Analytics & AI summit 2024

Tuesday, April 30th, 2024

Today I’m attending the Analytics and AI summit put on by the HighEdWeb association. It is an online summit featuring various speakers across the fields. This is just a place for my notes.

Leverage AI and Analytics to Supercharge Your Content

Brian Piper — University of Rochester

We all need to create incredible content, put it out on the right channels, and monitor the data to discover the insights to make it as effective as possible.


  • Recommends sing multiple AI generators at the same time to verify the content and quality
  • Creating personas is important (custom GPT personas)
  • Tools
    • Chat GPT
    • Dall-E, and Midjourney
    • Captioning: descript and capsho
    • Video tools: GlossAi, OpusClip
    • runway – text to video
    • HeyGen – Animate images with your voice and body motion
      • He uses it to translate the video to various languages)
      • “I don’t speak any of those languages and it took maybe 3 minutes to generate 3 new languages” (brings up questions for me about creating inaccurate content)
    • Optimizing based on data
      • Used data from UA, GA4, and other sources
      • First combined in looker to easily export data
      • Promoted AI to find content that could be removed
        • No traffic, bad ranking (though is seems like this could be done by just sorting the sheet)
        • ChatGPT suggested merging the files with database joins. Was able to perform the merge with database prompts directly in ChatGPT.
      • Looker template for search console (in presentation files)
        • ChatGPT can be prompted to ingest this data and creat new story ideas.
        • The personas can then be used to write articles or SEO suggestions.
  • It’s up to us to decide what tasks can be automated and which tasks need human intervention.

Turning data into value: how to make your metrics matter to senior leadership

Matt Herzberger — VisionPoint Marketing

We will delve into the crucial task of aligning marketing metrics with the business bottom line from a leadership viewpoint.


  • Marketing is a driver for higher Ed and only data can show the success story
  • Leadership make decisions on data instead of vibes
  • Key players to engage with includes Institutional Research along with the upper administration
  • Move marketing from the “creative team” to the revenu generators
  • Determining the right metrics
    • Tie impact to goals
    • Connect 2 points not 25 (same with the number of slides)
    • Goal values
      • Per user goal value = goal value / users
      • User conversion rate = goal completions / users

Bringing the human side and analytics together: rebuilding and shrinking your website

Jessica Barch — University of Waterloo

Knowing where to start when planning a website overhaul can be overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to determine what content to keep, and what content to get rid of.


  • Website – new backend and new brand (300 page site)
  • Lots of duplicate pages that outlined the same topics, but in different ways
  • Overwhelmed by the amount of duplicate content
  • Need to look at at least a year of data

Botched Chat: A Comedic Tale of AI Misadventures

Joshua Charles — Rutgers University-New Brunswick

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and as we all pivoted to remote learning and work, our school began exploring innovative ways to support and engage our students remotely. Enter chatbots.


  • Horrible use rates and feedback. Average ratings (out of 5):
    • Advising bots: 2.7, 2.6
    • Career management: 3.7
    • Supply chain management: 3.4
  • Misidentifying the core issue:
    • Faculty/staff defined the issues:
      • Students can’t find key information
      • Departments are bogged down with the same questions over and over
      • This shows the real issue is communication and culture
    • Misunderstanding the tool dependencies
    • Limited buy in from stakeholders

Higher Ed’s GA4 Challenges: Solutions for Common Problems

Cassandra Golda — SimpsonScarborough
Adam Mothersbaugh — SimpsonScarborough

Transitioning to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a critical step for higher education institutions aiming to leverage data-driven insights for enhancing digital experiences.


  • Best practices when setting up
    • GA4 properties can’t communicate with each other
      • Recommend global GA4 property for all subdomains
    • Recommend a single data stream per property
    • Enhanced measurements
      • Unfortunately this automation does not lead to data accuracy
      • Insead, set up exact desired events in GTM
        • Can use custom event parameters and custom dimensions
        • But, predefined event parameters automatically have predefined dimensions
    • Segment internal traffic
      • Unfortunately ip address rules are too complicated
      • Instead use “audience feature”
        • If they visit the portal we can consider them an internal user

Optimizing Data Collection and Capability: Server-Side Tagging & GA4 Modeling

Jonathan Carroll — Arizona State University ( ASU )

Learn about GTM’s server-side tagging for better data control and combine it with GA4’s modeling to uncover actionable insights even in a privacy-centric future.


  • Running server-side GTM (as a proxy) gives you faster pages and more control over the data
  • Browsers do not speak directly with 3rd-party vendors
    • Reduce risk of endpoint hijacking
    • Reduce risk of cross-site scripting
    • Reduce risk of sending unintended data via HTTP headers
  • Overview
    • Client-side GTM calls library from GTM GCP cloud
    • Data sent to GCP cloud to be sanitized or enhanced
    • Data passed on to advertisers and analytic collectors
  • Reduced load time by 25% by offloading gtm ad tech (pixels) to the proxy
  • SEO position improved 18%

One Dashboard to Rule Them All

Alan Etkin — British Columbia Institute of Technology

This presentation is for dashboard evangelists. It’s for folks who get a kick out of identifying data worth sharing, and figuring out techniques on how to share it with style. While the concepts are platform-agnostic, I’ll be focusing on what you can do with Looker Data Studio.


  • When switching to GA4 they needed to know which dashboards were worth keeping
  • You can track Looker dashboards just like you track a normal website
    • The URLs are useless (pape title is better)
    • But GA4 isn’t great – there is no drilldown
  • Looker data in looker?
    • Pull it in as a data source
    • Clean up titles and pull up counts for each page (use regex and sql)
    • Clean up urls to remove redundant users data
  • Quota limits!
    • We have hit the token limit too
    • Unless you pay, this may mean just waiting until the top of the next hour
    • Be sure to not publicly share the Looker URLs
    • Scheduling emails can help. It includes a helpful picture of the important data and most people don’t even bother to click the link to the real dashboard.
      • You can also stagger the delivery to help avoid the limits
  • You can create a dashbord of dashboards for each area of the college
  • And the one “dashboard to rules them all
    • A looker dashboard that shows the usage of all the other dashboards

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