Joshua Dodson works as a SEO and web analyst at Eastern Kentucky University. With a couple of consulting years under his belt, he also has been teaching a four-week online course on web analytics for higher education since September 2011. But, the “Higher Ed Analytics Prof” could also be called the Analytics Profiler. At his university, Dodson is mining web analytics data to go beyond the usual insights on click stream, conversions, or referring web properties.
Using keyword-based filters, external tools such as the Bing Ads Intelligence Excel add-on, Quantcast, or Alexa and a good measure of analysis, he was able to sketch a detailed profile of the people interested in EKU Homeland Security academic programs. As he explained in the session he presented about this “profiling” technique at the 1st Higher Ed Analytics conference in February 2013, the resulting profile included demographics and location data along with marketing channels, devices, search engines, and social media platforms used by this audience, as well as its type of intentions. Not very different from the approach used by serial killer profilers, the web analyst used available data to provide a useful picture of the audience interested in these academic programs.