If you work with data, you’ve encountered the need to filter your results. It’s like talking to your kids about the 🕊🕊 and 🐝🐝: Little questions get little answers; big questions get…awkward. 😅
Learn Regex the Easy Way
Similarly, little filter needs can be met with a simple contains option, but if you need to filter by multiple criteria, you’re gonna need to put on your big kid pants and learn regular expressions, aka regex. I created a comprehensive regex guide to try to flatten the learning curve. But now I’m going to jump into specific marketing tools that allow you to use regex, starting with Google Analytics. I dive into six examples of how you can use regex in Google Analytics. There are many more, but once you learn how to use regex, the opportunities will present themselves.
Warning: There’s a bug with the latest version of my video-editing software that causes the cursor to disappear on Mac. I tried to compensate with lots of annotations.
Below are bookmarks to different parts of the video:
2:59 – Group content on the fly
8:23 – Create a content group using the rule option
9:58 – Create a content group using the extract option
Note: At the 16:08 minute mark, I didn’t include the initial ‘^/’ when I copied the regex to paste into the Content Grouping setting because these URLs actually start with ‘/google+redesign/’, which I already had in the Page field on the Content Grouping Settings page. To look for good pages to include in this content grouping and test my regex, I drilled down to that directory in the Content Drilldown report.
19:04 – Re/define channels
25:50 – Generate regex from a list using Google Sheets
30:24 – Generate regex from a list using Word
33:50 – Test your channel regex with a custom channel grouping
35:42 – Create a new channel
36:59 – Create advanced segments
YouTube Pro Tip
If a YouTube video includes minute marks in the description and they’re formatted as hyperlinks (as mine are), you can click on one to jump to that part of the video. I was 2020 years old when I learned that.
Where Have I Been?
I mentioned in the 18:02 minute mark of the video that I had largely abandoned my site for the last year or so. To anyone just finding my site, who cares? Feel free to move along. This section is for people who have followed my blog and may be wondering if I retired early or fell out of love with data. (Never! 🤘)
What I meant by that is my niece, Tylee Ryan, was murdered in the bizarre Lori Vallow / Chad Daybell case. Since I found out in Dec 2019, I’ve been throwing all the firepower I have at the case to get to the truth—creating a dashboard, comprehensive timeline, and Facebook group, as well as making myself available for interviews. I didn’t do this because I suffer delusions of grandeur and think law enforcement or the multiple prosecutors litigating the cases around these murders need my help. I did it because I believe that law enforcement in Arizona enabled murderers by not adequately investigating the murder of Charles Vallow—making it possible for the murderers to flee the jurisdiction and target the children within days of their arrival in Rexburg, Idaho—and that Phoenix Police is being reckless in refusing to investigate my brother, Joseph Ryan’s, death.
Joe was found dead just six months before this team of murderers allegedly started to plan the murders of the rest of the victims, including Tylee and JJ Vallow, her adorable little brother from Lori’s fourth marriage. (She’s on her fifth marriage now.)
Lori Vallow also bragged about wanting to murder Joe and shared scriptural support for murder, and one of Lori’s friends from Hawaii said in an interview with Chandler Police that Lori told mutual friends she paid her brother, Alex Cox, to murder Joe. I believe there are also indicators in the pics from his home that indicate possible foul play.
To my dismay, the growing mountain of evidence indicating Lori’s potential involvement in Joe’s death has not been enough to get Phoenix Police to do what I believe is their due diligence to pursue justice for a potential victim. So I started a petition on change.org to urge Phoenix Police to investigate his death and have been digging through thousands of pages of documents, watching interviews and transcribing them, OCRing documents released as scans, un-redacting documents with cult members’ names that fit in the redactions…all in search of more firepower to throw at getting Joe at least a shot at justice. At minimum, enough to get a warrant for evidence from his electronics (e.g., GPS data and iCloud records). Depending on the carrier, they could expire at any time.
Please consider signing the petition, if you feel so inclined.
So why did I come back before accomplishing my mission?
Shortly after I announced I was stepping back from blogging to focus on my family’s case, someone started to impersonate me with a podcast she called the ‘Annielytics podcast’. She calls herself ‘the real Annielytics’ and took a number of steps to brandjack the brand I’ve been building since 2010. And her name isn’t even Annie. 🤦♀️ But she’s a real person, not just a troll following my family’s case, and she works for a major brand. She’s used that brand recognition to add more weight to her hostile takeover of my brand. Ironically, she focuses on imposter syndrome in her guest interviews and considers herself to be a passionate advocate of #WomenInTech.
In the same way you can’t make up a story about [alleged] serial killers who murder people after declaring them to be zombies, you can’t make up a story about someone commandeering your brand that is inextricably linked to your name. This is just my life now. 🤷♀️
Anyway, it was a wakeup call to reprioritize my blog and trust that the amazing members of law enforcement and prosecutors in Idaho will see to it that these monsters never see the light of day. If any justice comes from the case against Lori in Arizona for Charles Vallow’s murder, that will be icing on the cake. And I might not see justice for Joe in my lifetime, but I’ve watched enough true crime to see apathetic investigators be replaced with ones who make it their mission to investigate cold cases.
As for me, I’ll be making every effort to get back to making data sexy and helping you to do the same, with one caveat: This case is death by a thousand cuts, with a steady stream of breaking reports, so I can’t guarantee that I’ll be consistent from the starting gate. But I’m confident I’ll find a good rhythm that’s sustainable. And in the interim I’ve made the transition from relying heavily on tools to relying more heavily on code, picking up SQL and Python. I look forward to sharing my journey and what I’ve learned to help reduce some of the intimidation marketers, analysts, and content strategists typically experience with anything that doesn’t have a UI.
Photo Credit: Lavi Perchik