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CPL Online, a Division of CPL Training Group, utilizes big data to track student interaction data, improve its courses and deliver sophisticated reports to clients.

Business Challenge

The company has grown rapidly since its 2010 inception, becoming a leader in e-learning courses and technology for hospitality and health care industries in the United Kingdom. In its first year, the company’s e-learning system handled just 20,000 completed courses; within two years, the volume had swelled to roughly 160,000 courses and a million user logins.

Unlike other e-learning companies, CPL Online doesn’t just monitor pass/fail data; it generates 200-5,000 rows of data for each completed course, and it tracks every button clicked and time spent on each question. The company uses all that information to develop better courses and deliver detailed reports and analysis to its clients. Consequently, the rapid growth generated a flood of data that quickly overloaded the company’s SQL-based e-learning platform.

Solution

CPL Online looked for a big-data solution that could handle future growth and enable the company to add next-generation e-learning capabilities. But most options were either too expensive or too complex for its small development team. When CPL Online evaluated HPCC Systems® from LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, however, “We realized this was a platform that would grow with us,” Dasher says. The evaluation showed HPCC Systems technology could provide the required performance and let its developers quickly build planned new features.

HPCC Systems now handles all the “heavy lifting,” as Dasher puts it — supporting all CPL Online’s applications, web traffic,statistical analysis and reporting. Thor ingests the flood of user-generated events such as mouse clicks, while ROXIE provides the high performance required for intensive analysis and reporting. A SQL database remains in use for the basic job of recording transactions.