As mentioned in a previous post, Managing Communities through Taxonomy, one of the benefits of implementing a taxonomy-based community management solution is the ability to leverage powerful insights with community analytics. In the process of building your managed communities, you will access a store of valuable data that can provide impactful metrics to inform and guide your business in all aspects of membership, communication and ad hoc analytics.
The most straightforward way to leverage existing community data is to answer the question of “how big is my community?” Previously such a question would be difficult to define without a standardized, non-manual method of collecting and managing the information, including every update, role change, etc. With the automated system in place, you can simply track the current state of each defined community. This saves time spent searching and aggregating membership and provides an always up to date snapshot of each community, including number of members, roles, and other key data.
Having answers to “who” and “how many” readily available brings you to the next question of community history. Monitoring the flux of who’s joined and who’s left requires a little more effort to put tracking in place. This can be accomplished by maintaining a table that holds all the member adds and removes for each community for a set period of time, as well as storing quarterly snapshots of your community membership from to track bigger trends. These views can be shared via Excel or online team share sites, such as SharePoint, and provide valuable insight on which internal communities or roles are most active and in-demand, highlighting areas where your business can focus.
Once the community flux detail is available, you can address the question of tenure and extrapolate its impact to your business. For example, you may find that new Account Managers in one core competency have a 40% turnover rate. Calculating the turnover costs, including recruiting and training new hires, may help provide a business rationale for additional onboarding, training and support in that area to reduce cost and improve your depth and experience in that area.
Another useful metric to track, beyond individual community properties, is overall community group usage. Groups that have a high level of communication activity may indicate higher employee collaboration and satisfaction, whereas groups with a low level of communication activity may highlight an area or role where you need to improve support or engagement. It will take additional analysis to identify actual correlations between activity and other attributes, but the level of communication activity is very useful as an initial indicator.
Standard reports provide analytics on key aspects of your communities, but putting together a self-service report opens up possibilities for specific and unique reports that you or your community leaders may find themselves needing. It gives your organization the room to explore and discover valuable insights beyond the initial scope of your standard reports and increases responsiveness to new questions as they arise.
Managing groups through taxonomy allows you to easily create and maintain communities, but it's more than a useful administrative shortcut. It also provides valuable data that you can access for valuable insights about the size, history, health, and activity of your communities.