Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, PartsSource has been focused on ensuring our customers have access to the resources they need to do their jobs safely and effectively. Our customer education and collaboration tool, the PartsSource Community, is built on the Brightspace platform and is critical to delivering this content.
Although originally intended to be an exclusive benefit to users of our PartsSource Pro managed service, in April 2020, we decided to open the PartsSource Community to all our customers as a one-stop shop for information and resources during the pandemic.
In this series of posts, I’ve discussed our strategy for launching a customer education program and how we were able to pivot and adapt to meet the unique challenges that COVID-19 brought with it. In this third and final post, I want to share more about how we are using the data and reporting features in Brightspace to measure the success of our customer education program, and to share how the insights we gain from our customer education and training efforts can inform other parts of the business and help our organization reach its goals.
Validating success with real data is vital to every training project, regardless of audience. Having access to data and easy-to-use reporting tools makes measuring your results less of a chore. But while our understanding of how to collect data in learning and development has grown, we don’t always know what to do with it once we have it. We can run all kinds of reports, but then what? It can feel like you’re shouting into the void; how many times have you asked yourself, “How do I share this with the people who make decisions?” or “How do I demonstrate our success with to leadership team?”
At PartsSource, we have a robust business intelligence team that is great at collecting, measuring, and sharing sales data, but they don’t really know how to handle this kind of qualitative data. As we planned the launch of our customer education program, we identified some key metrics that we wanted to track using the Brightspace platform’s on-demand access to analytics:
- Adoption: In our first year, our metrics were all related to adoption and how many people were logging into the system. We knew every engagement measure we wanted to look at in the future was based on driving a critical number of users to the platform. We looked at the number of users who were logging on to the Brightspace platform, the organizations they were from, and how often they were returning. Our goal was to identify a baseline of the number of users we could expect on any given week and to develop an understanding of how we could impact that number (e.g., by releasing new content, sending email updates, etc.).
- Engagement: Looking beyond that first year, we wanted to move past adoption and onto engagement. Once people were using the platform, how could we get them to continuously and repeatedly engage with our content? We asked ourselves questions, including “Does it make sense to try to ‘‘drip’ it out slowly over time, or is it better to release it all at once?” and “Can we identify the factors that encourage a user to come back to a topic or subject area they’ve already visited?”
- Driving results: Once we had users in the platform and engaging with our content, we needed to determine the impact that content was having. Primarily, we’re looking at two organization wide goals: customer retention and add-on sales. Would our data show a correlation between organizations that were engaged in our PartsSource Community platform and those that renewed their subscription to PartsSource? Would we see a similar correlation between engagement with our product training content and organizations that increased their spend with us?
Ultimately, insights from our customer education program will not only further customer engagement but can also support better data-driven decision making across our entire organization.
It’s important for our account management and business development teams to know which customers have been active in the community and what they’ve been doing so they can tailor their communications to them. They love that the Manager Dashboard feature allows them to gather this insight with just a few clicks. We’ve also partnered with D2L and their integration partner, ShuffleLabs, to integrate the Brightspace platform with our Salesforce customer relationship management platform so our commercial teams have this same information at their fingertips where and when they need it.
At the end of each month, I spend a few hours running some reports and doing some data analysis in Microsoft Excel to create a scorecard with a high-level view of our metrics, designed specifically for our executive team. One enhancement of the Brightspace platform that I’m really looking forward to implementing is the new Self-Serve Analytics tool, which will allow me to reduce or eliminate the time I spend creating these reports and put this data—updated in real time—at their fingertips.
In the interest of transparency, I spend a few minutes each week running three basic usage reports in the Brightspace platform—some are included out of the box, others we’ve configured using the point-and-click Reporting tool—and share them across our organization via Microsoft Teams. Anyone who wants a deeper look at our customers’ activity can view the reports to see who logged in, when they logged in, what content they viewed, and how long they interacted with it. Not only does this keep them informed, but it also helps keep me accountable to the rest of the business.
With everything going on in the world right now, it’s hard to know what the next few months will look like. But armed with the insights provided by the Brightspace platform, we know that we can continue to support our customers through these difficult times and help them ensure critical healthcare equipment is ready and available to the clinicians and patients who need it.