August’s Customer Education Coffee Chat featured a conversation with Tyler Larson, Solutions Engineer for Skilljar, on a topic that can be summed up in one word: data. More specifically, how to use data to measure the impact of your external training in order to glean best practices on your users’ behavior, build and refine your strategy, and make a financial case for retaining and growing your education program.
Any conversation about data and metrics should start with understanding why you built your education platform in the first place. You have to know what your system is intended to accomplish before you can determine how it’s performing against those goals.
What metrics are you trying to influence? Are you trying to:
- Onboard users faster?
- Reduce support tickets?
- Increase product adoption?
- Understand which content performs best to optimize for future content development?
- Prove the value of online certification?
Tyler described the process of measuring the impact of your education or training program as “crawl, walk, run” and offered examples for each stage of the process.
Crawl: Collect the Data
The earlier you start collecting data, the better. Even if you’re not sure what you’re going to be doing with it. – Tyler Larson
Tyler spoke about five ways to extract data from the Skilljar platform:
1. Native Skilljar Exports
Skilljar customers can extract an Enrollment Report as a CSV file containing unaggregated training data such as who has enrolled, when, how far through the course they are, and course completion dates. No added development work is required to access these reports through our back end.
Once you export your customer training report out of Skilljar, this data can likely be integrated with your CRM or loaded into your company’s data warehouse for use by your data insights team and business intelligence tools. To get this process started, we recommend surfacing this data export internally to the teams who can work with it and understand what the options are.
2. Front-end Tracking Technologies
Tyler explained how Skilljar customers can leverage code snippets to add in front-end technologies, such as Google Analytics, Segment, Heap Analytics, etc. You can integrate a number of analytics tools into your Skilljar platform using a code snippet which enables you to exchange information on course registrants, enrollments, and completions — all through the front end and with no additional developer effort. For more information and a list of examples, check out this support article.
3. Salesforce Integration
Through Skilljar’s integration with Salesforce, you can create reports in Salesforce using our data, and even pull that data through to other systems such as marketing automation platforms like Marketo, customer success tools like ChurnZero, and business intelligence tools like Tableau.
With this integration, you can use the customer metrics you have in Salesforce already and meld it with associated training activity to uncover training insights in a single report. In addition, these reports and dashboards can be installed at the Account or Contact view for your CSMs and Sales team to easily access. For organizations who use Salesforce as their CRM, this is probably the most efficient way to get your performance data out of Skilljar and into your other system, from all of the options.
4. API & Webhooks
Another way to pull data out of Skilljar is through our API. This type of data will be transactional, i.e., for measuring one thing at a time. Through the API you can enter a request – for example, seeing all enrollments for a certain course – along with your API key, and get a response back.
Through webhooks that you can subscribe to, we notify you when user events occur, such as course sign ups, completions, and registrations. Skilljar can automatically send these events to another platform as they occur in real time. This is generally a better option versus requesting the data via API calls on a specific timing cadence such as hourly, daily, or weekly
5. Data Connector
Once Skilljar users collect enough data over time, our Data Connector is an added technology that can maximize data collection. Data Connector is essentially a real-time copy of your database, hosted in the cloud. You get exclusive access to this database to which you can hook up your tools and pull data right into your data warehouse. Most tools can read natively from the Data Connector platform. The Data Connector can be turned on at any time and shows your data history for all time.
With the Data Connector, you hook it up, connect your tools, choose what data you want to pull through those tools, and then choose the cadence to define how often you want to pull it. Once configured and installed, all of your training data will be flowing from Skilljar into the same place all of your customer data lives. This makes for easy insights and analysis into the correlation between trainings taken and associated customer metrics influenced..
Related Content: Learn more about all of the ways to get data from the Skilljar platform in our course in Skilljar Academy, “Getting the Most Out of Your Skilljar Data.”
Walk: Analyze the Data
So what can you do with the data now that you’ve collected it? This is the stage is where you start to really look at what the data is telling you to determine trends.
The answer here goes back to what we talked about previously – why did you set up your education platform in the first place or what purpose does it serve over time?
The most common measurement we’ve seen our customers track is product onboarding speed, or time to value (TTV). Are users who go through the onboarding training more likely to realize value from your product faster?
With our own Skilljar Academy, we’ve found that we were spending about six hours on each new customer, training them to use our product. In analyzing our own data after we rolled out our customer onboarding course, we now do zero hours of product training, because our customers don’t need it, unless it’s specifically requested. This time saved can now be used for strategic conversations with customers instead of teaching them how to use the system.
As for support tickets created, we found that when we roll out a quick tip video on a certain topic, we receive 50% fewer support tickets on that topic. If you know how much your CSMs cost per hour or how much it costs to respond to each support ticket, you can draw a correlation between time saved and cost savings that are generated to make a compelling case to your internal teams on the value of your education platform.
Related Content: For more on how to analyze your Skilljar data, read our article, “Understanding Analytics Reporting.”
Run: Take Action on the Data
Here’s where you can take action on your education program and prove its value internally.
Another example of how to analyze the data is to break it up by various views including Product, Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, and create different action plans for each view depending on what the data is telling you.
Many customers develop playbooks to automate communications based on the metrics. For example, if you offer training courses as thought leadership for lead generation, the way Skilljar and some of our customers do, you may find a correlation between prospects that take this training and their conversion to customers. If so, you may want to invest more into pushing prospects through your thought leadership content.
Using the Product view, you can leverage product training data to influence the product life cycle. When you roll out a new feature, and with that, an associated new feature training, you can determine if there’s a correlation between users who take the training and those who adopt the feature. Or those who require fewer support tickets. Do you notice an overall increase in product usage, based on advanced features versus basic features? What about accounts with certified users versus non-certified users?
The further along you get in the process of measuring your results, the more expansive the options for collecting and analyzing data become. Skilljar’s Data Connector, with all of your legacy training data, is always there and ready to turn on – you don’t have to use this tool right off the bat. It’s perfectly fine to be in the crawl stage — start collecting data and really assess the purpose of your platform and what you’re trying to achieve with it. Once you know this information, there are plenty of options to analyze and act on the data to help steer future strategy and prove the worth of your platform.
Skilljar’s Customer Education Coffee Chats take place on the first Thursday of every month!