model relate to the consumer journey? Have you been surprised by your data versus Google’s benchmarks? Let us know.

Google Analytics Expands Universal Analytics into Public Beta

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Last fall, Google Analytics launched Universal Analytics in response to the evolving cross-device consumer journey. Today, it expanded its offering into a public beta, making the features of Universal Analytics available to everyone.

As the accessibility of data grows, analytics is becoming about a lot more than just site-side measurement. It’s being incorporated into a suite of tools whose ultimate purpose is to generate insights and determine whether or not our initiatives are satisfying business objectives. In short, analytics is growing beyond its foundations as a tactic and serving us more in constructing and evaluating strategy. From this, the demand for Universal Analytics was born.

Universal Analytics integrates Google Analytics across devices and enables more efficient, cross-tactical analysis. First, it introduces a new analytics.js tracking code and allows for more customization of data. The snippet officially waves goodbye to cookies and instead relies on universal tracking IDs. Ideally, this allows us to track consumers throughout his/her journey. This pairs well with another new feature – we can now collect and send incoming data from any digital device to the Analytics account, allowing us to track data from multiple devices – phones, tablets, laptops, etc.

Additionally, Universal Analytics allows for easier customization of configuration settings. We now have the opportunity to import other data sources into our Google Analytics accounts. The possibilities here are endless; we could include offline sales, call center data, third-party data, store visits. Another feature that Universal Analytics enables is the creation of custom dimensions and custom metrics to track data that Google Analytics doesn’t track automatically. The opportunities here are exciting; we’ll either be able to create new metrics and dimensions to better understand the data we import into Google Analytics or we’ll be able to create new dimensions and metrics based on the data that Analytics already tracks.

Google’s shift to Universal Analytics indicates that analytics departments should continue to be challenged to move beyond reporting and analysis. To learn how you can implement Universal Analytics, visit Google’s Developer Guide.  

Facebook Personal Analytics by Wolfram Alpha

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Wolfram Alpha has continued its expansion into the data analytics space with analytics for FacebookWolfram Alpha is a “computational knowledge engine” developed by Wolfram Research. Most recently, Wolfram Alpha has released a way to let Facebook users use personal analytics to get a detailed picture of their social media data, including activity, post statistics, check-in statistics, app activity, photo activity and a detailed analysis of your friend network. Right now, the report is a pretty straightforward analysis. This is just the start of Facebook personal analytics, Wolfram said more features will be added in coming months. When accessing Wolfram Alpha Personal Analytics for Facebook for the first time, you will be prompted to authenticate the Wolfram Connection app in Facebook, and then sign in to Wolfram Alpha. After that, Wolfram Alpha will generate your report from the data it can get about you through Facebook. Best of all, it is free!

When you type “Facebook report” at or access the “Facebook report” through Wolfram Alpha Facebook Analytics, Wolfram Alpha will generate your “Facebook report” which will be broken into a number of sections, with all sorts of data and information about your activity on Facebook. 

Here’s an example of the report by Stephen Wolfram:

 Full Scan


Below, an example of the gender distribution report:

Gender Chart


Below, an example of different friend and interest graphs:

FB Array


Below, an example of friend hometown distribution:

 Friend Hometowns


Below, an example of the friend age distribution:

Friends Age


 Below, an example of a chart showing activity over time: 


Wolfram Alpha has allowed anyone to explore the power of analysis and now gives you the power for all sorts of Facebook personal analytics.


Screen shots have been sourced from: Wolfram|Alpha Personal Analytics for Facebook

Introducing Pinterest Analytics (finally)

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for since Pinterest exploded as the new “it” social media platform. That’s right folks; we finally have Pinterest Analytics.

Using Google Analytics, we’ve been able to see the traffic driven from Pinterest to our clients’ sites, but we’ve been missing crucial pieces of the puzzle. How many people have pinned images from the website site? How many people have actually seen the pinned images? Now with Pinterest Web Analytics you have access to that information, providing insights into how users interact with pins originating from your site.

