Analytics, data, big data, trending, actionable information – if you used these words 50, or even 15, years ago people would look at you funny and secretly wonder if you’d been having a bit too much wine as you read your sci-fi books. Now, however, these terms are common place. In fact, people expect you to analyze everything and learn how to extract actionable information from any data set. And, if you’re anything like me, it can all get a little exhausting. Don’t get me wrong, I can geek out with the best of them, but when it comes to data, I find having an interpreter helps.

This is where Google Analytics comes in. Google Analytics turns your continuing education catalog into a data source on your learners. It will tell you how many learners visited your site, what courses they looked at, what courses they purchased, and how long they spent on your catalog. More importantly, it tells you what courses they looked at but didn’t buy, what keywords they used to search for courses, and how they got to your catalog (did they link from another site, come through a direct search, via social media, or through an online ad).

Most importantly, you can use filters to sift through this data and get great insights into your target audience. For instance, you can see how 18-24 year-olds behave. What do these millennials search for on your catalog, what pages do they spend the most time on, how do they get to your catalog? Are they more or less likely to come in through social media channels? Do they behave differently compared to your staple audience, the boomers? The list of questions goes on, and can get even more sophisticated depending on the various other features of Google Analytics you choose to use.

And this is why, as a marketer and as a member CE world, I find Google Analytics useful. It allows me to slice and dice the data into chunks that are meaningful to me. And, ultimately, that is what creates actionable information and allows me to make strategic decisions.

If you are an InReach client, look for our upcoming training on how to use Google Analytics with your InReach catalog. For more information, contact your Client Success Manager. If you’re not an InReach client, you might want to ask your education platform provider how they can enable you to access this valuable information or schedule some time with us—we’d be happy to provide more details on how this works as an InReach client!