I completed the Google Analytics Individual Qualification today which now means that I know how to do even more cool things with Google Analytics. But how did I find the exam and studying for the exam?
Studying for the Exam
Google provides a nice handful of guides at their Conversion University, in total around 2.5 hours worth of video slide shows if you watch them all the way through (and I suggest you do!). If you are studying for the exam then it is definitely worth watching the presentations all the way through and listening to the audio that accompanies them since not everything is contained on the slides.
Try not to skip over any of the slides, even if you think you already know about a certain item. I had to stop my self from doing this and I am glad that I did watch them all since even with some of the basic areas it is good to get a refresher on areas that you may already know about but you will be surprised about the little nuggets of information which you will pick up during this process – small items that you would probably know if someone told you but not if you just got asked outright.
One thing I can say about the studying though is that the Conversion University content is rather limited when it comes down to the details about Google Analytics. If you don’t use Google Analytics on a regular basis for a variety of different and complex tasks then if you attempt the exam from a standing start then you are going to have difficulty with the questions.
I have been working with Google Analytics on a daily basis for a number of years now and covering a wide ranges of requests about the data you can extract and how to see certain information etc, along with installing and customising the code which is placed on websites and some of the questions got me thinking a bit about how things can be achieved.
What it doesn’t contain within the learning documents is information around some of the more complex questions that you are sometimes asked about while working with Google Analytics and the only real way to learn about this is by actually doing the work on a regular basis.
If you are looking to complete the exam from a standing start then I suggest reading every resource you can find about Google Analytics and some of the more detailed information, insights and technical setup options. Some good sources for this can be the book Advanced Web Metrics from Brian Clifton. Another good resource is Avinash Kaushik’s analytics blog.
Taking the Exam
For the exam you have 90 minutes to complete the 70 questions. While I can’t give away the questions that were on the exam (no cheating!) I can say that they cover a very wide range of topics which are not always included within the Conversion University learning material. Bizarrely one area which I was quite surprised about with the Google Analytics exam were the large amount of questions related to Google AdWords!
There is a completely separate Google AdWords exam which can be completed so it seems a little strange why there was a large amount of the questions were related to AdWords. That said, Google Analytics and Google AdWords are quite closely linked in terms of larger eCommerce websites who require revenue data to be tracked accurately.
While it may seem like a long time 90 minutes to answer 70 multiple choice questions, this can actually be quite tight especially when you need to review certain answers that you are unsure about along with thinking through some of the more complex and oddly worded questions.
So that is my experience of the Google Analytics Individual Qualification. It is definitely worth completing if you use Google Analytics on a regular basis as you will not only learn something new by completing it you will also have the proof that you can use it proficiently.