Highlights from the Google Analytics Summit 2014

As a Google Partner, 6S Marketing received two invites to the Google Analytics Summit 2014. Myself and fellow Internet Marketing Strategist, Courtenay Ledding, were given the opportunity to go this year. The event took place at the Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco on Wednesday and Thursday (May 28 & 29). Security at the event was very noticeable, with lots of police and US Secret Service agents walking around; very high security for a conference, we thought. Were Google’s latest Analytics updates worthy of US national security? Not quite, as it turns out that the US Vice President, Joe Biden, was staying at the hotel too.

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geared up for day 1

geared up for day 1

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Day 1 of the conference started with breakfast and registration, followed by an opening keynote speech. Various Googlers announced the new Google Analytics features across the platform – some of these are public and some confidential. We then had a hearty lunch, which was a great opportunity to mingle with other Google Partners and Premium Analytics customers.

After lunch there were more talks, presentations and breakout sessions; this was where individual technical areas were discussed in-depth. Courtenay and I split up here so we could get the most out of the sessions. Several new features were discussed across the various areas of Google Analytics. The publicly announced features are discussed in detail in Google’s own blog posts (see here for the full list). We’ll be discussing these new features over the coming few weeks here in the 6S Marketing blog. Of course, there were lots of other upcoming product announcements and discussions on features of the Analytics platform that Google are currently working on. Unfortunately, we can’t discuss these as we are under an NDA with Google.

Day one’s talks ended with a ‘fireside chat’ with Sridhar Ramaswamy (Head of Ads & Commerce at Google); this was a very insightful talk from one of Google’s key people. The first day’s events were followed by a lavish affair which included a buffet, wine tasting and craft beer tasting. There was a Google Glass demonstration and various booths set up presenting features of GA as they applied to the software.

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testing out some google glass...and craft beer

testing out some google glass…and craft beer

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There were only three third-party software providers invited to the conference this year, one of which was SuperMetrics. This software is a Google Analytics plugin for Microsoft Excel and Google Docs which allows data to get pulled directly into a spreadsheet. We use this program at 6S to help with large reports, so we were excited to talk to SuperMetrics CEO and founder, Mikael Thunberg, about the software and its background. Mikael came over from Finland to present his software to Google Partners and Premium clients. Courtenay and I got a chance to hang out with him and a few other Finnish Digital Marketers – a great chance to find out about the industry in that part of the world.

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courtenay and supermetrics ceo mikael thunberg

courtenay and supermetrics ceo mikael thunberg

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Day 2 of the Summit included more announcements and in-depth discussions on latest features, and it finished with a Q&A session with Google Analytics Leadership. There were beverages and a prize draw for conference participants who got their passports stamped at every booth or demo they attended. The main prize was a new Chromebook Pixel; unfortunately, Courtenay nor I won anything in the draw.

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a chance to chat with google analytics leadership

a chance to chat with google analytics leadership

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Overall, the 2014 GA Summit was very well-organized and was a good mix of fun, information and innovation. San Francisco helped make the event extra enjoyable. For a city with such high-tech companies and obvious innovation, it does a great job of preserving its history – it was funny to see a historic street car with an ad for JoinMe on its side.

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We will discuss some cool new features of Google Analytics in the coming week. Stay tuned!

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