Yes, it really is possible – I did it!
OK, so maybe I have a bit of experience with Google Analytics, but since I never actually tried to get my Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) certification, when Jeff Sauer asked if I’d recommend his new Google Analytics course, I thought this would be a good exercise. So 33 video lessons later, mission accomplished with a 94% score!
Google Analytics Complete Course by Jeffalytics
For a reasonable fee ($297 at the time of writing), you get a whole lot of Jeff! He starts off slow and easy, so even if you are brand new to Google Analytics, don’t be afraid to take this step. In fact, that easy-going approach continues right through to the end where you can actually watch him take the GAIQ test himself (and pass!). Although there are a few times where you might feel he’s rambling on a bit, he will then drop little nuggets of insight that make you realize there’s a lot of experience behind that voice, and it’s worth listening to the whole video recording.
I even learned a few things, and overall felt it was a worthwhile commitment of my time.
For those of you that might be feeling you’ve got the basics already, as Jeff points out in his videos – Google Analytics changes over time! And if my experience is any indication, there are a lot of reports in the GA interface that you probably favour and a whole lot more that you seldom look at [and maybe you should]. It is good to get a reintroduction to a tool you have grown accustomed to, as inevitably you will discover you’re not getting everything you could out of it.
When I started this exercise, I was wondering why I was watching a beginner video…I’ve been working with the technical underpinnings of Google Analytics for a lot of years. What I discovered was that I was learning about Jeff Sauer — his experiences and perspective of the product. All of us are introduced to web analytics in different ways, and we develop our own mindsets about the practice. Throughout the beginner series (broken down into 10 lessons), Jeff does a simple walk-through of the interface, the reports and features available. You start to get an idea of the depth of his experience, which reports are his favourites, and why. His conversational approach to teaching is comforting – nothing he talks about sounds complicated. By the end of the beginner section, you are left feeling like that was really easy. You’ve started to trust him, to understand him, and to respect his experience.
The intermediate videos introduce a lot of the more complicated aspects of using Google Analytics, and Jeff does a great job of finding a balance of talking about where dark things lurk without getting mired in the details. Google Analytics can be rife with muddy details, but you’ll discover later that you don’t need to know it all to use the tool effectively, or to pass the test! Awareness is the key, and Jeff spends the time pointing out the things you need to be aware of. The 10 videos cover all aspects the tool, and this is where his perspective and experience come through. I found I was looking at some of the sections with a fresh perspective that left me wanting to learn more.
Time for the heavy topics with another set of 10 videos, but again, Jeff does a great job of providing context around advanced features like account administration and custom dimensions. All the way through the course, you are being encouraged to post questions to the course forum, and this is the section where you should take advantage of Jeff’s clarifications and comprehensive answers. Don’t underestimate the value of having an expert there to answer your questions! In the videos, you get more expert insight about each topic area, and it is easy to tell which areas are going to be more of a challenge in your own practice. It will get your mind churning about the possibilities.
Certification Training and Bonuses
Wow! Nervous or unsure about taking the GAIQ test, why you should, and what it can do for you? Well, here’s the 3 final videos that will set all those fears aside and make you jump right in! The first walks through the process to get to the test, which can be a bit confusing if someone didn’t show you how. In the second one, Jeff actually takes the test himself, talking his way through all the answers and points out any items that he may have missed in the videos so far. You might be tempted to stop the video and start the test right away, but watch it right to the end — I know my test included some of the same questions Jeff debated over, and it was really helpful knowing the difference between the possibly right answers and the most right answer. Caution: some of the questions in the test are worded slightly differently, so read your questions carefully before you jump to the answer you remember.
The results for me: in less than 45 minutes (you have 90 minutes) with one instance of looking up a specific detail I didn’t know, I passed with flying colors. I have no doubt that if you take Jeff’s courses, you will too!
GAIQ certified, May 2016