KCS in Action: Turning Data into Continuous Improvement

Experts from Akamai (Laurence Leccia, Knowledge Domain Expert, and Christina Roosen, Community Program Manager) shared their Knowledge Domain Analysis (KDA) program in a KCS in Action webinar.

They provided an overview of their KDA program and the typical activities that their Knowledge Domain Experts (or KDEs) perform. Akamai shared some of the early ditches they ran into and how others can avoid them. They also shared how KDE access to rich analytics is one of the keys to their KDA program success.

Their data comes from many sources:

  • Case data
  • Self-service usage data
  • Forum data
  • Search data from Google and their portal search engine

Direct customer feedback (article and survey feedback) is just a small percentage of customer feedback and Akamai KDEs must also look at indirect customer feedback (search queries, article views, forum activity) to truly understand the customer’s needs. They shared how to use tools such as Google Analytics and Google Data Studio to glean these deeper insights.

Using this data, they showed how they are able to focus on the high impact improvements to drive known issues out of their case queues and into customer self-service or, ideally, engineer out of the product. They demonstrated best practices for improving self-service success using search queries, customer usage data, and forum threads.

They do not put goals on any of the KDE activities, but rather focus on the overall value that the KDA program brings to the Support organization. Akamai has been an active participant of the Consortium’s Understanding Success by Channel project and used this work to quantify their improvements in Self-Service Success. They actively sell the value that the KDA program brings to their Executive Sponsor for his continued support.


This KCS in Action webinar was packed with a wealth of information and we had great questions and answers in the chat. We encourage you to access a PDF of the slides, or view the recording and chat highlights below.

Chat Highlights

Resources shared

Extra details shared

  • KDE Dashboards
    • used by KDEs to monitor domains. Anyone can view any dashboard, but not proactively shared so people understand we don’t manage by numbers. The dashboards are useful indicators for KDEs.
    • The dashboards are configured (not out of the box) in Salesforce.
  • KDE relationship to management and recognition
    • Knowledge Domain Activities are annual goals for KDEs and they were introduced to this practice during the initial rollout of the KDE program. They have been practicing this since then.
    • KDEs dedicate an average of 4 hours per week – they are required to meet 1 Knowledge Domain Activity per quarter.
    • Management team is very supportive of KCS. KDEs self manage their own time/work.
    • Management bought in as soon as they all understood the benefits and how KCS (called “Akapedia” at Akamai) ties to company strategy.
    • Top-performing KDEs are recognized in quarterly calls hosted by the Support Services Leadership! 🙂 Our VP broadcasts the top wins for KCS during every All Hands.
    • We don’t use the term “top performer”, instead every quarter we show the previous quarter’s top externally viewed Article and ALL who CONTRIBUTED to it. We also show Top Linked for previous quarter and ALL who CONTRIBUTED TO IT (AUTHOR AND EDITORS). And then any highlighted KDE outcomes form Knowledge Domain Activities.
  • KDE program design
    • Domains line up with our products and product modules. We did not over think it and just kept with what made logical sense.
    • No resistance, just tough trying to figure out how to NOT boil the ocean with Knowledge Domain Activities or Goals.
    • KDEs are all specialists in a domain to begin with, as Tier 2 and Product Line Experts, so adding the KDE responsibility made sense to participants.
    • Primary training and discussions leverage organizational change management to help all stakeholders understand the value and benefits plus periodic refreshers, classroom training (as part of new hire onboarding), KCS Roadshows and vodcasts (interviews conducted with top performing KCS adopters).
    • Articles flags go to the Coach for the next coaching session and anyone can archive an article as part of the workflow

Compliments from attendees

  • This is great information for us to think about during our future implementation of the Evolve Loop! Thank YOU!
  • Thank you guys! This is an awesome presentation!
  • Great stuff! Thanks all!
  • Thank you so much, incredibly informative, and lots to think about!
  • Thank you! Great information!

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