What an Uber Driver Taught Me (About Data-Driven* Decisions)

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The Cognitive Science Behind OttoLearn - OttoLearn Adaptive MicrolearningThe Cognitive Science Behind OttoLearn - OttoLearn Microlearning

Hi Josh,

About a week before I began getting my Ottolearn Mastery Moments, I had a popup window from Adobe appear on my screen as I was working on another project, prompting me to update my version of Flash. We do use Flash, so like an idiot, I clicked on the popup and asked it to start the update—and only then noticed that the url was not an adobe address. Of course, I closed the popup window using the X in the upper corner, which didn’t solve anything. Our IT guys did the best they could for me, but my computer is still compromised, and is being replaced.

Fast forward to Ottolearn and your Online Security for Employees course. After completing several mastery moments, I have now learned what to do with popups like that. This morning, as I restarted my computer again, that same Adobe popup appeared and this time I was ready! I opened task manager and killed that little $%^&^ dead in its tracks.

I know the point of letting us try out OttoLearn as participants was for us to experience the power of this platform from the learner’s point of view. I can tell you that I personally am very grateful for the training you provided to me, and the fact that I was able to let others in my company know how to kill off those nasty virus-carrying popups. Yes, it works. Yes, it’s fun! And yes, I have a true feeling of accomplishment.

I can’t wait for the point at which we can talk more about developing courses for our clients.

Thank you!

*Pun intended.

Dan Belhassen here - when I’m travelling I use Uber. Corporate shenanigans aside, they’ve done an amazing job of bringing transportation into the 21st century.

Uber’s success is steeped in analytics. Drivers and passengers rate each other on a scale of 1 to 5. If you’re a driver with a score less than 4.6, you may get kicked out. Most drivers are in the 4.7 to 4.8 zone. Note how few drivers are in the 4.9 to 5.0 segment:

Making Data-Driven Decisions - OttoLearn Personalized Learning

Recently, I was picked up by a driver with an astounding 4.97 rating. Incredibly rare. Let’s call him Mike.

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Experience

Exp.

High

New accounting rules

Workplace violence & harassment prevention

Low

Framing a basement

Changing a tire

High

Low

Perceived Relevance

Option

Pros

Cons

Seats

  • Super easy to understand
  • Very predictable cost, if you have a specific number of users (eg: employees)
  • Doesn’t differentiate between users that have different volumes.
  • Have to purchase seats for your maximum number of users.‍

Active Users
(Typically the number of users that log in during a month)

  • You don’t need a license for every specific user, you can often only license half of your users (since perhaps only half ever log in during a month)
  • Typically there is a large cost for going over your licensed number of users, which can be incredibly expensive (eg: 5-10x more than your licensed cost)
  • You often have to “play games” as an administrator, not wanting to do a mass course enrollment if you have only have your users licensed in a month

For workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention, you have High Experience & Low Relevance.

  • ‍Why? You’ve worked in an office setting for years, so you’ve been through a number of workplace compliance courses.  You have a lot of experience in this area, and you really aren’t excited about it.  
  • What is going to motivate you?  Not much.  It won’t matter if there is a slick expensive video, you’re going to click through the material to get the quiz as quickly as possible, so make the material as short as possible or provide a pre-assessment to skip past the content.

For new Accounting Rules you have High Experience & High Relevance.

  • Why? This is directly related to your job, and builds on your existing knowledge.  You’re going to want to absorb the information efficiently, since you process related information every day.
  • What is going to motivate you?  Efficiently written information.  Just the facts, in as little a time as possible.  Video takes too much time, text is perfect.

For changing  a Tire, you have Low Experience & Low Relevance.  

  • Why? You don’t own a car or drive. You don’t feel that you need to know this, and you also know you can find the information on demand, if and when you actually need it.  
  • What is going to motivate you? Very little, this is the most difficult category. For learners in this category, it’s best to try to engage them through story telling techniques to create a sense of relevance. This could be through text and/or video.

For framing a Basement you have Low Experience & High Relevance.

  • Why?  You don’t know much about it, but you’re highly motivated to learn!  
  • What is going to motivate your? You’ll pretty much consume any form of training, but you’re most likely to seek out rich media experiences, to understand the topic from multiple angles. This is the only category for which video is a perfect fit.

Seats

Pros

  • Super easy to understand
  • Very predictable cost, if you have a specific number of users (eg: employees)

Cons

  • Doesn’t differentiate between users that have different volumes.
  • Have to purchase seats for your maximum number of users.

