Playing with R, Shiny Dashboard and Google Analytics Data

The dashboard I’ve made makes use of the following visualizations:

  • Value boxes
  • Interactive Time Series (dygraphs)
  • Bubble charts
  • Streamgraphs
  • Treemaps

You can see the final dashboard at (though, because of basic plan current limits, it might be temporarily unavailable), or better you can check the code at github 

[keep reading]

(via Playing with R, Shiny Dashboard and Google Analytics Data |analytics for fun by Marco Pasin)

7th Annual Fundraising Analytics Survey - Have you participated yet?

…Calling All Nonprofit Analytics Professionals and Data Scientists!

Bentz Whaley Flessner would like to invite you to participate in our 2016 Fundraising Analytics Survey.

Bentz Whaley Flessner has conducted the Fundraising Analytics Survey since 2010. This survey provides a comprehensive snapshot of the fundraising analytics profession and covers compensation, professional development, methodology, software, and institutional culture.

We use this survey to check the pulse of fundraising analytics, which is why we want to survey everyone in the community. Help us provide the community with important information to support, inform, and advance our field. 

 If you are a fundraising professional at a non-profit please participate here.

The FREE Summary Report of this 2016 Fundraising Analytics Survey will be available this summer. Highlights of previous year surveys are available online at

Thank you for your time and participation in this important project.


(All the above images are captioned and explained - just click!)

For those who may not know, I’m a huge fan of data and analytics. Google Analytics is an awesome tool for website owners that gives an enormous amount of useful information to help them see who’s visiting and whether or not what they’re doing is working.

Since I started Unsettling Stories early last November, the site has grown pretty steadily and these analytics have given me great insight into what’s working, what I need to change, and whether or not certain stories are successful.

For anyone who might be concerned, none of these data can identify an individual person. Google is extremely careful with what information they give site owners, and quite often they simply hide enormous amounts of user data from from analytics users if they think it might be potentially revealing.

I’m still learning a lot about analytics (I didn’t know anything when I started,) so I’m sure there’s a lot of optimization I still need to do. But I think it’s a lot of fun to see the flow of action and information across a site I created. And for anyone who wanted to get a glimpse behind the scenes, here it is!


I got another milestone today with 18,000 subscribers and had a huge spike in views that is even bigger than the first spike! (Which is coming from this video about the PPG reboot: )

This is the most views I’ve ever gotten in such a short amount of time.

I have no idea how this is happening, but thank you so much! :D

Conversion Strategy: How SEO Can Unveil Your Target Consumer

by Luke Richardson

In the giant realm of this buzz word “Search Engine Optimization” also known as SEO, what’s truly unclear to many people is what exactly SEO does that is so dynamic and valuable. Sure, it is understood to many that SEO drives traffic and improves visibility for websites…but so does digital advertising, social media, content marketing and P.R. So the question you need to ask is what is it about SEO that is so different than other marketing strategies? 

My answer is very clear…it leverages conversion behavior. 

In my time working as an analyst, I have always been most fascinated by this concept of conversion search behavior which I will define as any type of search data that indicates a user is likely to buy, register, share or download (depending on the ultimate objective of the company). In the image below, you can see the visualization of the typical “sales funnel” that deonstrates how close a user is to actually taking an action. The ultimate goal with conversion strategy is to capture those closest to the bottom. 

Search behavior is truly a brilliant thing. It reveals that there might be an unknown online market for a product and thus a major opportunity for a company to see exponential growth. It shows unusual linguistic patterns and tells marketers that the way they assume people will phrase certain queries might not be congruent with the way people actually type them. But most of all, search behavior tells us who is already educated about something, who has been spending a lot of time looking for a product and who is clearly demonstrating with certain words that they would like to take an immediate action. 

The First Search Insight: Learning the Market

Before even thinking about conversion indicators with search data, one first needs to determine that there is a legitimate and sizable market for online integrated marketing communication. In many cases, professionals in their field will tel you that their users simply wouldn’t use Google to find them. In some cases, those professionals skepticism may be valid. But a lot of the time, general search data proves them wrong. The reality of today’s world is that people are so accustomed to using search engines in every aspect of all online interaction that they subconciously search queries into Google looking for validation, explanation or data. 

The 4 Conversion Strategies in SEO 

Once it is clear that there is a substantial amount of people  searching for the product of service you are working with, the next step is to understand where that person is in the funnel e.g. how far into the buyer-decision process might they be. Do they already know a lot about the product at hand, more than the average person? Are their searches unusually specific and demonstrative of high product knowledge? These questions are all focused around conversion behavior and there are 4 primary strategies to determine conversion with SEO. 

