Why We’re Excited About Inkling Advanced Analytics
Last week was an especially exciting one for me at Inkling as we announced the launch of Inkling Advanced Analytics, a major upgrade to our data product offering. Our team spent several months rebuilding our data pipeline from the ground up with the goal of creating a truly frictionless experience to enable our customers to gain deep insight into how their organizations are using the Inkling platform and how that engagement impacts their own key business results. We’re thrilled to release Advanced Analytics into general availability and are excited to see what our customers will do with it.
The product solution for Inkling Advanced Analytics is built around three key ideas:
Simplify the data model
Before Advanced Analytics, we’d been collecting data on a large variety of events as users interacted with Inkling, and then passing it on to customers via a once-daily data export. We received good feedback that our customers were having a hard time figuring out which of those events were actually meaningful. So we radically simplified our data model, creating a new star schema around three core “facts” of user engagement with Inkling: pageviews, sessions, and assessments. We decorated each of those core facts with a few meaningful details – when did each pageview occur and how long did it last, for example – and joined them to a handful of key dimensions to enable meaningful analysis of each event: Who was the user? Where does the user fit into the customer’s organization? Which piece of content were they interacting with and on what device? The resulting data model is both easy to understand and rich in depth of analytical insight.
Make the data flow quickly
We wanted to pass analytics data to our customers as quickly as possible, and remove any data-processing burden from their workflows. With Advanced Analytics, it now takes only a few minutes for a user interaction with one of Inkling’s apps to be captured, processed, filtered, augmented, and passed into a secure, customer-segmented data warehouse. Dashboards connected to the data warehouse will always be up to date to the current hour, and customers don’t need to take any manual steps to get access to their updated data.
Visualize the data in a world-class, user-friendly business intelligence platform
Some folks may be natural spreadsheet wizards or skilled writers of SQL queries. Most of our business users, though, told us they would rather skip the data wrangling and jump straight to the end product: beautiful, powerful data visualizations. So we’ve partnered with Tableau, a best-in-class cloud data visualization and business intelligence platform, to provide the front end of our Advanced Analytics dashboards. We chose Tableau because it’s both powerful and easy to use.Our customers will have the option of using our preconfigured dashboards or the freedom to use Tableau’s WYSIWYG interface to make any customizations or modifications needed to make those dashboards even more insightful for their organizations. I’ve enjoyed learning how to harness the power of Tableau while developing Advanced Analytics and I’m confident that our customers will, too.
Together, these three ideas power an Advanced Analytics platform that removes all the friction from the process of turning raw data into insight. Our customers no longer have a dependency on their own IT teams to configure data integrations, or a need to download periodic data updates or to wrangle complex spreadsheets. They simply need to open their Inkling dashboards in Tableau to see, at a glance, exactly how their organizations are making use of Inkling to drive organizational learning and operational excellence.
What kinds of insight from Advanced Analytics do we expect to be most meaningful?
For content teams, Advanced Analytics will make it simple to understand which pieces of the training and reference content they create are being heavily used and which aren’t – and by whom, and when, and on which devices. This detailed content performance insight can help ensure that content teams’ efforts are being spent on high-impact, high-value projects and inspire teams to evolve their content strategies if they see that important knowledge isn’t currently reaching users the way they want.
For field operational leaders, Advanced Analytics will provide deep insight into how their business units, and individuals within those business units, are engaging with the Inkling platform. This is especially useful for tracking key projects or business initiatives. A chain restaurant enterprise, for example, might create a new Inkdoc to communicate everything needed for its franchisees to roll out a new menu item or limited-time promotion. Advanced Analytics will make it easy to see which franchisees are on track to roll out training for the promotion to their team members, and which are falling behind, enabling operational leaders to follow up with any struggling franchisees before a botched rollout leads to loss of brand consistency, reduced customer satisfaction, and ultimately reduced revenue.
While these are just a couple of examples, the possibilities are endless; now that Advanced Analytics is live, we can’t wait to see exactly how all of our customers make use of it and learn from their experiences. Forward together to a future of richer data-driven insight!