With the Pinterest Analytics, you have access to the number of pins and people pinning images from your site, the number of repins and people repining images from your site, the number of times your pins appeared on the Pinterest main feed, search results, or on boards, and number of clicks and people visiting your website from Pinterest.

Pinterest Analytics 3.12.13

By having access to pin performance, users can see what images resonate best with pinners or see what categories could benefit from additional visual content. This additional information will allow users to better leverage Pinterest for business objectives, be that increasing engagement, promoting thought leadership, increasing brand awareness, or increasing conversions. This tool is still missing information that would illuminate the importance of repining regarding user interaction and brand authority, but it’s a start. In short, Pinterest Web Analytics makes Pinterest a much more powerful tool in an ongoing content strategy.

To be able to access the Pinterest Analytics, you first need to have your website verified. See the previous post on Pinterest Verification to learn how to do this. After your website is verified, get early access to Pinterest’s new look then go to the top right menu and click Analytics.

Old Pinterest Interface

Old Pinterest Interface


New Pinterest Interface

New Pinterest Interface

Although their analytics tool uses a very simplistic approach much alike Facebook’s insights, Pinterest Web Analytics is a big step towards Pinterest actually starting to monetize its massive traffic assets. Read Pinterest’s post on the matter to hear it from the horse’s mouth or contact Nina Hale, Inc. if you have any questions about Pinterest Web Analytics.

NHI Presents at #BigDataMN Conference

Monday, January 28th, 2013

The Nina Hale Analytics Team battled the 5 below temperatures on Monday to attend and present at #BigDataMN, one of Minnesota’s first big data conferences. Alongside 700 attendees we learned about what lies at the intersection of data, programming, analysis, business, and communication. The event was organized by the local analytics professional organization, MinneAnalytics, and was held at the Carlson School.

The day commenced with the Carlson School announcing its newest program from the Social Media and Business Analytics Collaborative (SOBACO), which aims to educate more data and analysis professionals. It is encouraging to see academic institutions acknowledging data as a necessity within business studies. The proliferation of data requires that we build our talent pool, educating more people on how to collect, make use of, and understand our data.

presenting at big data conference

Alongside Chris Malone, Professor of Statistics at Winona State, I co-chaired a room devoted to discussing the question of how we develop, find, hire, and retain talent within the data field. My panel discussion consisted of HR representatives from large Minnesota corporations, a professor from the Carlson School, and a third-party recruiter for SMBs. Our conversation was rich, demonstrating an increased need for academic preparation for the data profession as well as a method to measure the performance of and retain practicing data specialists. We seemed to agree that there is no distinct definition of what data scientist does, which makes the job of recruiters and HR professionals extremely challenging.

#BigDataMN was a fantastic opportunity to observe the interdisciplinary nature of an emerging field. Because of the breadth of applications for data, it was enriching to learn from people across a multitude of professions. Data is forcing a marketing renaissance; time to get ready and ride the wave.

Google Analytics Updates User Interface

Friday, January 18th, 2013

On January 16, Google Analytics updated its User Interface. These updates to top navigation and dashboards will simplify and improve functionality and user experience.

Top Navigation

Fewer tabs in top navigation create a more streamlined user experience. “Standard Reporting” and “Custom Reporting” have been consolidated into one “Reporting” tab, and “Real Time Reporting” has been elevated in importance and consolidated into “Standard Reports.” Additionally, Adwords now lives within “Traffic Sources” under “Advertising,” a more logical navigational position.

 before after


The ability to create different dashboard layouts in the new interface will make it easier to visually organize information. Advanced segmentation will allow users to segment their dashboard in a few clicks. The Dashboard also includes two new types of widgets! 

Geomap Widgets: This world map tool (no surprise), by continent or subcontinent. 



Bars Widgets: This bar graph tool pivots and displays data, allowing categorical variables to be compared in a new and exciting method that was previously impossible to display visually.


bar 1


bar 2