What is Udemy?The success of this undertaking hinged on coordination across various teams within Udemy, our research agency, and the Ethnio team.Kris TylerSenior Research Manager at Udemy
Udemy is a global online learning and teaching platform that hosts courses from more than 75,000 instructors from around the world. These instructors offer their expertise in 75 languages, catering to a vast community of over 60 million learners and nearly 15,000 organizations worldwide. With an expansive collection of over 200,000 courses and a rapidly expanding portfolio, Udemy covers a wide array of skill development areas, ranging from technology to professional skills and beyond, to help organizations and professionals succeed in an increasingly skills-based economy.
Udemy's Research Team
The Udemy Research Team has two distinct disciplines that are part of our function: user research and market research. I joined Udemy in 2019 as its sole market researcher. Today, we are a research team of ten in total, and I lead the division of market researchers.
Our user base spans the globe and includes instructors, learners, and organizations within direct-to-consumer (D2C) and business-to-business (B2B) models. The complexity of our research escalates rapidly as we consider the interactions between our different users as we develop products to support their goals. Research insights can have implications for the entire Udemy ecosystem and be core building blocks to product and marketing strategy development.
To navigate the high demand of research at Udemy, our focus has been on efficiency and growth – which means we need the right research tools to enable us to both scale our operations and maintain high-quality outputs.
Sending One Million Emails With Ethnio
The landscape of EdTech has undergone significant changes in recent years, prompting us to seek a deeper understanding of the learners’ experiences in online learning. To that end, we launched a large-scale global segmentation study that covered eight markets across two user groups - D2C and B2B learners.
While the consulting research agency managed the panel data, our team oversaw all Udemy user outreach. This is where Ethnio played a pivotal role. We had been utilizing Ethnio for incentive distributions for several years, but did not yet know if Ethnio could be leveraged for a scaled recruitment strategy. We initiated an evaluation to determine whether Ethnio could assist us.
With a goal of gathering a robust sample for cluster analysis in each market, we needed to send over one million emails to hit those sample thresholds. The success of this undertaking hinged on coordination across various teams within Udemy, our research agency, and the Ethnio team.
Successfully Passing Data Between Tools and Platforms
In our evaluation of Ethnio for this project, we found efficiencies that provided scalable email distribution capabilities.In our evaluation of Ethnio for this project, we found efficiencies that provided scalable email distribution capabilities, but we also ran into technical challenges we needed help solving.
We needed a way to link the users to an external survey platform in our distribution strategy. It was critical for the success of the study to identify the existing Udemy learners and understand their platform engagement in tandem with their survey responses. This issue was a make-or-break for us. If Ethnio couldn't do it, it was not clear we would have been able to solve this dilemma, at least within the timeline we were working under.
Automatically Enriching Udemy’s Participant Database in Pool
Ethnio had this functionality through another feature on their platform, but not yet in their panel management product, Pool, which includes mass email distributions. This was an added capability that we had to request. Ethnio responded quickly, reprioritized, and delivered a feature update, which enabled us to pass a variable to a vendor database in Pool when someone clicked a unique email link. After a few rounds of testing, we landed on a solution that delivered exactly what we needed. Ethnio went above and beyond to reprioritize their queue and enabled this new functionality within days.
It was critical that our user base email outreach connected the dots between responses and platform usage, and Ethnio addressed this need rapidly.With the added ability to execute this recruitment outreach, as well as design the email to align with our brand standards and manage re-sends with clear filtering of past sends and email engagement, we were able to devise a successful recruitment strategy on the Ethnio platform.
Not only did this support the global learner segmentation project, we have also leveraged this functionality in more recent studies. It was critical that our user base email outreach connected the dots between responses and platform usage, and Ethnio addressed this need rapidly.
A Successful Large Scale One Million Quant Distribution
After we hit our sample thresholds and completed data collection, we again leveraged Ethnio to provide incentives to respondents across eight markets where the value is automatically localized to regional currencies.The best signal of a successful client-vendor relationship is a shared commitment to solve a problem together.
Throughout the collaboration with Ethnio, we had the impression that their team was remarkably aligned with our objectives and showed genuine care for the success of our study. I think the best signal of a successful client-vendor relationship is a shared commitment to solve a problem together.
My team and I are astounded by Ethnio’s ability to cover so much ground with its available features while also attending to our ad-hoc needs with excellent customer support. Ethnio stands out in its ability to deliver quick results, maintain consistent interactions, and even reprioritize to ensure we hit our deadlines.
UXR Support From Experienced UXRs at Ethnio
The availability of direct communication channels along with Ethnio's dedicated support team highlights a strong part of our partnership. It is valuable to be able to get on a call or directly email with someone when troubleshooting. The resolution of complex and timely challenges by Ethnio has proven indispensable.
Plus, once you move beyond the learning curve and harness Ethnio’s features and capabilities with their guidance, the user interface is intuitive, and seamlessly integrates with our workflow
Ethnio thinks about the operational needs for a research team to scale globally, which is a key area for our team.
Ethnio—A Partner for the Quant & Qual sides of UXR
Ethnio thinks about the operational needs for a research team to scale globally, which is a key area for our team. As a platform, Ethnio is looking to solve the same thing we are: how can we execute globally comprehensive and representative research successfully?
With Ethnio focused on operational details, we can focus on the research scope, design, analysis, and application, which is where we want to spend most of our time and expertise. This partnership has helped us ensure inclusivity of a diverse user base, which in this project allowed us to develop refreshed foundational insights about global learners and significantly amplify Udemy’s value to our customers.