Predicting the Present: Data, Analysis, and Forecast!

Third day at the Google Analytics conference at Google. The day started off with a talk by Hal Varian, Chief Economist at Google. Hal is just at another level when it comes to analysis! He does a very good job at taking something complex and make it simple for the rest of us to understand :).

Didn’t take a lot of notes (I was mesmerized most of the time) but here are some takeaways:

  • Data is available and relatively cheap but we still need humans to analyze and make sense of all these piles of data
  • Check out this graph about the US recession,, and I’m sure you’ll agree it is not a pretty picture!
  • I really liked his comment, “if you torture the data long enough it’ll confess to anything.”
  • If you haven’t already, check out this very cool and super useful tool, Google Search Insight. With this tool, one can assess patterns of search volume. you can select a specific region or categories, time frames, and properties. See seasonality impacts on keywords related to what you sell, compare search volumes, and more. Don’t forget to examine the “forecast data”.

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