5 Minutes with Analytics Conference Speaker, Krista Seiden

Krista Seiden is a Google Analytics Advocate and an experienced leader in the digital analytics industry. Working at Google, she is responsible for educating and advocating for digital analytics and optimisation best practices as well as running the Google Analytics Premium training program. In just 5 minutes you’ll find out where it all began, her most important piece of wisdom for a new starter, her greatest analytics fail, and the next big thing the world needs to solve.

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How and when did you first get interested in what you are doing?

I've had an exciting career so far. During the 2008 recession I was laid off from HSBC where I had been on a trading desk selling Fixed Income Securities. This turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me, because shortly after I got my feet wet in the digital analytics space working as an internal practitioner at Adobe. While there I focused on web analytics for a freemium product offering using the Omniture suite of tools and focused my time and attention on learning everything there was to know about the digital analytics platforms available to me there. In addition to web analytics, I also focused on optimisation and helped run several A/B tests for their core cloud product offerings. After Adobe, I spent some time at the Apollo Group (the parent company of the University of Phoenix) as a product analyst responsible for all digital metrics for their classroom social media platform and their classroom mobile apps. This was an interesting role that allowed me to grow my expertise across many toolsets and types of analysis. I also had the opportunity to learn and build a skill set around UX testing and paired the qualitative data we received from user testing with quantitative data to tell a complete story. After Apollo, I moved to Google where I first ran the analytics & optimization program for the Google for Work group. In that role I managed the implementation & high level reporting for 6 core product offerings and ran an A/B testing program which executed upwards of 50 tests/quarter. After two great years in that role, I moved onto my current role where I am out in the market advocating for Google Analytics. In addition to my speaker and writing responsibilities, I also run our Google Analytics Premium training program where I get to interact with thousands of our premium clients daily.

What's your most important piece of wisdom to pass on for someone new to the industry?

Keep learning! There are a ton of great resources out there for both product specific and industry general subjects, so take advantage of them. Follow the rockstars on twitter, read their blogs, and learn from them. If you’re not technical, try to learn some HTML, CSS, and JS on the side - it will help you immensely. If you are technical, work on your business and communications skills. Just keep learning!

What’s been your biggest digital analytics fail?

Early on when I was at Google I ran an A/B test on the CTA of one of our websites. We found a big winner, and so naturally, I was really excited. I sent an email to my whole org letting them know we’d found this winner and would be launching it soon. Later that day I received an email from one of our PMs who had looked further into the test results and had found that the winner was full of spammy data. When I went back and triple checked the results, we still had a great winner, but it wasn’t the one I’d told everyone about! To be safe, we re-ran the test, triple checked again for spam, and then announced and released the new winner. I learned a big lesson from this experience… ALWAYS check your results for spam and outliers, and then check again (and again) before you release them.

What is something that you wish someone had solved by now? (Doesn't have to be industry related).

Mass transportation at speed. Why can’t we teleport yet?

If you created an app, what would it do?

I’d love to be involved in something that truly impacted people’s lives in a positive way. Something related to healthcare, civic tech, transportation, or agriculture would be a cool app to work on, but as for specific ideas… I’m still pondering that.

So, where can I meet Krista and learn more from her?

The Analytics Conference is an annual Google Analytics user conference, hosted by Google Partners, Loves Data in Sydney and Melbourne. It’s a must-attend for marketers, analysts, IT professionals, SEM specialists and social media practitioners. Expect two action-packed days of insights, best practices and ‘out of the box’ thinking to make you question and improve your own digital marketing methods.