Continuing with our series of interviews with industry experts, we interviewed blogger, excel savant, SEO maven and “data sexifier” Annie Cushing.
Annie writes data-oriented posts on Search Engine Land, and her wildly popular website Annielytics tackles everything from using Google Analytics and social media tools to “practical strategies to help you put your data in stilettos and make it work the pole.”
We sat down with Annie to chat about excel tips for online marketers, her infamous tutorials, and what’s on her bucket list.
What are 3 excel tricks that every marketer should know?
- How to rock pivot tables. They are probably the most essential Excel tool in every marketer’s toolbox. I do a take-you-by-the-hand walkthrough of how to use them in this post. And that kitten. I could just snuggle with him and play with data all day.
- How to sexy up charts. Every time I see a chart with all of Excel’s hideous default formats, data-driven tears well up in my eyes. Just say no to ugly data. I show you how in this tutorial.
- How to use Excel’s built-in functions. If you can’t manipulate data to cull what you need, you’re going to find your job as a marketer quite overwhelming. Distilled published a fantastic resource with a highlight reel of some of the most important functions every marketer should know how to use. And I take a deeper dive into quite a few functions in my Excel Functions category.
As an excel savant, you demonstrate how using excel can give loads of added value to analytics platforms for online marketers. What are your thoughts on using google sheets to replace excel?
It’s nowhere near being runway ready. Until Google Sheets beefs up its visualizations and adds better functionality to build dynamic charts, I can’t make the switch. However, Google Sheets has it all over Excel in its fabulous functions list. If I were a developer for Excel, I’d do serious competitive intel into the functions offered by Google Sheets, as well as tools like Analytics Canvas and Klipfolio.
For online marketers, what would you recommend is a good rule of thumb for splitting time between data collection and data analysis?
Data collection should be automated using APIs wherever possible so that marketers can spend the lion’s share of their time doing analysis.
You give lots of tutorials on how to create dashboards, in your day to day work, how many different dashboards do you access regularly and how do you prioritize them?
I’m building out a bevy of dashboards in my position with YourTango that I reference on a near-daily basis. I prioritize them by impact. The data that impacts the bottom line hardest gets the most attention.
What else is on your bucket list, besides drinking wine from a redneck wine glass?
Haha! That, sadly, is still on my bucket list. Finding new funky shoes is always at the top of the list, as well as traveling to fun, faraway places. I would also like to skydive someday. J