1. Survey Findings
The goal of this survey was to make something as intangible as the value of training more quantifiable. To do that, we asked customers who recently completed NI training course(s) some questions about the value that they had received.
First, we asked customers about their comfort levels with NI products prior to attending the training course(s). Then we asked about their comfort levels after the course(s). Eighty-five percent of worldwide respondents who were not comfortable with NI products prior to taking NI training reported that they were somewhat or extremely comfortable with NI products following the course(s).
|Had never used NI products or had used NI products but were not comfortable with them|
|Somewhat/extremely comfortable with NI products||323||85.0%|
|Still not comfortable with NI products||57||15.0%|
In addition, we asked survey respondents to estimate the impact of the NI training courses they attended on the following:
Learning speed – How much more or less time it would have taken to reach their current skill levels with the software if they had not taken NI training. NI training courses typically range from a half day to three days per course.
Development speed – How much improvement in development speed resulted from taking NI training course(s). In addition to helping attendees become familiar with the software environment, NI training courses teach the most effective and efficient methods for developing applications. Instructors also demonstrate additional time-saving tips and tricks as part of the courses.
Maintenance time – How much more or less time maintenance or modifications to existing applications had taken or would take as a result of skills learned in NI training course(s). NI training courses not only focus on development techniques but also introduce attendees to useful debugging tools, best practices for documenting code for readability, and techniques for creating modular applications that they can easily modify and reuse.
Respondents were requested to express their answers in terms of a percentage for time saved (including 0 percent for no time saved). The worldwide average response for each of those questions is shown in the chart below. All three factors were significantly improved after respondents took NI training courses.
Survey Findings by Region
Responses to the questions of time savings differed by region. Below is a table of regional averages for learning, development, and maintenance time reduction. Companies located in a single region can use these to estimate training benefits rather than the worldwide numbers shown above.
|Average % Faster Learning||64%||72%||63%|
|Average % Faster Development||56%||55%||44%|
|Average % Less Maintenance||52%||45%||36%|
|# of Respondents||145||290||206|
2. Application of Results to a Sample Project
What do these numbers really mean in terms of dollar savings or return on investment? The below table shows calculations made for a sample project using these numbers. The original project, designed to last for six months, involves a single engineer spending 60 percent of his time on developing the application. The project has a three-year life.
An upfront investment in training results in significant labor cost savings for a project of this size and a nearly 3X return on investment. If your project differs or you wish to conduct sensitivity analysis with different percentage gains resulting from training than those from this survey, you can use the attached spreadsheet to adjust the calculations.
|Without NI Training||With NI Training|
|Working days per year||250||250|
|Annual cost of an engineer($)||$100,000||$100,000|
|Estimated learning time (days)||30||10|
|Training course cost (LabVIEW Core 1 & 2 - regional class)||$0||$2,998|
|Travel costs (food, gas, lodging, etc.)||$0||$300|
|Number of engineers involved in learning phase||1||1|
|Percent of workday spent on project in learning phase per engineer||100%||100%|
|Estimated project development time (days)||120||60|
|Number of engineers on development phase of project||1||1|
|Percent of workday spent on project in development phase per engineer||60%||60%|
|Estimated project maintenance time (days per year)||10||5.7|
|Estimated application life (years)||3||3|
|Number of engineers on maintenance phase of project||1||1|
|Percent of workday spent on project in maintenance phase per engineer||40%||40%|
|Total Phase Costs|
|Expected total labor cost of project - learning phase||$12,000||$7,378|
|Expected total labor cost of project - development phase||$28,800||$14,400|
|Expected total labor cost of project - maintenance phase||$4,800||$2,736|
|TOTAL PROJECT LABOR COST||$45,600||$24,514|
|TOTAL PROJECT LABOR COST SAVINGS with NI training||$21,086|
This survey includes 659 respondents from the following countries/regions:
- South America
- United States
The survey was conducted via phone or e-mail (depending on country). Respondents represented a variety of experience levels, from beginner to advanced, and took a variety of courses, including LabVIEW Core/Basics, Intermediate, and Advanced; Data Acquisition and Signal Conditioning; TestStand I and II; and RF Fundamentals and Application Development.
4. Next Steps