How Data Obsession Drives Our Strategy

By BrainStation July 9, 2018

One of the questions we get most often is how we manage to stay ahead of the pace of digital change. The answer, in short, is data.

Our obsession with data allows us to make informed decisions on just about everything, from the development and refinement of our curriculum to the design of our online learning platform.

Here’s a closer look at how our data keeps us on the cutting edge of digital skills training:

It Highlights Critical Digital Skills Gaps  

Every day, we work to evaluate the relevance of our curriculum. Are we providing the most up-to-date digital skills training? To find out, we compile and analyze national and regional economic data, as well as job market listings from a wide range of career sites like Indeed and Glassdoor (including the number of job listings, the titles most frequently posted, and the amount of time it takes for each position to be filled, among other metrics).

We don’t do this alone. To develop and refine our course content, we work with over 275 Instructors from some of the most innovative companies in the world. Our Data Science course, for example, was developed with experts from Slack and Precima to meet the rising demand for data skills in North America.

We also consult with a wide range of advisory boards and hiring partners across industries to find out more about hiring trends and challenges. This includes on-the-job information, such as the usage of industry and job-specific platforms, tools, and programming languages (for this last one we’ll also compares findings with listings on the TIOBE Index).  

For an example of the impact this process can have, look no further than our Web Development courses and programs. Roughly five years ago, we decided to focus on JavaScript and associated frameworks, like React. This wasn’t done on a hunch; the data indicated a decline in relevance for frameworks like Ruby on Rails, and this is what has played out in the years that followed.

It Guides Our Course Development

BrainStation has empowered over 50,000+ professionals around the world with a suite of courses that cover the entire lifecycle of a digital product. This, however, is constantly changing, with new topics emerging every day.

BrainStation courses and programs

One only has to look at the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe, or the recently updated Web Content Accessibility Guidelines to see how quickly digital requirements can shift.   

To stay on top of the latest, we’ve developed over 200 learning opportunities, including part-time courses, workshops, and industry events, totalling more than 50,000 custom-built content slides and over 8,000 hours of instruction.

Quantity, however, only goes so far. We create different variations for every course and workshop, testing each one for learning comprehension and student performance. What, for example, is the perfect mix of theory and practice? What do students find the most challenging? Are there elements of the course that isn’t challenging enough? Collecting and analyzing data at different stages of courses, programs, and events, we’re able to constantly gauge the effectiveness of our training offerings, allowing us to make necessary changes and updates when necessary.

The question we keep asking is, “How can we make this better?” and the data always points us in the right direction.

Which brings us to…

It Powers Our Online Learning Platform

‘Learn at your own pace’ learning models have their place in digital education, but according to the data, they’re not always the best way to learn new skills. In fact, completion rates for MOOCs and ‘learn at your own pace’ courses can be as low as 1%.

After crunching these numbers, we began developing Online Live learning to combine the dynamic, collaborative learning experience in our campuses with the convenience of a ‘learn at your own pace’ online model.

online live learning at brainStation

The result lets you attend live lectures from the comfort of your home or office, collaborate with other professionals across North America, and get immediate feedback from your Instructors — just like you would in a BrainStation classroom.

To accomplish this, we compiled usability feedback from alumni, Educators, Instructors, and professionals currently training at BrainStation. We then tracked the pages students viewed the most and compared the two to refine the layout and presentation of course curriculum, as well as the platform’s structure and features.  

It Validates Flexible Learning Options

We recently introduced flexible learning options to accommodate a wide variety of learning styles and schedules. This wasn’t done just for the sake of introducing new products; after compiling queries, searches, and student surveys, and information from our hiring partners, we recognized there was a need for more part-time learning, and accelerated corporate training options.

In the end, data has kept us on the cutting edge, and it will continue to play a key role in our mission to transform education.


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