2018 in Review

Happy 2019 from the DataCamp team!

At the start of this year, we’d like to take some time to look back on 2018. In this post, we’ll cover progress we’ve made helping to increase data fluency, building out our content library, improving the platform, and growing the DataCamp team.

Spreading data fluency

DataCamp is building the most comprehensive online learning resource for data science and analytics. We define success as helping individuals and companies to become more data fluent.

In 2018, DataCamp users spent an impressive 7.5 million hours actively learning on the platform. In that time, our users completed over 1.1 million courses, about 100 million exercises and over 65,000 projects to gain hands-on experience solving real-world problems.

We grew to over 85,000 individual subscribers in 2018, growing our total student base to 3.3 million, representing about 80% YoY growth. And our business offering is now used by 1,200 companies around the globe, which represents significant growth compared to last year and making it the fastest growing segment of our revenue.

As part of our quest to improve data fluency around the world, we offer free DataCamp scholarships to teachers and professors who want to use DataCamp in the classroom. We also provided scholarships to organizations that work with underrepresented and underprivileged groups in Africa and the Americas (reach out to support@datacamp.com to learn more). This enabled us to provide DataCamp scholarships to over 100,000 people in 2018, including students learning in classes taught by more than 2,000 teachers and professors. This is more than all previous years combined, and we’d like to do even more in 2019.

In 2018, DataCamp also raised a $25 million financing round from Spectrum Equity to continue our growth. You can read more about Spectrum’s thesis for investing in DataCamp here.

Building out the content library

In 2018 we doubled our content library to over 200 courses, 50 projects and 30 practice modules. All of this was possible because of the fine work of more than 160 instructors. Our library now includes all the major technologies (including Python, R, SQL, Spark and Spreadsheets — new!) and topics (like Machine Learning and Probability and Statistics) that individuals and teams interested in data science and analytics need to know.

Instructor Community

DataCamp owes much of its success to our amazing community of instructors. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to double our course and project libraries in 2018! In the past year, we expanded our instructor pool to over 320 data professionals — including many who will release their first course in the coming months — and 50 who now have more than one course or project on our platform.

Our instructors are data experts that come from a variety of backgrounds, both academic and industry, including positions at Amazon, American Express, Deloitte Consulting, Nike, Spotify, Harvard, New York University, Northwestern, the University of Neuchatel and many more!

Diversity and inclusion remain important priorities for us as we broaden our curriculum. We now have more than 100 women and non-binary instructors, representing an increase from 19% in 2017 to 34% of our instructors today. In addition, we’ve expanded the range of nationalities represented in our instructor pool to 20 and we hope to continue expanding our global reach in the coming year.

As we head into 2019, advancing and strengthening our instructor community will continue to be very important for DataCamp. Look out for DataCamp networking events, workshops and more in 2019 across the globe. And if you’re interested in joining the ranks of our amazing instructors, please apply.

Our Content Vision For 2019

By the end of 2019, we want to grow our content library by more than 75%. You can expect more learning materials for Python, R, SQL and spreadsheets, as well as content in new curriculum areas such as data engineering, data science for executives, deep learning and AI, and even business intelligence tools. Additional resources will go into improving the tailored feedback messages you receive while taking DataCamp courses, projects and practice modes. Our ambition is to make your experience even more tailored to your learning needs.

Improving the platform

If you sign in to DataCamp today, the focus is no longer only on courses but on the full learn-practice-apply philosophy. We recommend what projects match your current learning status best, what practice modes you should take to maintain data science fluency and what alternative courses you might like as well. In addition, we did a full upgrade of our search functionality, allowing you to better discover content in our library of more than 1,000 hours of data science learning content.

We also extended our mobile application with practice mode so that you can continue sharpening your data science skills no matter where you are. Now you can make your breaks and commutes even more productive by solving practice exercises for the courses you’ve taken on desktop or mobile. If you haven’t downloaded our mobile app yet, download it on iOS or Android now.

Our business customers also got a whole new experience with the launch of our revamped DataCamp for Business product, ideal for building data science and analytics skills within organizations of all sizes. It offers the ability to track team progress in your dedicated portal, set assignments, tailor development programs and set up SSO integrations. Learn more here.