Active Users
(Typically the number of users that log in during a month)

Pros

  • You don’t need a license for every specific user, you can often only license half of your users (since perhaps only half ever log in during a month)

Cons

  • Typically there is a large cost for going over your licensed number of users, which can be incredibly expensive (eg: 5-10x more than your licensed cost)
  • You often have to “play games” as an administrator, not wanting to do a mass course enrollment if you have only have your users licensed in a month
Uber Driver Rating - What an Uber Driver Taught Me (About Data-Driven* Decisions) – OttoLearn Microlearning
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The Experience

Mike arrived quickly, jumped out of the car to shake my hand and grab my bags. Ushering me into the car, he offered me gum, candy, and water. So far, pretty great experience.

Chatting with Mike, I had to ask how he had such an amazing rating. His reply and our subsequent 10 minute conversation astounded me.

Legalization and an Income Plunge

Mike started driving for Uber in Montreal before it was fully legalized. He made a pretty good hourly wage equivalent. Then, Uber was legalized, and other drivers flooded into the market. His income plummeted to about half of what it was. Believe me, I’ve had my share of hearing Uber drivers complain about having too many drivers and not making enough money.

An Analytical Brain to the Rescue

Instead of accepting this, Mike launched an analytics campaign to improve his income. He selected four income categories to improve: Trip income, Surge Bonus Pricing, Tips and Rating Bonuses.

Trip Income

Trip Income is based on trips. Simple. The more trips you do, the more you make. He mapped out hot spots based on common weather patterns (eg: more mall pickups when it rains), and other events (eg: get a subway app to tell you about issues with the trains, and you have a small window to pick up passengers that need alternate transport).

Surge Bonus Pricing

Uber drivers get “surge notifications” when demand exceeds supply. Drivers flood into the area. He would often arrive *after* too many drivers are there, and miss the surge bonus. So, he mapped out where and when surges commonly happen, and simply arrived before the surge notifications.

Tips

Jumping out of the car. Shaking your hand. Snacks. Water. Friendly conversation mapped to your preference (eg: quiet or chatty ride). All designed to provide a killer experience and increase tips. It works. He receives twice the average number and value of tips compared to the average Uber driver.

Rating Bonuses

Uber provides bonuses (cash, trips, etc) based on a driver’s rating. Mike is currently one of the top rated drivers in Montreal, in line to receive potentially 10k worth of bonus. And worth every penny.

Tire Tread Graphic - What an Uber Driver Taught Me (About Data-Driven* Decisions) – OttoLearn Microlearning

The Bottom Line

Instead of feeling defeated, Mike applied analytics to dramatically improve his situation. After months of testing and refining his processes, Mike now makes 2x what he used to earn before legalization. Impressive.

Uber - consider hiring Mike for your head office. Specifically, new driver onboarding.

Everyone else - what problems have you been dealt? Are you applying a sharp mind to uncover, test and improve your results through analytics or are you accepting the hand you have been dealt and feeling defeated?

The best organizations apply intentional learning through an analytical approach to understand how to improve their outcomes.

Engagement Factors

Experience

Exp.

High

  • Best possible quadrant for engagement 
  • Will overcome learning obstacles
  • Will find a way to learn, even if materials are poor  
  • Won’t need nudging or incentives
  • Text is great
  • Can easily learn something
  • May need to work up the energy to engage in low quality materials  
  • May procrastinate, so incentives can help motivate.
  • Text is great

Low

  • Wants to learn
  • Has little experience so can benefit from more instructional quality
  • Greatest benefit of video and other rich media
  • Worst possible quadrant  
  • May not have experience in the topic
  • May not really care about it
  • Will require a lot of motivation to see engagement
  • Video can help

High

Low

Perceived Relevance

Option

Pros

Cons

User-based
(Seats)

  • Cost predictability. Each seat costs you $x/month
  • Typically more expensive than a usage-based license

Usage-based

  • Typically less expensive than a seats license
  • Cost variability tempered by pre-purchasing usage credits that never expire and consume them over time

User-based (Seats)

Pros

  • Cost predictability. Each seat costs you $x/month

Cons

  • Typically more expensive than a usage-based license

Usage-based

Pros

  • Typically less expensive than a seats license

Cons

  • Cost variability tempered by pre-purchasing usage credits that never expire and consume them over time
Training Engagement, Retention, and Microlearning - OttoLearn MicrolearningNeovation Learning Solutions Team - OttoLearn Microlearning is a product of Neovation Learning Solutions

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