All posts by Taku Ogawa

Seminar Report: How to analyze and use Google Analytics to the maximum effect

I made a 2-hour presentation showing how to use Google Analytics not just for monitoring but using it to make findings and how to use the results to think of ideas to improve your website.

Roughly 200 people attended the seminar. Due to the popularity a re-run will be done on October.

Seminar Page (in Japanese)



The seminar was divided to into 4 sections.


Part 1 Using “Trend” “Benchmark” and “Segmentation” to analyze data


Using these three methods is the best way for analyzing data in Google Analytics. A couple of 5 minutes work were done to discover findings using this method.


For example the below is the session data for a certain site. The time range is about 3-years. The 2 graphs are identical in website, data and time range. The only difference is the upper graph is shown in “months” and the lower graph is shown in “weeks”. What findings can be made from these graphs?



Part 2 Methods used for thinking of “ideas” to improve your website from data

6 examples were used to show how analytics results can be used to thinks of ideas. The important point here is to compare contents, mechanisms using data. “What are the similarities of the 5 landing pages with low bounce rate”  and how is it different from “the 5 landing pages with high bounce rate”. Using data for comparison is very important. It is much more easier then obtaining findings without data.


Part 3 Advanced user of Google Analytics for further findings

I did a demo and explained the following features of Google Analytics.

Using sequences in Segments

Using events to measure clicks and scrolls

Using custom dimensions to obtain status of users




Part 4 Reporting and report automation

The final part explained how to create reports and the pit fulls that need to be taken care of. I also explained how to automate reports using Analytics Edge and the Google Analytics plugin for Google Spreadsheets.


3 key takeaways

The 3 key takeaways of this seminar were as follows

  1. Analytics and reporting does not earn money. Taking actions is the most important thing.
  2. Google Analytics is a Hypothesis testing tool. There is no need to understand and look at all the reports. Start from hypothesis and then think of how that can be checked in Google Analytics -do not start with reports
  3. Using data increases the probability of success. Finding gems lead to success.




Three main Analytics organiazation in Japan


There are 3 analytics organizations in Japan. They have different roles but both contribute to the analytics industry in Japan. I will explain what these organizations are doing.


A2I (Analytics Association In Japan)



Started in Dec 2008, and officially launched in April 2009, it is Japan’s one of the largest analytics organizations with more then 6,000 members and regular seminars and events  The drink event held 3-4 times a year is very popular and analysts can share their thoughts, problems and ideas with fellow analysts.

The goal of the organization is to “help analysts become a key member and role within their companies and business”.

There are 3 missions,

  1. Make occasions where analysts can communicate and discuss
  2. Share knowledge and wisdom to accelerate web analysts
  3. Teach and empower web analysts within their organizations

The annual Analytics Summit brings together a full day of seminars with more the 300 members attending the event, being one of the largest analytics event in Japan.


“Analytics Summit 2016 (myself making a speech”

My relationship with a2i

I have been a program member of the a2i when it started in 2008. I regularly do seminars with a2i and have spoken at the Analytics Summit three times (2010 / 2013 / 2016).


WACA (Web Analytics Consultation Association)

Website: (Japanese) (English: Singapore )

Web Analytics Consultation Association was founded in 2010 and hold regular seminars and events, but their focus is on Web Analytics Consultation Certification.

It is the most popular web analytics certification in Japan with more the 16,000 people taking the exam. There is also a Singapore branch as well.

There are 3 levels of certificates, “Beginner” “Senior” and “Master”.  Official text books for “Beginner” is available in Japanese and English sold in book stores and online stores such as Amazon. Training is done in almost all prefectures in Japan in a regular basis.

WACA Textbook (English Page)


“WACA event 2016 (the president calling for votes”

My relationship with WACA

I have performed seminars with WACA and I am the member of the Advisory Board since 2016. I am in charge of updating an improving the “Beginner” course.


eVar7 (Adobe Analytics user group in Japan)


User group of Adobe Analytics created in 2010. In fact it was the first ever Adobe Analytics user group in the world. Activities include seminars, reports from the Adobe Summit and quarterly beer bash-ups.

Regular hands-on training for Adobe Analytics, AdHoc analytics and Workbench is also available.

522558_536821006329755_1030181843_n 531766_536820882996434_1436764057_n

“Adobe Analytics hands-on training course (myself as the teacher)”

It holds more the 600 members, all involved and interested in Adobe Marketing Cloud and its related products. As it is difficult to discuss and obtain information of Adobe Analytics on the internet, it has become a precious source of information.


My relationship with eVar7

Board member since the start of eVar7, Also was the president of the user group between 2013 and 2015.


So these are the 3 major analytics groups in Japan. It has been a privilege working with them and I will continue to do so to empower web analytics in Japan.