Growing the DataCamp team

In 2018, we welcomed 65 new DataCamp team members as the team grew from 49 to 99, including 15 people who continued their careers elsewhere. It was exciting to welcome so many new and talented team members. At the same time, this led us to take a harder look at the culture we are building as well as ways to strengthen our internal policies and processes. We hired a Chief People Officer, invested in multiple diversity and inclusion trainings for all employees, strengthened the policies that govern how we work together, and conducted two anonymous diversity and inclusion surveys to help guide our continued growth in these areas. We know that we have more work to do in diversity and inclusion, and recognize that they are foundational elements for our continued growth and prosperity.

At the start of 2018, our team was very imbalanced in a few areas, including gender (predominantly male) and age (predominantly under age 35). Throughout the year, we worked toward creating a healthier balance in multiple areas with a specific focus on these two dimensions.

We’re proud that of the 30 people to join our team most recently (representing one third of the company), 50% identified as a woman or non-binary. For the team as a whole, we’re now close to 30% women and non-binary employees.

As it relates to increasing the experience level at DataCamp, we added multiple very experienced people at the leadership level in areas like HR, Sales, Marketing, Engineering, Product and Content. We feel confident that with this new layer of leadership, DataCamp is in a good position to continue to grow the team.

In 2018, we started running anonymous surveys with the goal to (1) measure self-reported demographics, (2) measure employee engagement and various aspects of inclusion, (3) determine where and how to improve our culture, and (4) benchmark our progress compared to previous results for DataCamp and other companies.

As data-driven decision making is a core value at DataCamp, we’ve decided to share the results from our latest diversity and inclusion survey. You can find a summary of the results below and an overview of the questions and responses here. The survey summaries and the images below are benchmarked against CultureAmp’s 2018 Diversity And Inclusion Survey Benchmark. More information on the methodology behind the survey can be found here.

Figure 1 summarizes some of the key findings of the anonymous survey we ran in December of 2018. As you can see, overall employee engagement at Datacamp is 10 percentage points above the benchmark, which puts DataCamp in the 90th percentile of all companies that ran this survey. DataCamp is a leader in six areas, but we are still slightly below average on diversity (more on that later).

Figure 1

Interestingly, CultureAmp also allows us to investigate what specific questions are key drivers of employee engagement or disengagement, which is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2

DataCamp has been a mission-driven company from day one. We aim to hire people who agree that improving data fluency in the world at an affordable price is an important mission. Excitingly, Figure 3 highlights that almost all of our employees believe in this mission.

Figure 3

While the average results are relatively positive, there are clear areas for improvement for the team overall and clear areas for improvement for certain segments of the team.

The lowest-rated statement in the survey is “DataCamp allows me to balance my work and personal life,” with a rating of 18 percentage points below the benchmark. Managing work-life balance during a period of accelerated growth has been a challenge for many team members. As a company, we believe this journey should be a marathon, not a sprint. We’ll be working across teams to create a healthier balance in 2019 (e.g. by holding managers accountable in this area, setting more realistic targets, etc.).

Growing the team in 2019

We’re planning to grow the team to about 175 this year, and are committed to continuing to invest to improve diversity and inclusion in 2019. Some of the key initiatives are below:

  • Increase the percentage of women and non-binary employees to at least 35%, with a specific focus on increasing diversity at the leadership level.
  • Maintain employee engagement at the current level on average, while improving engagement for more junior employees and underrepresented groups by at least five percentage points. In key areas that contribute to overall engagement, we recognize that there are a range of experiences among employees, and we will work to improve the full employee experience across teams.
  • Continue to focus on improving other areas of diversity, such as race and ethnicity.
  • Continue to run anonymous diversity and inclusion surveys two times per year.
  • Continue to run multiple training programs, including unconscious bias training, respect in the workplace, cultural awareness and training on people management.
  • Continue to invest in top-of-funnel initiatives that increase diversity (e.g. by posting on specific job boards and attending events focused on underrepresented groups within the tech community).
  • Work as a team to document our culture in more detail and share that document with the community.
  • Continue to provide support for up to 5% of employees to participate in the DataCamp Exchange program every year. This program offers the opportunity to employees to move between our office locations (New York, London and Belgium) and stay for one year. This enables employees to be exposed to different cultures and helps DataCamp to build bridges between its offices.
  • Continue to improve cultural diversity by investing in visa sponsorships in the different countries in which we work. We currently have a team comprised of 15 different national origins.

We’re very excited about 2019 here at DataCamp. If you’d like to join our team, please look at our open positions.

The DataCamp Team

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