  1. Proactive Keyword Search: This method looks for users who are demonstrating agency and intent with their search queries. Someone searching “What are the best cloud security providers?” makes it easy for an SEO analyst to tell that the searcher is likely in-market for cloud solutions as opposed to simply “cloud security” which is ambiguous and unclear as a keyword. The former demonstrates conversion behavior and is a very valuable insight in the SEO world. Though the former will have a much smaller search volume than the latter, the conversion keyword presents much more value than the highly ambiguous and highly competitive broader keyword. 
  2. Long Tail Search: Similar to proactive, long tail keywords refer to queries that are detailed and complex, demonstrating that the user has spent a significant amount of time educating his or herself about the product and is likely lower in the funnel. Another example from cloud computing would be the long tail search “IT solution for cloud flare” as opposed to a more typical search such as “cloud solutions” which gives an SEO analyst very little to work with from a conversion standpoint. 
  3. Geotagging and Localization: One of the most common conversion indicators in all of SEO is localized search and thus, many businesses live and die by the localization doctrine. The thinking around this strategy is very intuitive: when people are thinking about proximity as a factor of their query, they are very likely to  register or convert. For example, which of these two search queries would you be more excited about as a marketer for cloud solutions: “cloud computing solution” or “cloud computing solutions in boston ma.” Of course, the latter is the attractive option. The former could depict a user wanting a definition of cloud or perhaps an article that outlines free information about cloud solutions. Maybe that user is in-market but it’s impossible to know. With the second phrasing, we know that the user is very likely to be looking for a product or team to help him or her with cloud solutions simply because proximity has been specified.
  4. Relevant Keyword Search: Finally, an easy way to find your in-market target is by looking for related products or needs that indicate to you that someone would also need your service. This is especially important for those companies working with a product that is new and unknown to many consumers or any complex product that doesn’t have simple and easy search terms. For example, a content management system (CMS) product (such as Weebly, Drupal, Wix, etc.) will have a certain percentage of the market that needs their help but may not know the acronym CMS or understand how content management for websites works. Instead of only optimizing for searches directly for their product category, the company might take a relevant keyword approach and look for those searching for “web hosting providers” and bid on that keyword or build out content that talks about it in order to steer consumers towards their CMS product. If the rationale is not clear here: those in need of a web host will also need a way to manage content for their new website and thus the relevance is established. 

STOP! Look! Listen! Channel Frederator had it’s best month ever! And that’s not all. Channel Frederator is the largest animation network in all the world. 

Thank you all. 



From the postcard back:

You are one of 300 people
to receive this limited edition
Channel Frederator postcard!

The World’s Largest Animation Network
Channel Frederator Network
The Declaration of Cartoon Independents

May 2016
2833 channels distributed
45 million subscribers
529 million monthly views
7.3 billion lifetime views
1.1 million subscribers
17 million monthly views
172 million lifetime views
*Sources: Frederator/YouTube Analytics
& Social Blade

Illustration by Editions SPES SA Lausanne, Switzerland

Series 35.5 [mailed out April 27, 2016]

Improve the Customer Experience & the Bottom Line through Predictive Analytics

Posted by MICHAEL TAYLOR in IT Peer Network on Feb 12, 2016 11:43:00 AM

Earlier this year technology and retail companies descended on New York City for the National Retail Federation Conf. (NRF).  This is where hospitality and retail organizations around the globe gather to learn about the next big thing in their industries, share best practices and identify ideas for taking advantage of technology to drive better business decisions, create business opportunities and capture efficiencies as they face rapidly changing customer dynamics. Hospitality and retail organizations constantly face fierce competition and who can capitalize on changes in customer behavior to capture profit opportunities is critical.

Caesars Entertainment is recognized as one of the world’s most geographically diverse casino entertainment operator.  However, what may be surprising is to learn that Caesar’s customers are spending the majority of their personal income on non-gaming entertainment, lodging and dining experiences.  The change in customer demographics & spending patterns was a significant change to Caesars Entertainment original business model.  Such changes or inflection points can be transformative for the business.  But, only if the organization recognizes the opportunity.

In the entertainment and hospitality segment there are no shortage of competing options for consumer’s entertainment budget.  How did Caesar Entertainment respond?  Their core business and brand were synonymous with elegant, high-end gaming experiences. This business model relied on a relational database – which means “known and structured data” about a customer, entered into and stored for later engagement. This served Caesars Entertainment for many years.

However, as the customer’s buying patterns changed, from gaming to entertainment; from buffet to fine dining; from basic room to a luxury accommodations – so did Caesars business model and competitive differentiation.  They realized in order distinguish their organization from the pack was paramount and in order to do so, Caesars’ needed to know more about their customers.  It became clear in order to better engage their customer, their interests and ultimately their willingness to spend, required a new approach.

