Tracking First | Blog
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08 Feb Get to know the team — R. Craig Adams

Craig Adams croppedWe are proud of our team at Tracking First — collectively we have decades of experience in digital media and technology. I recently sat down with our Chief Information Officer, Craig Adams, to learn about what led him to Tracking First. JR: Let’s start with a bit about your background. Tell us the story of your career. CA: My degree is in Civil Engineering, but early on I was drawn into programming. Right out of college, I was a freelance contract programmer. I began to make business connections and eventually formed a corporation called Rhyse Development. Seven years later, we were on the Utah 100 (list of fastest-growing companies). We figured out how to make Rhyse grow, but in a competitive industry profit was a challenge. We eventually closed the doors, but it was a terrific learning experience.
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31 Jan Accountability and Governance – new features for Tracking First

rules-1752622_960_720Often, when companies release a marketing campaign, their analytics teams spend the next few days scrambling. As quickly as possible, they need to make sure all the data is pulling correctly. Are the tracking codes working? Are the expected data reportable? When something goes wrong, as it often does, it’s hard to know who made the mistake and where. An experienced analyst can sometimes decipher from context. They may see that the broken code came from an email, or a specific social media channel, but it’s challenging detective work -- and it’s a huge pain. Anything you learn may not help anyway, because the data is already damaged.  Some companies have taken the lead and tried to solve this by creating their own governance systems to monitor the generation and management of Tracking Codes. Companies like Salesforce and HP have developed their own tools. That’s been their only option up to this point. However, these systems are typically expensive and not core to their business. With maintenance and development time devoted solely to maximizing investments they’ve already paid for, these systems can be a real money pit.
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19 Jan Get to know the team — Craig Monson

C MonsonWe are proud of our team at Tracking First — collectively we have decades of experience in digital media and technology. I recently sat down with our new Vice President of Sales, Craig Monson, to learn about what led him to Tracking First.  JR: Tell me a bit about your background in the digital analytics world. I know you’ve sold analytics tools to a lot of big companies over the years.  CM: In 2001, I was hired at, the predecessor to Omniture. mostly built tools for mom and pop websites. One of these tools was a small web-based analytics application called Super Stats. During that time most analytics were clunky, IT-driven and run off log files. Because it was web-based, real-time, and meant to be utilized across the wider base of an organization, Super Stats was compelling. Even so, compared to today it was really basic.  
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04 Jan Campaign Analytics Tracking – How did we get here?

Increasing ComplexityLooking at the world of campaign analytics in 2017, it can be challenging for anyone who didn’t grow up in the industry to make sense of its complexity. Seasoned analysts and marketers have a history with the technology, but they've often witnessed so much change so quickly that it can feel at times like someone snuck up and piled a bunch of new challenges on top of old ones, before solutions to the old problems were fully worked out. When it comes to URL tracking and campaign analytics, the tools at our fingertips are impressively precise. Not that long ago, the only data you could meaningfully derive from a referring URL was how much traffic you’re getting from various websites. At a high level it allowed companies to see which partnerships and publishing platforms were bringing eyes to their sites, but that’s about it.
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14 Dec Your org chart may be your problem

Org StructureAs humans we’re good at sorting things into piles -- very young children can put all the blocks together in one pile, all the little animals together in another. It’s easy, and we can see the sense in it. Now that we’re grown up, we’re still tempted to group things together that seem similar, but sometimes it slows us down. A lot of businesses group their analytics departments with their IT -- all techies together, we think -- they’ll keep each other company. But there are some genuine costs to this simple choice: when the IT department is in charge of the analytics department, we shouldn’t be surprised if analytics begins to elevate the priorities of the IT department, at the expense of the core values of the company. With analysts under the thumb of IT, the KPIs that are being delivered are about optimizing IT processes.
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07 Dec Why data analyst pushback is good for your company

directing trafficAs a business executive you’ve got a lot to do--your responsibilities are many and varied, and it feels important for the people around you at your company to be team players and smooth the way whenever possible. But what if rather than smoothing your way, that approach is getting in your way, or even causing you to lose your way? Here’s how things usually go: you have an idea about some information that your website can provide, so you go to your web analytics team and tell them what you need. Chances are, you’re going to get it, but maybe you shouldn’t. In order for web analytics to contribute to the core mission of your company, the thing you ought to get from your analytics team is pushback.
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30 Nov Why I love Data

data flow 2Anyone who knows me knows that I work in data analytics because I enjoy it. For people whose brains work differently, this can be hard to understand. Occasionally someone will ask me, “What intrigues you so much about this field?” I look at it like a game of chess. There are problems to be solved, and questions to be answered. The analyst’s challenge begins as a blank slate, with every conceivable route to data reporting available. Then, specific metrics we want to derive act as constraints that pare down the possibilities to just a handful. Once we know what data picture we want, there are still multiple ways to get there: the challenge and the fun of analytics work is creating an efficient path that doesn’t break and that creates trusted data. Then it’s about bending the technology to serve us (instead of us serving the technology), and it’s about getting the people who work with you to ask the right questions, and do the right analyses to answer those questions.
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22 Nov Get to know the team — John Boyd

johnpic2We are proud of our team at Tracking First -- collectively we have decades of experience in digital media and technology. I recently sat down with Chief Operating Officer, John Boyd, to learn about what led him to Tracking First. JR: Tell me a bit about your background in the digital analytics world. How did you come to be selling the Tracking First product? JB: I started off with Omniture (now Adobe) in 2004, in enterprise sales. I sold what’s now the Adobe analytics product for a few years until the IPO in 2007. Following that I founded a technology startup consultancy -- helping small companies with their sales strategy and execution. As part of my consulting I continued to find and close deals for some of my clients, as well.
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17 Nov Marketing Data Analytics – a look at the year ahead

big-data-2Perhaps the most noticeable change in the field of data analytics is how rapidly it’s growing. Every year companies are able to gain more data from their customer interactions, and the lag time between feedback and insights continues to shrink. It’s also true that customers are often very informed, coming to your website already knowing what they want, and how much they’re prepared to spend. Data analytics is the means by which companies can better connect with those savvy customers. In order to make use of growing data resources, companies will benefit from understanding how analytics and data capture works, and they’ll want to devise an effective analytics strategy for the near and long term.
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