Leveraging Data to Find "Course-Market" Fit

October 4, 2021

Course-market fit is when a course so perfectly suits the market's needs that it experiences explosive growth. Popular programs that have achieved course-market fit include: Ali Abdaal's Part-Time YouTuber Academy, Write of Passage, Ship30for30, and On Deck, to name a few. How did they do it? They solved a relevant problem, promised a widely sought-after transformation, and leveraged data to create a better student experience. This data ensured that their course curriculum addressed their students' pain points and helped them cross the finish line. If you’re wondering how you can do the same, here’s how to leverage qualitative and quantitative data to find course-market fit.

Our founder Ish Baid breaks down the three things you need to obtain course-market fit for your course in this video. He shares how the instructor, the course itself, and the market contribute to building a high-growth online course business.  

Watch the video and subscribe to the YouTube Channel.

Collect Qualitative Data

Instead of assuming what your students want or need, collect qualitative data that captures your ideal audience's descriptive words. Qualitative data is non-numerical and open to interpretation. Understanding the words your students use and how they speak can help you better identify who your students are, what issues they are facing, and where to focus your attention.

You can collect qualitative data through open-ended questionnaires and surveys, ask for feedback, or conduct 1-on-1 interviews. Other personal approaches like small focus groups and case studies can help you gain insights, spot patterns, and recognize trends.

Good qualitative questions:

  • Begin with ‘how’
  • Begin with ‘what happened’
  • Cannot be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer

Collect Quantitative Data

Quantitative data is numerical and measurable. Unlike qualitative data, which is open to interpretation and based on feelings and emotions, quantitative data is considered factual. You can gather this data by measuring student participation and attendance. You can also review how many assignments were submitted and analyze community activity and engagement via Slack or Circle.

Questions that you can use to narrow down your qualitative research include:

  • How many?
  • How often?
  • How much?

Did you know that Virtually helps course creators keep a finger on the pulse of their online learning programs with automated attendance tracking and reporting on the performance of live sessions? Use this data to strategically identify your weaknesses, double down on what’s working and make improvements to your course. Remember, small tweaks and pivoting when necessary can lead to greater success.

We’d love to hear from you. How are you leveraging data to find course-market fit? Which type of data has been instrumental to the growth of your online learning program? Tweet us your reply at @tryvirtually.

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Danielle Desir

Danielle Desir is an author, freelance writer and the host of The Thought Card, an affordable-travel and personal finance podcast. (danielledesir.com) Follow on Twitter: @thethoughtcard