Element K's robust Learning Management System (LMS), KnowledgeHub, has continued to garner a lot of attention in the industry -- witness its ranking in the "visionary" quadrant in a recent Gartner report and the two recent Brandon Hall awards it won for its integration of Web 2.0 technologies and its support of blended learning programs.
With more and more customers adopting KnowledgeHub as the technology platform for their learning and development needs, I started to wonder recently about what the most common keyword search terms were on the platform. So I inquired with our platform development group, and they were quick to provide me a report for a recent 10-day period. Here are the top results:
- Excel 2007
- Windows 7
- Word 2007
- Project management
- Time management
I found these results to be quite interesting, for a few reasons. First, they show the broad range of learning topics that people are using the platform for: office productivity (e.g., Excel, Access, PowerPoint); design and media (e.g., Adobe); IT training (e.g., Oracle, Java); certification areas (e.g., CompTIA*, ITIL, PMP); and business skills (e.g., business*, project management, time management).
I also can note the implicit interest we are seeing for training on the latest desktop software. For instance, "Windows 7" comes in seventh in this list (and no, I didn't rig it to get that odd result with "7" in seventh!) But also I think it is likely that learners searching on "*2010*" indicates an interest in the 2010 editions of Microsoft Office, for which we already have numerous e-Learning courses, with many more on the way (as well as additional resources to complement the e-Learning courses).
I'll admit that, given the significant increase in sales of our Business Skills e-Learning courses and blended learning programs, I was initially surprised to see IT and desktop software keywords dominating this list. There are a few reasons I can come up with to explain this, however. First, there are no doubt still a great many Element K content and KnowledgeHub customers who purchased, years ago, desktop software or IT training content only, and have not yet enhanced those initial purchases with our robust soft-skills offerings such as e-Learning courses with business simulations, strong blended learning assets, short leadership videos, and business book summaries. We have grown a lot over the years, but not all customers know this or have taken advantage of our new strengths yet.
But, I also think that another factor is that people are more likely to use consistent search keywords in the areas of desktop software or IT training than they are for soft-skills topics. For instance, if someone is interested in learning about Microsoft Excel, most often, they would simply search for "excel." But for many soft-skill topics, a range of possible search keywords could be used. I think that at least partially explains why, if you ignore the project management-related terms and the wildcard term "business*," the first real soft-skills term that appears in this ranking is "time management" in 23rd place. (For the record, several other soft-skills keywords and phrases appear in the 25-75 spots in the results I was provided.)