Kevin Rocci

December 2013 Happiness Report

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The month of December is full of family, holidays, breaks from school, stoke, and for our students, college applications. In the final month of 2013, we finished strong, giving last minute study tips to students trying to get applications in before the deadlines. We were able to hit our goals for the last part of 2013, and we are now set with new goals for the coming year (we’ll talk about those in the next post)!

Stoke—By the Numbers


We are moving into the low season for us, which we see in our question numbers. Last month we were around 2,000 new tickets, now at 1,611, and January will probably be smaller than that. After the blitz of summer and fall, the winter season in test prep slows down, which gives us time to work on projections, experiment, and prepare for the next round of test takers.

As part of our new goals, we are starting to be more granular with some of our numbers. Magoosh support encompasses a lot—study help to video hiccups, compound interest questions to extensions and refunds. To learn more about how we perform in these different areas, Lucas has been on a tear, making graphs, tables, and charts in GoodData to reveal trends about our Content and Community support.

The graph below is a perfect example. Lucas separated the types of tickets to get a better sense of where our loads are. Content tickets refer to help with solving Magoosh questions, how to set up a study plan, or how to improve general reading ability. Community tickets are everything else from issues with logging in and requests for extensions to questions about Magoosh’s resources before purchasing.


One thing that this graph shows us right away is the seasonality of Content questions. The green portion of the graph swells during our high season and shrinks as we head out of December and into January. The Community tickets are more consistent over the same period, feeling less of the seasonality, but we can see some change in the amount of tickets.

Also, you may notice at the far left—the first week given—that the numbers are fairly low for Content and Community tickets and really high for Uncategorized ones. That’s when we first started to categorize the types of questions and learn more about the types of questions we receive—allowing us to have graphs like this one, allowing us to get granular, allowing us to make decisions on data and not mere intuition. Hurray for Data!


Another great example of granularity in the numbers is our First Reply Time. I’ve shared this graph in the past, which shows our average response time. But as I have said in a previous report, some students need help faster than others. If a student has their test in 48 hours and they can’t access their account, we need to jump on that issue while other tickets don’t need such a speedy response time. So, on top of looking at the numbers for Community and Content tickets, we looked at the response times during the week and weekend.


In the graph above, we can see that our response time during business hours (green line) is much faster than on the weekends (blue line). But this was to be expected. Something that becomes apparent, and one of the reasons that it is great to have this data, is that we can see the effects of decisions we made to increase Magoosh stoke. One person was responsible for a majority these tickets, and she was not always stoked. To increase her happiness, and other’s happiness on the team, we made a decision to slow down responses on the weekend as well as hire people that could also help with more of these tickets.

Our decision has a clear impact on our response time, and now with the data in place, we can track the effects. And we will be keeping an eye on our student’s satisfaction ratings to see if this decision lowers their satisfaction. If so, we can make the appropriate changes to address the issue and find a balance where everyone is stoked! 🙂


On the Content side, we see the same difference between the work week and the weekend. These lines are a bit different because of seasonality. With more requests, it takes us more time to respond, especially on the weekend, but with less requests we can respond faster. Ideally, we would like to be prepared for this next year, and try to see less of an increase in reply time during the peak season—that’s when our students need us the most. We are already in a better position to keep our reply times down. We now have remote tutors that help answer Content questions! Thanks Carolyn, Jonathan, Kalpesh, and Chris! You guys and gals rock! 🙂

Student Stoke

Now to see the human element of all these numbers. I just read in Wired, “Why the Nate Silvers of the World Don’t Know Everything,” about the disruption of data and the stages an industry goes through when data becomes a part of decision-making. The final stage and the most successful one is when data is married to human intuition and judgement. So I feel even stronger about connecting these charts and numbers to the actual interactions with students.

When a student is stoked that stokes us out, which we in turn use to stoke out other students, and that student becomes stoked and…well I think you see what I am getting at. It’s a cycle of stoke—a cycle of stoke karma! 🙂

One major theme of December was awesome! No, literally. It was “awesome.”



This exchange came in 2 parts with Rachel. There is no denying the student’s stoke level.

Part 1:


Part 2:


After a couple of exchanges with Margarette (she definitely brings the stoke level up), the student sent in this response!


Nothing wrong with some friendly competition to improve scores. This instance definitely made me smile. Hopefully, it doesn’t strain the relationship, though. 🙂

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Staying Stoked

I’d like to conclude with this last screenshot. This was especially awesome because we can see the ripple effects of providing the best support possible for our students. They carry the torch on to other students. Here one of our students is passing the stoke along and answering questions for other students just embarking on the test prep journey. How awesome, right?


Be excellent to the universe, good people! Keep the happiness high and the stoke level at eleven.