I love talking to colleagues about web analytics and yesterday I got to do just that – but on a much larger scale.
A little background … Penn State is very large. We have about 43,000 students at main campus and about 78,000 students throughout all of our campuses. Needless to say we have a lot of websites – I can’t even guess how many we have – 200? 400? 500? Not sure. It’s a lot, though. That much I know.
With so many websites owned by so many different units, community is so important. We have a great web community with a fantastic annual web conference and yesterday we started a different kind of web community – one devoted to web analytics.
Since most units at Penn State use Google Analytics, it was called the Google Analytics User Group kickoff event. Going forward we’re probably going to call it something less tool-specific, but we’ll see.
Some great folks at the Penn State Libraries – including doteduguru Nikki Massaro Kauffman – put the event together. It was an awesome event and the attendee list was completely full only a few days after invitations went out.
We gathered in the morning at the libraries to kick off the event with an open panel – discussing how Google Analytics was being used at the university within different departments. It was so great to hear the different ways web analytics is having an impact at the university and how website owners are using it. Experience with the tool (and analytics in general) ran the gamut from just getting started to years of experience.
There were many sessions throughout the day including methodologies (which led into a discussion about privacy issues), Google Analytics implementation, new users, and reporting.
At the wrap up discussion we talked about how we will continue with the community. I’m very excited to continue the conversation within Penn State and we already have ideas of specific projects going forward. What a great way to end the week! I’m excited to continue the conversation.