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How LinkedIn Fuels NPS Insights Using Thematic's AI

In a recent presentation for NEXT by the Insights Associations, LinkedIn market research professional Allison Schoer joined Thematic’s co-founder Alyona Medelyan to share how LinkedIn uses Thematic to dig deep into feedback trends, align stakeholders around initiatives.

If you would like to watch the presentation, check it out below. In this article, we’d like to share with you the key takeaways.

Getting under the hood of LinkedIn’s NPS ambitions and challenges

NPS is a KPI for LinkedIn - but making sense of the data that could identify the drivers behind this was a complex task for their research team. The many audiences LinkedIn serve - and the sheer amount of data being collected across the platform’s millions of interactions provided a clear use-case for automation using AI.

Allison’s work was focused specifically on the Sales Navigator product within the LinkedIn platform. This product helps people in B2B roles (primarily sales professionals) identify leads, reach out to the right people, and build relationships digitally. The ‘search’ functionality within this tool is central to the experience – and a key driver behind their NPS. However, gaining timely and credible insights into how this search functionality was perceived by promoters or detractors remained out of reach.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator - Source

Enabling data-driven decision-making

LinkedIn’s market research team were faced with rigid and limited ways of interrogating their data prior to being introduced to Thematic. Most solutions they evaluated were based on “fixed analytics” which required a lot of manual work and/or extremely high expertise to actually extract valuable insights from the data.

They had worked with statisticians using IBM’s SPSS - but it took too long to get the clear insights they needed. An alternative was ‘word clouds’ – but their lack of depth and accuracy makes them not suitable for passing on to LinkedIn Executives.

Data accessibility and transparency were key

“An ideal solution needs to be transparent and easily editable by people who actually understand the business context and feedback that is coming through - and how they can act on it”

The solution needed to enable the team to draw reasoning behind the data, and access insights at the pace needed for decision-making. It also needed to be able to evolve just as the LinkedIn platform and customers do.

The way forward

Thematic provides a solution that is both transparent and flexible. It enables LinkedIn’s market research team to extract and understand detailed data on the customer behaviour. With their understanding of the business context, they can then ascertain the reasoning behind the data - and use it for strategic decision-making.

Collaborating to achieve the right outcomes

Thematic uses AI to automatically discover actionable themes of customer feedback. In LinkedIn’s case, it’s the analysis of open-ended questions to help understand the WHY behind LinkedIn’s NPS.

Enabling human input became a key success factor. LinkedIn’s market research team can decide in Thematic which themes are important, which needs to be more granular and how they should be organized. Over time, the model is learning to pick up the nuances of the data. Ultimately, this enables more reliable, accessible and timely NPS insights being delivered to the right people.

Looking at the image above, what's on the left-hand side shows the volume of different illustrative themes. So when asking what's driving NPS for a certain product or customer segment, LinkedIn can get a snapshot of those themes.

“The use of frameworks provides consistency – and at the same time, also reinforces themes that we're seeing in our closed-ended data. So if you're working with a team that responds well to customer feedback and verbatims, you have that ability to synthesize that really easily and tie that to what we're seeing with the quantitative data”.

Equally, what's helpful to the team is that they’re able to apply different filters to this data as well. LinkedIn researchers can then present this information at a high-level to executives if needed – or go into more depth for those requiring more technical information.

Turning data into business improvement & insights

There are 3 key ways in which LinkedIn’s research team are benefitting from their partnership with Thematic:

1. Improved productivity and efficiency

Prior to Thematic, it was a constant struggle for LinkedIn to make sense of their open-ended data, as well as being time-consuming. Now, they can efficiently create audience-dependent insights which add value right across the business – and then drive the right improvements for their customers.

2. Shared use & consistent methodology

LinkedIn has a wide array of fast-growing and multi-dimensional teams who do not always apply the same methodology to research and customer improvement initiatives. In the past, the research team would share large Excel sheets and different business units would need to make sense of data on their own. Now consistent analysis and reporting is applied across teams, even if their user base is different – then they can work together to understand how to maximise the data’s value.

3. Aligning stakeholders and data

Thematic can draw alignment between qualitative and quantitative data sets, while providing insights across LinkedIn’s teams. For instance, product teams can dig deeper into the data to learn how they can prioritise their backlog. They now have enough credible data to direct their effort towards the work that will be most impactful to the broadest customer base.

Equally, when sharing insights at an executive level, different teams are pulling results from the same portal using a consistent methodology - and the consistent visuals make for easier communication.

With Thematic, LinkedIn teams are giving a greater voice to their customer – and making use of their data to drive actionable insights across the business.

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