The Google Analytics team recently hosted a “Google Analytics Hackathon” event in London. This type of event is becoming quite popular as it gives major companies the chance to interact with many of the biggest ‘up and coming’ individuals in the tech industry, as well as many others. The point of these types of events is to help encourage ‘outside the box’ thinking and come up with new and innovative ideas on how to benefit companies, products and customers.
The specific goal of this event was to “help agencies innovate and think outside of the box about how to use Google Analytics Measurement Protocol with to collect valuable data from other sources than just websites and apps.”
The event broke participants up into groups and provided them with a ‘kit’ that included Raspberry Pis, motion detectors, Google Glass, smart watches, cameras, barcode scanners, Smart Things home automation sets, beacons, basic python scripts, credit card readers, documentations and an Android controlled helicopter.
The teams could build whatever they want and use the items in their kit in any way they would like. Teams came up with things like a helicopter enthusiast racetrack, which allowed hobby pilots to swipe cards, which would log them into a system. They would then fly the helicopters around a track, and Google Analytics would measure lap times and associate them with the pilot ID.
Another team made a burglar alarm that detected suspicious activity in real time using events in Google Analytics, which gathered data through the camera and motion detector.
There were, of course, many other innovative uses of the items throughout the competition. What they all show is that Google Analytics is one of the most powerful information gathering and tracking tools around, and companies would do well to try to think of additional ways to use the data to benefit the business.