Google Analytics Is a Powerful Tool, and Teacher Strives to Make Learning It Fun
By Susan Munter
“Fun, easy, useful” is how Mary Kay Lofurno describes her classes. While that doesn’t exactly sound like a class for learning a computer application, Lofurno says her “number one goal is to make learning Google Analytics fun.” And if her Google Jeopardy game weren’t enough to bring you to the class, Lofurno’s own infectious delight for the tool should be during her four-hour PDC crash course in Google Analytics.
Lofurno is excited by the sheer power of the tool as well as the career opportunities it provides. Today every company, nonprofit and university has a website, if not multiple sites. And every marketing program that touches that site – email, pay per click, content marketing search engine optimization, social media and much more – generates valuable customer data. It’s a treasure trove. That is, if there is someone who can analyze what all the data means – someone well versed in Google Analytics. It has been a highly successful career path for Lofurno, offering many options, and it can be for others willing to put in the time to learn the program in detail.
“When it comes to analytics,” Lofurno says, “organizations can struggle with a host of issues such as improper configuration and implementation of analytics technology… and how to make sense of all the data that is produced from digital technology. Organizations are swimming up to their eyeballs in data.”
In her PDC class, Lofurno reviews the core components of the program: acquisition, conversion, audience and behavior. Google Analytics makes up 67 percent market share of web analytics tools. Because so many companies use it, it is a highly transferable skill. For those who want to explore the tool in depth, she will share where to find additional training online, much of which is free. She will also discuss the certification process for those who are thinking of pursuing it, something that Lofurno herself has found valuable.
“Every company today has a website and all parts of the organization use the data emanating from the website. It’s an important skill to have, and it will make you more marketable as a candidate on the employment front,” says Lofurno.
Lofurno is, in fact, certified in all Google products and started in analytics in 1997. It was a challenge because at the time there were no training courses – just one man teaching on the Internet. Early in her career she worked with a company that put out 25 new sites per quarter, with enormous implications to the company analytics networks. But Lofurno, who loves to learn, was eager for the challenge.
Over 20 years in the field, Lofurno has consulted to corporations on all aspects of digital marketing digital – marketing email, pay-per click, display advertising, remarketing, content marketing, syndication, social, affiliate, price comparison sites, fax, QR codes, RSS, search engine optimization and more. Right now, she is manager of SEO and analytics for Spartan Race, an international events company in Boston that puts on obstacle races all over the world.
A fan of former pro hockey star Wayne Gretzky, Lofurno echoes his famous quote in saying, “I’m always skating where the puck will be.” And she continues to grow her skill set. She is getting into business analytics through a program at Duke that goes from Excel to MySQL. Lofurno concludes, “Analytics is one of my passions and it’s fun! I am a naturally curious person and I like to figure things out. I enjoy sharing what I know to help other people succeed.”
“Introduction to Google Analytics” will be taught on Friday, July 14, from 9 a.m. to noon, at Career Source Career Center, 186 Alewife Brook Parkway, 3rd Floor, Cambridge. Cost is $65 (including $5 for materials). For information or to register, see course listings.
Susan Munter is founder of The Branding Band. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.