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Auckland MeasureCamp 2018

MeasureCamp Auckland was held on Saturday 16 June 2018 at the TVNZ Televison Centre. It was advertised with this byline :-

"MeasureCamp is an unconference. This means that at the start of the day the Session Board is blank. Anyone can run a session, it can be a presentation, a discussion, or even a gameshow. When the board is declared open, people claim a time slot and room by adding their session card to the board."

It was the first time that a MeasureCamp had been held in New Zealand. They are common in the rest of the world having started back in 2012. They are designed for everyone involved in Digital Analytics whether they deal with BIG DATA or relatively small data.

MeasureCamps are always held on a Saturday but they are free to attend. A Saturday means that only people who really want to be there will turn up (not just those who want a day out of the office) and making the day free means that people from smaller companies (or independent contractors) will have no barrier to attending.

So what are the benefits of an unconference:

  • Not an endless series of dry, packaged presentations designed to sell a product or a person.

  • Anyone with an idea can host a session.

  • The host of the session can decide on the format.

Disadvantages of an unconference:

  • Many people are nervous about presenting, not thinking their own knowledge is sufficient.

  • Tricky to choose which sessions to attend with just bare details of what the session will cover.

  • With 5 streams at the Auckland MeasureCamp, you're only seeing 20% of what takes place. Without an efficient way of gathering up session content at the end of the event and distribute to all attendees, there is no way of knowing what you missed.

Auckland MeasureCamp 2018

Because this was the first Auckland MeasureCamp, most attendees I spoke to were not really prepared for what was about to happen - and possibly for some of the organisers, this was a step into the dark. Next year's event (and I'm hoping there is one) will be much better and I expect more people will turn up with a plan to host an interesting session (and the material to do so).

The sessions I attended covered

  • Using Google Tag Manager to handle multiple websites connecting to the same ticket agency so that each website could see their own stats, each website could not see anyone else’s stats, and it could all be maintained by non-experts in GTM.

  • Real-time dashboards from multiple data sources for big screen displays in-house - to enable real-time decisions to be made on content/promotions and provide competition between departments.

  • The lowdown on the annoying digital advertising that is everywhere on the web - how it actually works.

  • The issues of a complex Google Tag Manager implementation across multiple separate sites - naming conventions, change control etc.

  • Submitting offline conversions into Google Analytics to be combined with online data - measuring conversions when the transaction is conducted offline.

  • Building a custom conversion model - using data analysis to determine propensity to convert and focusing campaigns on budget on the top percentage.

You can watch some highlights of the day on the video below

So what does a digital analyst do?

All digital analysts have a common goal. Measure and take actions to improve. There is no point measuring if you don't take actions to improve, there is no point taking actions to improve if you aren't measuring.

There are many stages to the act of measuring. At the start of the process, you want to be sure that the information that you are receiving is accurate - this can be as simple as excluding an organisation's own staff from their analytics.

Once you know your data is accurate, your next task is to draw insights from the data you gather. Your insights will lead you to making improvements to "something". This could be content on the page, the layout of a page, the whole structure of a web site, the wording of a campaign.

Once you have made changes, you need to make sure you continue to measure to see if the data reflects your improvements. The process is continuous.