Saturday, January 26, 2013

Google Analytics Individual Qualification Certification



Employers are looking for people who can do more than talk the talk. With so many candidates entering the market, companies favor those who are able to illustrate baseline IT proficiency through the procuring of certifications.  Businesses seeking web analysts are slowly turning to certifications in order to confirm that individuals have a base line understanding of analytical software capabilities. Companies that deliver paid subscription based analytic suites, such as Adobe and Webtrends, offer week long seminars that provide students certifications for their respective analytics suites (see Webtrends Certification Course and Adobe Digital Analyst Certification Training for information about these certifications). However, GA’s popularity and status as the most popular analytics suite [1] make it one of the most important tools to be proficient with, while simultaneously offering one of the cheapest and easiest certification processes.  With Google Analytics suite offering similar analytical tools, companies wanting to reduce marketing costs are turning to individuals with competencies with GA.  The Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) Certification is Google’s way of providing users a clear way to illustrate their abilities to current and future employers.


What is the GAIQ:


According to Google’s website, the GAIQ is simply a means to prove ones proficiency of the GA software suite [2]. The test itself includes 70 multiple choice questions that range from basic definition of terms, to in depth reasoning and problem solving. Candidates have 90 minutes to complete the test and may pause at any time, so long as they finish within 120 hours of the start of the test. The test can be found here at the Google testing center and costs $50 to take. If the candidate fails the test, he or she is not allowed to take it again for fourteen days and is required to repay the $50[2]. 


How to prepare for the Exam:


Typical lesson slide
Individuals wanting to pass the GAIQ should start at the analytics learning center. The learning center offers presentations that show users how to use the analytic tool and how to decipher the data. Google’s presentation software allows users to easily navigate through the lessons and provides an audio component to explain the slides.  


Although I have personally not taken the exam, many industry bloggers have posted recommendations on how to most effectively prepare.  The most important take a ways in their articles are [3][4]:


·         Watch the GAIQ lessons and take notes
o   The test is based on the material presented in the lessons
o   Test is open note/web browser. Take advantage of it
·         Have Google Analytics open while watching the lessons
o   Lessons often show specific tools and functionality of website
o   Repeating techniques shown in lessons increases retention
·         Watch the GAIQ Lessons AGAIN!
o   Watching the lessons  again allows student to revisit notes  and find information they may have missed
o   Lessons total 2.5 hours and absorbing information without revisiting notes and lectures is unwise
Additional practice questions

    Google does not offer any practice tests for individuals wanting to take the GAIQ. For those wishing to get a feel for the exam without having to purchase it,  please feel free to examine a practice test provided by Slingshot SEO and the additional practice questions image.



Is the GAIQ Worth Getting?


There is some debate as to the reason for obtaining a GAIQ certification.  Some industry bloggers believe strongly that certification is a great way to supplement your analytics education [5].Others look at certification as a means to put one’s current knowledge of the GA product to the test [6].  As a student, I want the GAIQ certification to set me apart from other candidates in the job market in order to land a job.  I used both “GAIQ” and “Google Analytic Individual Qualification” as a keyword search on monster.com in order to get a sense if employers where looking for this specific certification. I unfortunately yielded only 2 results. However, when I searched the term “Google Analytics” on monster.com, I yielded 351 results. Businesses need people who know GA. At the end of the day, there is no solid evidence that having a GAIQ certification will get you a job. But with GA being the most widely used analytics platform on the market, the learning experience required to get one will empower both your career and analytical understanding.



"GAIQ" keyword search
"Google Analytics" keyword search






References