12 Highlights of 2014

feature-Loves-Data-Door-2.jpg

It’s been an action-packed year for Loves Data and the digital analytics and online marketing community. We’ve seen some great updates from Google, made it on Google Maps, helped out some great Australian charities, and hosted fantastic events and training. To celebrate such a memorable year, we thought we would share our 12 highlights of 2014 with you!

1. We brought Avinash to Australia to present at the Google Analytics User Conference 2014

Kicking off with our number one highlight is the Google Analytics User Conference, which we presented in September this year. Going off with a bang, our team banded together to put on what the analytics community considers to be one of the biggest events of the year. We even managed to get the one and only digital marketing guru, Avinash Kaushik plus a plethora of big shots such as Google’s Digital Evangelist, Justin Cutroni and Head of Data Platforms APAC, Wendy Glasgow. Check out our top 10 key takeaways from the 2014 Google Analytics User Conference.

Avinash GAUC 2014 Loves Data blog post highlights

2. The Fred Hollows Foundation won the 2014 Google Impact Challenge

Our client, The Fred Hollows Foundation won the 2014 #GoogleImpactChallenge, resulting in a lot of high fiving throughout our office. Thanks to your vote, they won an impressive $500,000 grant to help achieve Fred’s dream of eliminating preventable blindness using new technology. You can support the amazing work that The Fred Hollows Foundation do too – every bit counts.

We’ve been working with The Fred Hollows Foundation for several years now, to help drive results in their online marketing activities using their Google Ad Grant. Find out more in this case study.

Google-Impact-challenge-Fred-Hollows-Foundation

3. Mobile use has trumped desktop use

Did you know that more people own a mobile phone than a toothbrush? This often-repeated fact has been doing the rounds for a few years now, but it does highlight just how mobile dependent we are. In the US, mobile use has already surpassed desktop use and Australia’s not far off. Consumers are making their preference for mobile more obvious and Google is listening – the latest update to Google search results is the introduction of a ‘mobile-friendly’ label. This label makes mobile-friendly web pages easy to locate and more attractive to click through. Now is really the time to get your site up to speed, so we’ve put together a few ways to test your site and included some optimisation tips on a recent blog post.

mobile friendly blog feature Loves Data

4. We Helped Con Dedes on His Quest to Raise Money for HeartKids NSW

This year, the Loves Data team joined forces with restaurateur, Con Dedes as he set out on an epic 100km walk from Wollongong to Woolwich to raise money for HeartKids NSW. We walked with Con through the sunny streets of Sydney, helping him raise awareness and collect donations. Still a kid at heart, Con had heart surgery when he was 6 years old and then again when he was 29. We were proud to see Con cross the finish line at his restaurant, Deckhouse in Woolwich, and even more stoked to hear that he raised $80,000 for HeartKids NSW.

We’re a proud supporter of the Con Dedes HeartKids walk. Find out how you can donate to the great work that HeartKids NSW do. See the full story.

heart-kids-dedes-deckhouse 2014 Loves Data blog post highlights

5. Universal Analytics came out of Beta

In April this year Universal Analytics came out of beta, meaning that everyone now has the possibility of tracking the full consumer journey across multiple devices. With some creative thinking, you can also use Universal Analytics to track offline interactions.

Since Universal Analytics was in beta, the Loves Data team have been experimenting with ways we can extend our tracking capabilities offline. Last year, we tracked our coffee consumption and dance moves. This year we used Google Glass to track voice commands into Google Analytics using the Measurement protocol.

Find out how you can upgrade to Universal Analytics using a few simple steps. Have a look at our video below on coffee consumption

6. We used QR codes to track our office kitchen habits into Universal Analytics

As you’ve probably guessed, here at Loves Data, we LOVE to track and measure everything we do – right down to the coffee we drink and the fruit we eat. Luckily, the Universal Analytics Measurement Protocol allows us to track all our offline activity into Google Analytics. To prove it, we thought we would show you a typical day in the office. See the data for yourself:

7. Our Director of Digital and Analytics, Benjamin Mangold experimented with Google Glass by wearing it for a week

Always looking for new adventures and ways to test technology, Benjamin decided to make a week long commitment to wearing Google Glass. Apart from answering the hardest question of all: is Google Glass hot or not? He had this to say about the Glass:

‘Overall, I can see Google Glass spending more time stuck on my face, especially for work and at special events.’

 8. We successfully presented our own GTM training

We’ve been leading the field in both Google Analytics and Google AdWords training, so it was only natural to launch our first Google Tag Manager training in November this year. After the success of the Google Analytics User Conference and the emphasis our international speakers placed on using a tag management system, this course was highly anticipated and well received. We’ve also received a lot of requests to bring this training to Melbourne. Watch this space Melbournians!

GTM 2014 Loves Data blog post highlights

9. We made it onto Google Maps

We were snapped on Google maps … Enough said!

Google maps 2014 Loves Data blog post highlights

10. Ben was invited to present at iMetrics in Russia!

Our Director of Digital and Analytics, Benjamin Mangold was asked to present at iMetrics Russia in November this year. It’s very interesting to see how analytics translates across the globe, including Russia’s use of Google Analytics and Yandex. Also part of Ben’s speaking engagements this year was eMetrics Toronto, RMIT Symposium Melbourne and the American Express Shop Small initiative in our hometown, Sydney. Talk about a globetrotter!

iMetrics 2014 Loves Data blog post highlights

11. Sharing knowledge through our blogs

Our two most popular blog posts this year reached millions of people worldwide. What were you reading on our blog this year? If the views were anything to go by, our blog readers loved how to track PayPal conversions in Google Analytics (making your conversion data more reliable) and top tips for the new Google Analytics App for iOS (so you can check those stats wherever you may happen to be!)

We’ll keep the blog resources coming in 2015, so keep an eye out for more handy resources, tips and hacks.

tracking-paypal 2014 Loves Data blog post highlights

12. YOU!

This selfie from Google Partner Academy in New Zealand is probably one of our favourite highlights of the year. We love having you as part of the digital community – whether it’s coming along to one of our events, training or keeping up with us online.

Keep it coming in 2015: we love seeing the digital community growing, and your big smiles at our Loves Data Training!

Google Partner Academy 014 Loves Data blog post highlights

Thanks to the two awesome attendees at Google Partner Academy Adwords 301 Training in Auckland who shared this with us on Google+

What are your highlights from 2014? Let us know in the comments.