I've been interested in data and analytics for a long, long time. As a ten-year-old, I remember creating Excel spreadsheets with my dad for his annual Fantasy Football pool. By the time I was 16, I was building Pivot Tables with my cell phone bill to figure out who I texted the most. (I promise I had other hobbies.)
Since then, I've learned how much more there is to data analysis besides Pivot Tables and Excel. There's a whole world of analytics out there -- and I've barely scratched the surface.
There's always more to learn, so I've made it my mission to learn as much as possible about analytics by talking with people and, of course, consuming as much content as I can online. Here are my favorite go-to resources for continuing my marketing analytics education.
1) The KISSmetrics Blog
The KISSmetrics blog is a great resource to learn about marketing analytics, testing, and experimenting with your data. Content is posted daily and will teach you everything from A/B testing to growing your business with analytics to lead generation on your different marketing channels. No matter what company you work at, you'll be able to learn something about data analysis by reading and following this blog.
2) "Occam's Razor" Blog
Avinash Kaushik is known for his book, Web Analytics 2.0 & Web Analytics: An Hour A Day. "Occam's Razor" is his blog, where he writes some of the best analyses, explanations, and analytical materials out there. From these posts, you'll learn how to approach advanced analytics situations and take your data analysis to the next level from a true expert.
3) HubSpot's Inbound Certification
HubSpot offers a free inbound marketing certification for anyone interested in learning about how to implement inbound marketing in their business. The curriculum covers many parts of inbound marketing, including analyzing your efforts to make smarter decisions on where to invest in your future. Not only is it free, but it's available to anyone interested in learning these best practices.
4) Google's Analytics Academy
Google Analytics is one of the most popular platforms for companies analyzing their marketing efforts. To help teach people how they should approach their data analysis, Google offers different classes through their Analytics Academy. In addition to courses to teach users how to use Google Analytics, there are also courses that teach about data analysis in general. From mobile analysis to digital analytics, users can take these free courses and learn a lot more about how they should approach their next analytics challenge.
5) Quora's Analytics Section
The Analytics section of Quora is one of the best places to get quick analytics help with little effort. In this section, you can search or browse through thousands of common analytics questions and skim through answers from analytics experts. Many of the most respected analytics experts are following and answering topics related to analytics on Quora. And if, you can't find what you are looking for, you can always ask a question yourself.
6) General Assembly's Data Analysis Courses
General Assembly is an online resource offering classes, workshops, courses, and on "the most relevant skills of the 21st century." Among them are a ton of data analysis classes for all levels, including introductory classes on fundamental modeling techniques and making meaning out of large data sets, and some more advanced classes on data analysis through SQL.
7) "Online Behavior" Blog
Google Analytics Advocate Daniel Waisberg is the founder of Online Behavior, a blog that focuses on marketing measurement and optimization and covers a wide range of topics. Most of the content focuses on how to conduct different types of analysis using Google Analytics. Some focuses on data analysis and reporting in general and provides best practices on these topics. No matter what your interest is, you're bound to find helpful advice on this blog.
8) The Moz Blog's Analytics Section
Moz's blog covers topics about inbound marketing and SEO -- but if you dig into the "Analytics" tag specifically, you'll find a ton of helpful articles about topics ranging from general best practices to instructions for conducting experiments and analyses with your data. I find the advice on here very actionable, and I think it'd be helpful for readers at every level.
9) Predictive Analytics World Conferences
Predictive Analytics World is a series of conferences around the world that are focused on analytics. Each event in each different city is focused on its own theme. For example, in Chicago there are two simultaneous events: one focused on manufacturing and one focused on business. In Washington, D.C., the conference is focused on how government agencies use data analysis. Many of the other conferences are focused on business in general and can appeal to anyone interested in learning more about data analysis and upcoming trends in predictive analytics.
BONUS: HubSpot's "How to Use Excel" Blog Post
While this is a single blog post rather than an ongoing publication, I still think worth including here as a helpful resource. I get asked about my favorite Excel tips all the time, so I finally decided to compile some of the most common ones into a single blog post listing 14 simple Excel shortcuts, tips, and tricks.
What are your favorite resources for learning more about analytics? Share with us in the comments below.