Case Study: Market Trends in Online Formative Assessment Platforms and Assessment Analytics Platforms in the U.S. K-12 Market

May 5, 2016

Client Situation:

Our client was a formative assessment analytics platform vendor for K-12 in the United States. Facing declining market share in recent years in key markets to due the surprising gains of some successful new entrants, they decided to initiate a product revamp. To better inform product development, they needed in-depth, timely market intelligence on what their competitors currently offered and what customers and users saw as the top strengths and weaknesses they could address in upcoming product development efforts preceding the platform re-launch.


In order to make sure their next generation assessment analytics platform met and exceeded expectations, they engaged us to provide detailed analysis on what specific feature sets and services would prove compelling in a future product rollout. We proposed researching specific feature sets found in leading competitor products and categorizing them into common parameters such as supported data sources, software integrations, reporting features etc. to allow for cross comparison. Once we laid out the research objectives, we conducted extensive secondary research to build out the framework with detailed analysis of feature specifications. We consulted available resources including user guides, product reviews as well as primary research with vendors, former employees and thought leaders with extensive product knowledge.

In addition to present generation feature specifications, we also investigated which feature areas needed the most improvement to provide suggestions for product development efforts. In other words, we endeavored to find out where the market leaders were currently falling short with the objective of providing recommendations on how our client could address these shortcomings with a future rollout. To accomplish this, we interviewed end users of the target products in each of the key markets to further inform our analysis.


Analyzing the present generation of product feature sets among leading platforms along with pain points and gaps identified by users themselves allowed us to provide an insightful view into opportunities on the table for our client to consider in product development efforts. Both the strengths and weaknesses presented opportunities for our client to either emulate successful features or develop new ones to address critical gaps according to customers, leading to a better informed product development process.

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