I want to share a list of readings that I compiled for the introduction session of my Web Analytics open course; the list may be of use to instructors teaching web analytics; suggestions for additional readings are always welcomed.
- What is web analytics and why we need it: A quick overview of what web analytics is and what it can do for you.
- Two approaches of data measurement: there are different ways to track and collect user data; the variation in measurement and the diversity of available tools are usually sources of discussions and debates that you may read about from time to time.
- What is Google Analytics? Usually referred to as GA, Google Analytics is a free product from Google, and one that is most widely used in the world.
- How Google Analytics works. This (PDF) document explains the steps in which GA collects, processes, analyzes and reports user data; also available as a video version.
- Google Analytics terminology. It is essential that you know about these basic terms in GA reports; most, if not all, of these terms are also used generically in other web analytics products.
- Dimensions and metrics. Dimensions and metrics are two terms you will see in every Google Analytics report, they are the building blocks of a report; without a good understanding of these two terms, you won’t be able to read and use GA reports.
- Journalism schools need to teach web metrics as it sees increasing use in newsrooms
- Suggestions and resources: Teaching web metrics and Google Analytics to communication students
- Essential web analytics knowledge for journalism students: Understanding key Google Analytics reports for content management
- Web analytics for newsroom and classroom: Essential metrics journalists should know and use
- Learning Google Analytics: Selected readings to get you started
Founder at MutuStar LLC
Dr. Mu Lin is a digital journalism professional and educator in New Jersey, United States. Dr. Lin manages an online marketing company. He also manages MulinBlog Online J-School (www.mulinblog.com/mooc), a free online journalism training program, which offers courses such as Audio Slideshow Storytelling; Introduction to Social Media Marketing; Writing for the Web; Google Mapping for Communicators; Introduction to Data Visualization; Introduction to Web Metrics and Google Analytics.
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