COM0015 Blog #5: Event Participation

Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in some Google Analytics professional development with several of my colleagues at our campus in Pembroke. Chris McFarlane, the Google Analytics guru from our Ottawa Campus of Algonquin College, made the long trek down the 417 Highway to give us an overview of the features and capabilities of Google Analytics.

Chris McFarlane gives Pembroke staff some Google Analytics training

Chris McFarlane gives Pembroke staff some Google Analytics training.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this tool, Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about a website’s traffic and traffic sources and measures conversions and sales. It’s the most widely used website statistics service. Google Analytics can track visitors from all referrers, including search engines and social networks, direct visits and referring sites. It also tracks display advertising, pay-per-click networks, email marketing and digital collateral such as links within PDF documents.

We were all very excited about this PD session because we have been making strategic changes to our website recently. With the help of Google Analytics we can track the effectiveness of any changes and reported on.

Source: Google Analytics website

Source: Google Analytics website

Though I knew all the participants in the PD session, it was an opportunity to get to know the facilitator a little better. As you can see from the photo above, our group was small. This allowed us to drive the conversation and exploration to suit our needs specifically – creating custom reports and exploring metrics relevant to us.

I am not shy when it comes to asking questions – I like to get the most out of my professional development opportunities as possible. We all asked a number of questions and contributed to the discussion in let’s say an ‘animated’ way…we get excited about new tools! Chris was very patient and fielded our questions like a pro.

Google Analytics - Pembroke Campus Dashboard screenshot

Google Analytics – Pembroke Campus Dashboard screenshot

During the session, I quickly realized that some additional PD would be beneficial. Google Analytics offers some great free courses and I plan to explore these further in the New Year. As Chris said “this is a powerful tool that takes time and energy to become comfortable with it.”

I wouldn’t think twice about attending a similar event down the road and hope that such an opportunity presents itself again soon.

If you haven’t had the chance to explore Google Analytics, I highly recommend you take the time to check it out!

COM0014 Post #6 – My Greatest Fear

I don’t like to think about my fears let alone my greatest fear. But there are times when you must confront your greatest fears and that time is now. I fear that one day the budget will overpower customer service at Algonquin College, more specifically Algonquin College, Pembroke Campus, where I have the privileged of working.


I love the fact that I get to work at a small campus where we have the opportunity to have personal and meaningful relationships with our students. In my current position, I get to have all these personal touch points in a given year:

  • Help future students learn more about the fantastic programs we offer.
  • Council students at a very sensitive time, when they are  mapping out their financial plan and when they are in a budgeting crisis even.
  • Be their cheerleader when they are working on an exciting project or community activity.
  • Usher graduates  to their futures when they cross the convocation stage.
  • Keep in touch with alumnus and share they successes.

So Happy

That right folks – I get to do all these things and I love it. So, back to my greatest fear. I fear that at some point in my career with the Pembroke Campus, that I won’t be able to commit the time necessary to culture and foster these relationship formed under the guise of customer service. Time is money and with less and less provincial funding I fear that creative budgeting will mean that customer service will not longer be a priority.

My fear is managed by the fact that my colleagues, our managers and our dean hold customer service as priority number one on campus and this is another reason why I love working at the Pembroke Campus of Algonquin College. Rather than oppressing my fear I live by the words of Chuck Palahnuik, ” Find out what you’re afraid of and go live there.”

What is your greatest fear and how do you deal with it?