Interview with Sagnik Nandy, Distinguished Engineer, Google

We are excited to announce that Sagnik Nandy is coming to Stockholm for the Google Analytics Conference, August 26, 2015. We decided to ask him a few questions about his work at Google, the direction Google Analytics is taking, and what he will be speaking about in Stockholm.

Can you explain why it’s important to understand the platform in order to understand the reports and the possibilities of Google Analytics?

RegisterI think understanding the platform provides two key advantages to using the tool:

1. It let’s you better understand how the “tool” you are using can be used and that let’s you use it to your fullest potential. Think of the platform as your programming language – the more you know it, the more you can use it to do awesome things and do them more elegantly.

2. It allows you to understand the nuances of the data and results you get back. The same question can be asked in slightly different ways and depending on the variation in which you ask you might be getting more insights and/or confidence in your results and the understanding of the platform aids that.

If you could change one thing about GA, what would it be?

Make it even more customizable. GA is very very powerful and already each user can make GA their very own experience. So on one hand you have small blogs with 10s of sessions using it to understand their traffic and on the other hand you have some of the biggest businesses in the World using it to optimize their revenue. I want us to invest more in how each of these use cases could make the product more customized for their perfect experiences even more seamlessly.

How does Google Analytics embody Accumulate, Analyze, Action?

We have been increasingly using these “3 As” as our driving philosophy to take the product forward. GA is fully focused in ensuring (i) you can gather all your marketing data easily and comprehensively in one place (ii) ask any questions/insights on this data and get back answers easily and (iii) use these answers to better your objectives and easily take actions.

What’s the nerdiest (a.k.a. best) use of GA you have seen?

Universal Analytics has lead to some really interesting use cases. There are quite a few – ranging from tracking coffee machines and correlating productivity to coffee consumption to tracking one’s pet dog – I think we have seen some really cool examples of how people can really leverage the UA platform.

Fire in the barn. You can only save one dimension, which one will it be?

How about I cheat a little and take Custom Dimensions? :) …and then use them to map all other dimensions to various custom dimensions!

Can you give us a little teaser about your upcoming presentation in Stockholm?

I hope to touch on two key topics that I am personally very passionate about – (i) Users and making the product increasingly user-centric and (ii) simplicity of use. Hopefully we will all have fun.

If you want to see Sagnik in action, check YouTube.

He’s not only very knowledgable in Google Analytics, but also a great actor and entertainer.

Sagnik Nandy is technical leader and manager of several Analytics and Reporting efforts in Google with a background in large scale distributed computing and data management and analysis. Hands on experience in building, scaling, deploying and managing several large scale systems used by millions of web sites around the world. Helped build and manage teams of 100+ engineers across multiple locations. Besides engineering and product, also actively involved in working with sales, marketing, support and clients.

Specialties: large scale distributed systems, web analytics, structured data analysis, query systems, online advertising and experimentation platforms.


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