Tracking learner activity with the Tahoe Business Intelligence Connector

In Tahoe Premium, you've got a powerful tool at your disposal - the Business Intelligence (BI) Connector. 

You can use the BI Connector to send learner events to a tool called Segment. Segment then collects these events and routes them to your chosen destination, with information about the learner who triggered the event. For example:

  • When a learner claims a certificate, the "edx.certificate.created" event is triggered and sent to Segment. Segment can send this information to Salesforce, so you can see that a customer has completed their course. You could use this to trigger an enrollment via our Enrollment API (to automatically move them on to the next course), or to trigger any number of post-course activities from your end.
  • When a learner enrolls in a course, the "edx.course.enrollment.activated" event is triggered and sent to Segment. Segment can send this information to Marketo, enabling you to trigger a series of emails tailored to learners who enroll in that course.
  • If you want instant notifications of learners completing your courses (or doing anything else for that matter), you can also use these events to send a message into a Slack channel.

Almost every action a learner can take in Open edX is tracked and can be sent to Segment for use in a huge number of systems. You can find a full list of out-of-the-box data destinations over on Segment's website, or if you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can even build your own custom destination.


Setting up Segment

First things first, you need to Sign Up for a Segment Account. They're free for less than 1000 Monthly Tracked Users (MTUs, not dissimilar to Appsembler's MAU count, which you can see in your Figures dashboard). That's a lot of users! Just be aware, you may incur additional costs as your site grows.

Once you've set up a Segment account, go to Sources and Add a Source.

Next, search the sources catalog for a Python source, and Connect it to your workspace.

You'll need to give it a name so that you can identify it later if you start using Segment more widely. We recommend either Tahoe, your own site's brand name, or Open edX - take your pick! Simply Add Source once you've decided.

Once your source has been added, go to Settings, API Keys and copy the Write Key.

******IMPORTANT: You do not want the API Key. You need the Write Key. We can't stress this enough.******
ALSO IMPORTANT: This key, like all keys, is a secret. Don't send it to anyone else through an insecure channel, including Appsembler. If you do, you'll need to generate a new key.

Adding the key to your Tahoe site

Once you have your Write Key, it's time to actually connect it to your site. To do this, open your management console and go to the General Settings tab, found within Site Settings.

Scroll down to the Business Intelligence (BI) Connector field and paste in your Segment Write Key. Click Save Changes, and your Tahoe site will start emitting events to Segment!

To check that your data is flowing, head back into Segment, go to the Debugger tab for your source, and start navigating around your site. You'll see events popping up in the Live view, and you can click into them to get more data. In the screenshot below, we logged into our Tahoe site, and navigated into a course from the dashboard page. We've had to redact some data, but hopefully this gives you a good idea of just how powerful these tracking events can be!

From here, it's all about where you want to send that data, your Destinations. Fortunately, Segment has tons of fantastic documentation for common solutions, such as:

And there are hundreds more! Just search for them on the Segment integrations site and you'll likely find the service you need.

There's almost no limit to the things you can do with this data, from simple custom analytics and alerting, to gamification and badging. Provided you have the know-how, tracking events let you use those triggers to build whatever solution your company needs. Happy tracking!

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