A great concierge, or professional assistant knows their clients inside and out, often through the use of a little black book and writing down everything about their likes and preferences.  For Caesars Entertainment they leverages non-structured data from, geo-presence or location services, social media monitoring, video and audio listening to pull together a more complete customer profile.  This level of engagement more closely matches services and experiences with interests.  It becomes a business and operating competitive advantage.  With a more thorough focus on serving the customer Caesars differentiates in a way that is unique, delivering high-customer value without sacrificing margins or negatively impacting its brand image.

Intel Capital invests in China

Eight emerging technology companies from China received over $67 billion dollars from Intel Capital. In total Intel has already spent in the Middle nearly $2 billion.

Among the sectors that were among the interests of the investment Intel Capital were smart devices, robotics, Internet of Things, Big Data and analytics.

Support from Intel got this time 99cloud, Bluebank, Hampoo, Ninebot, Nuovo Film, PraFly and AWcloud. In total, since 1998, the American corporation has invested more than $1.9 billion in more than 140 companies.

6 Things You Can Learn from Your Email Analytics

New Post has been published on

6 Things You Can Learn from Your Email Analytics

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By Miranda Paquet, Constant Contact


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Making sense of your email analytics can be tricky at first.

How do you know which numbers to focus on? What do all those numbers really mean anyway? Is this really worth your time?

To approach your email reports with confidence, you have to understand what information you have available and how to use that information to improve your strategy.

Let’s take a quick look at six of the most important things you can learn from your email analytics:

1. Who read your email?

Within your email reports, click on the number of people who opened a particular email. This takes you to a list of all the people that opened that campaign, as well as the time that they opened it.

You can also see your open rate, your average open rate, and how you compare to others in your industry.

As you can see in this example, from River Rock Climbing, their December 2015 newsletter received a 35 percent open rate — a nice jump from their average of 17 percent.

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Next steps: After looking at their email opens, River Rock Climbing knows which people are actively engaged. As a next step, they could tag these contacts and follow up with another email to provide a special, such as a class discount. By rewarding their most loyal members, they’re providing a good incentive for taking action.

2. What did your subscribers find interesting?

Next, take a look at the “Clicked” tab. This will show you how many clicks your email received, your click-through rate for this email, your average click-through rate, and how you compare to others in your industry.

This is a great indicator of what information is most interesting and relevant to your audience.

River Rock Climbing received 13 unique clicks in this email, generating an impressive 18 percent click-through rate.

From the information below, you can see that a YouTube link received the most clicks — indicating that video content resonates well with their audience.

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Next steps: Your email clicks can help guide the content you create. Notice what topics and types of content are getting the most attention from your audience and continue to send information that’s tailored to your audience’s interests.

You can get extremely targeted by following up with people who clicked on a specific link. For example, if the YouTube video was about a climbing instruction class, River Rock Climbing could reach out to the six people that watched the video with information about an upcoming class.

This helps River Rock Climbing move people through the buyer’s journey and move them closer to taking action and making a purchase.

3. When’s the best time to send your email?

As mentioned above, you can see when your email subscribers are opening your emails. Take a quick look and make sure your sending schedule is in line with when most people are opening.

You can be sure you’re scheduling and sending emails at the optimal time by using theBest Time to Send feature.

When you’re ready to send your next campaign, select “Next Best Time” and your email will be sent at the optimal time based on when your contacts have been most likely to open your email in the past.

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Next steps: Once you find a time that works well, be consistent so your audience starts to expect your emails. You can even create the expectation right at the point when a new contact signs up. If you always send emails on Friday morning, let your subscribers know by telling them in person and in your online sign-up form.

4. On what device are people reading your email?

You already know that more and more emails are now read on a mobile device. But these numbers also vary, depending on your audience.

Visit the “Campaigns” tab to see how many people are opening your emails on desktop versus mobile. The stats are consistently updated to reflect the data from your last five campaigns.

As you can see below, over 55 percent of River Rock Climbing’s email subscribers are opening from a mobile device.

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Next steps: No matter what your exact distribution is, using a mobile-responsive template is key to ensuring your subscribers are getting the best experience. Use amobile-responsive email template so your email adapts to whatever size screen it’s viewed on.

5. How can you do better next time?

As you start to dig deeper into your email analytics, it’s inevitable that you’ll find areas where you want to improve. Below is a chart to help you identify some opportunities if you feel stuck.

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Two very common questions are: How can I improve my open rate? And How can I improve my click-through rate?

