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Usage statistics and Einstein

Part of my job is to monitor the usage statistics of our site via Google Analytics and Webtrends, two relatively robust tools. We monitor page views, visits, geography, path analysis; the whole lot. However, as we all know, statistics can be deceiving, especially if one is looking at the wrong thing.

For example, visits vs. page views.

Everyone wants there to be a significant number of both, but visits/page views demonstrates the depth of a visit and the more pages viewed the better. If you have a text heavy site, it is also important to incorporate Time Spent on Site as a metric. Were the users just clicking through or did they take the time to read the text, to interact with the tools?

I have Google Analytics attached to my blog to monitor usage and it is more than efficient enough for my meager purposes. The picture is from the interface.

This all goes a long way into introducing the quote from the day, this time from Albert Einstein, a late resident of 112 Mercer Street here in Princeton, New Jersey.

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
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About Author

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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