Google announced today the release of the Google Analytics Individual Qualification accreditation course. For $50 and a passing grade of 75% or more you can get recognized as a person that is qualified as a Google Analytics Individual Expert (GAIQ) and receive the prestigious badge.
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Will this push Google Analytics into another stratosphere with a new legion of new followers or devalue the tool as people seek assistance from people with a paper badge but little process to back it up?
Will internet marketing companies that went through the rigorous application process have their status devalued or elevated from a possible influx of qualified marketing experts to hire?
Will companies in need of analytics consulting begin to confuse GAIQ’s with Google Authorized Analytics Consultants (GAAC’s) therefore placing a strain on companies that have been operating under a proper process driven environment for several years?
The Difference Between Google Authorized Analytics Consultants & GAIQ’s
For newbie’s to the analytics world it is important to understand that previous to this announcement, Google supported a carefully chosen group of companies called Google Authorized Analytics Consultants that they endorsed on their site after passing a list of requirements that helped them meet the criteria to be an official partner.
Google built this program because they do not officially support the Google Analytics product with one on one support. The concern as a company that has taken the time to become an accredited company is that the accreditation will lose its luster because of this announcement.
We have taken the time for future prospects and our users to properly list both the pro’s / con’s of the new program and also the difference between the two accreditations.
The Positive Impacts Of The GAIQ Program
- Improved education of the Google Analytics product internationally
- The program will improve interest in the Google Analytics product
- More individuals will receive preferred status for companies that are looking for help with analytics consulting
- The program will give internet marketing companies a requirement to help hire a more qualified individual for their company
- Increased support for Google Analytics to companies that need analytics consulting
The Negative Impacts Of The GAIQ Program
- An increase in dissatisfied business from companies that think they are getting the same service level they get from GAAC’s
- Watered down support of Google Analytics as GAIQ’s are confused by business owners with accredited GAAC companies
- Potential for the overall support of the Google Analytics product to be tarnished from the vast selection of GAIQ accredited individuals that are deemed experts but do not necessarily offer expert advice
How Does A Google Analytics Individual Qualification Differ From A Google Analytics Authorized Consultant?
The following is a list of requirements to be accredited as a GAIQ:
- Successful completion of the online course or IQ test
- A grade of 75% on an online test
To receive accreditation as a Google Authorized Analytics Consultant the following is a list of requirements that must be met. (note that this is a sample list from mid 2008)
- List of at least 3 verifiable, paid, and expertly deployed Google Analytics projects with three different referenceable clients.
- How long have you been incorporated and in business?
- A list of any speaking engagements at conferences, posts to influential blogs, white papers, management bios, or other relevant evidence demonstrating your expertise.
- A range of service options you currently provide? What approximate prices do you charge for your services? Examples might include setup, training or consultation.
- Inclusion of a link to a page or pages on your website content prominently describing Google Analytics services.
- Ability to attend and pass Google Analytics technical training sessions? These take place (in English) at a Google office – typically lasting a few days and held annually in both Mountain View, CA and London, UK
- Commitment to providing detailed product and market feedback on a quarterly basis?
- Professional Indemnity/Liability insurance.
- Confirmation to commit to a minimum of 3 Google Analytics engagements per month?
Highly Desirable Requirements
- Have at least one dedicated person for Google Analytics support
- Have at least one Google Advertising Professional certified employee
- Offer technical support for both Google Analytics and Urchin software
- Maintain an electronic customer support ticketing system to manage customer support requests
The Impact Of The New Google Accreditation Announcement
The impact of this announcement will have a large impact on the Analytics world. While it will certainly improve the overall usage of Google Analytics worldwide, there will certainly be an increase in the amount of negative comments to the product itself.
Google may argue that due to the explosive growth of the Google Analytics product and the lack of companies that truly qualify to be a Google Authorized Analytics Consultant, that the need for this lower level of support was necessary in helping the huge populace of people that use the product.
We will only know the true impact of this choice by seeing how well Google delineates between the two Google Analytics Authorized Groups.