Digital Adoption and Data: Metrics for a Successful Rollout Using an Adoption Measurement Plan


Wilmer Castro, Director of Learning & Adoption at Vitalyst, discusses the key indicators that help to identify bottlenecks in the digital adoption process and how those stats can be used in training deployment to ensure that no employee gets left behind.

For many business leaders, the idea of digital transformation has found its way out of the “fleeting distraction” bucket and into the “long-term investment” one.

But investments and intentions do not guarantee innovation. In a recent Deloitte survey, just 26 percentOpens a new window of respondents said their organization has an enterprise-wide digital strategy in place. For most companies that strategy is a multi-year, multi-phased approach. The reality is that the updates to the technology itself will outpace the digital strategy. The real art then is designing a nimble strategy that is directly dependent on the end users’ reaction and usability, while strategically releasing updates and recapturing said reaction and usability.

But how? To successfully repeat and sustain digital transformation efforts, business leaders need to realize that each individual within an organization has a different approach to learning and technology adoption in general. Due to the discrepancies across an employee base, it’s crucial to form a baseline understanding that digital adoption is neither a marathon nor a sprint – and a “one size fits all” strategy simply won’t work. Instead, digital rollout initiatives should address three critical “justs”—just in time, just for me, and just enough—in order to transition the workforce through the change.

Also Read: 3 Ways to Manage the Effects of Tech Overexposure on Mental Health at WorkOpens a new window

Getting started

Management should first determine a “baseline” assessment of goals they’d like to meet by a specific time. For instance, you might expect 30% of your employee base to have access to the new system three months after the initial rollout. Once goals have been established, an Adoption Measurement Plan should be put in place to identify what needs to be measured based on that initial baseline – i.e. how quickly employees have access to the new technology, how many employees are demonstrating “buy-in” and using the new solution, how well individuals are performing, etc. Then you can compare those metrics to the business goals to determine successes or areas of opportunity. This is where real-time consumption reports can be especially helpful.

The data that matters

The telemetry data enabled through cloud-based applications have enlightened us, not just on how the actual technology is performing but how it is being used. Automation detects different patterns within the data, suggesting commonly used actions across similar roles and departments.

Consumption reports also provide business insights on digital adoption, per each department and employee, and through each site and software application. The business can thus measure how the company is adopting new technology.

Management can then use this information to identify two important metrics—who is and who isn’t using the new platforms. This information can:

  • Inform a new outreach strategy to drive communications to identify any roadblocks to adoption and offer mitigating solutions.
  • Identify the “super users” (or early adopters) within an organization that are showing high levels of consumption, giving the company an opportunity to employ them as change champions or technology evangelists.
  • Measure impact against learning and awareness initiatives to determine the success of the intervention provided.


Using data to drive strategy

Consumption data allows business leaders to pivot and adjust learning plans throughout the entire technology migration. For example, if your reports show that employees are spending more time in Microsoft Teams for its training portals than for its collaboration features, learning leaders can develop a customized plan to provide learning options during lunch hours, with a curriculum that speaks to marketing-specific use cases for collaboration using Teams.

This approach not only provides channels for employee growth but can also be used as a measurement tool to unveil employee capabilities. Developing and demonstrating “future-state” situations gives employees the chance to utilize new tools, test their competency, and learn the value of it within their day-to-day functions. This not only bolsters the investment in the technology but also increases the probability of changed behaviors — if they understand the benefit of it, they’ll be more likely to use it.

This learn-as-you-go approach can also be used to measure the capabilities of an employee.  In addition to data insights and analysis, an effective tactic for improved digital adoption rates and changed behaviors is the development and demonstration of future-state scenarios. Providing employees with the opportunity to use the new tools in hypothetical use cases will help them to understand the value of a company’s technology investment and how it supports their day-to-day functions. This, in turn, will improve the likelihood of changed behaviors. If they can understand how the software can benefit them directly, they will be more willing to use it.

Data for more effective learning assets

Preferred over in-person and phone support, video is the most popular way to access self-help content. Video is also a medium conveniently built for enhancement via data analytics and machine learning.

Machine learning is already commonly used to improve training videos. Smart videos track user activity to determine which sections of the video are being watched the most, as well as when users start, stop, and replay different sections. Machine learning components learn from this activity to provide, up front, different content that users have been the most interested in, in the most accessible format.

This strategy ultimately boosts adoption rates, increases efficiency, and enables a pleasant user experience. In fact, videos layered with machine learning have shown to double and even quadruple engagement ratesOpens a new window , measuring per average percentage of video watched.

Also Read: The Challenges and Benefits of Employee Self-Service TechnologyOpens a new window

Proving adoption with ROI

In order for new technology or program to be beneficial, employees must understand the overall reason for the change. — and communicating this need is the responsibility of the management. As such, management teams must also gain an understanding of the reason for digital adoption, analyzing the available data and reports to identify who is falling behind in the process, why, and what they can do to help make sure no one is left behind—leaving the investment in the technology useless.

For improved digital adoption in the workplace, the key to a strong user adoption strategy is in analyzing the data and customizing the rollout. Both can save time, money and additional resources—not to mention any learnings can be leveraged to optimize future digital adoptions.