To increase opens, find that best time to send and be consistent with your delivery. It’s also important to craft a compelling subject line so you’re making a good first impression in the inbox and enticing people to open. Lastly, check in with your audience and make sure you’re sending them information they find valuable. Ask people in-person, or send an online survey, to better understand what they’re looking for.

Low click-thorough rates are usually an indicator that you need a stronger call-to-action. Tell your audience clearly what action you’d like them to take next — whether it’s to come into the store for an event, register for a webinar, donate, or shop online. Keep your information concise and make sure your message is clear no matter what device people are reading on.

Next steps: Improving your results is a learning process. Set clear benchmarks and work towards them. Your best bet is to stay focused and try to improve in one area at a time. Check out some of our top email marketing best practices here and choose one area to focus on.

6. Why is email marketing worth your time?

Without a strong grasp on your email analytics, this question might be a little hard to nail down. Sure, you know email is a good way to reach your audience, but how is email marketing impacting your business and bottom line?

Map your email efforts to a desired business result and track your success. If your business goal is to increase online shopping, look at your click-throughs and monitor you online orders. If you want to drive more donations during the holiday season, create a series of emails and total the contributions that come from your email subscribers.

Seeing your efforts pay off and understanding the specific impact your emails are generating will give you confidence in your approach and motivate you to do more with email marketing.

Email analytics, without the headache.

You don’t have to be an analytics expert to measure the impact of your email marketing efforts.

Take some time exploring your email reports, choose one area you want to improve in, and check in after each email to track your results.

* * *

Ready to Get Started with Constant Contact?

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Sign up today for a FREE trail of Constant Contact. Already have email, but need to take it a step further? Check out our Buzz Builders online marketing programs. BizzyWeb can help you create an email marketing and social media plan to get REAL results!

How can you attract and retain talent for your changing workforce?

By Richard Craik | Global Sales Manager for Recruitment Services at IBM

The workforce has quickly transformed the way we manage talent in the past few years. Featuring highlights from Redefining Talent, the 2016 IBM Global CHRO Study, Richard Craik discusses the drivers of these changes and what RPO can do to evolve your workforce for 2016 and beyond on the IBM Global Business Process Services (GPS) blog.

This week’s limited edition Frederator postcard is an homage to my true teacher and mentor, Dale Pon. 

I started work as Dale’s freelance producer/assistant at WHN Radio, a New York country pop station in 1977. It was my first media job and not really knowing how smart he was, or actually, how smart anyone could be in thinking about media, I was an absorbent brain sponge, a job requirement Dale never mentioned. 

One day in the office, I saw one of the station’s ads on the cover of a trade (see it below). The confusion must have shown on my face, so Dale patiently explained the rationale to me as to how a New York radio station (the globe’s largest radio market) could make such an audacious claim. 

“You always have to think big. The biggest! What do you want to do? Think medium?” 

How’d you get that space image? I asked. 

“We’re Americans! We own NASA and everything in it. Each and every one of us.” 

Those were the first big lessons he taught me. They would not be the last, not by a long shot. 

PS: And Dale had a lot –a lot– of brilliant work ahead of him

From the postcard back:

You are one of 300 people
to receive this limited edition
Channel Frederator postcard!

The World’s Largest Animation Network
Channel Frederator Network
The Declaration of Cartoon Independents

April 2016
2759 channels distributed
540 million monthly views
44 million subscribers
6.7 billion lifetime views
10.5 million monthly views
976,000 subscribers
156 million lifetime views
*Sources: Frederator/YouTube Analytics
& Social Blade

Adapted from a Dale Pon design
Photography courtesy NASA

Series 35.4 [mailed out March 25, 2016] 

Dale Pon, New York City February 17, 2008

New Google Analytics App Improves the User Experience

New Google Analytics App Improves the User Experience

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Google is meeting its analytics customers where they tend to spend the most time: on tablets and smartphones.
In fact, in its latest upgrades to Google Analytics, Google has put the spotlight on its reporting app.
A Google Analytics app has been available for a while.

Continue reading…

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Euro/dollar once again failed to break through the 1.1400

In anticipation of the announcement of the results of the ECB meeting and press conference of Mario Draghi, euro/dollar traded in a narrow range between levels of 1.1310 and 1.1282. On the events, at first, the pair has soared to resistance in the area of 1.1396, then dropped to the above mentioned support. Failure to break through the 14th figure confirms the resumption of downside risks, loss of 1.1282-1.1233 will lead to a reduction towards 1.1144. to continue growth, it still needs a steady leap above the 14th figure.

Anthony Porter,
IAFT Analys

Read more analytics…