Data-Driven Decisions: Transforming Onboarding, Retention, & Churn Management

The power of data has emerged as a formidable force for community building. A data-driven approach is the compass that guides community managers through the tides of member engagement. It involves harnessing data to make informed decisions that shape the onboarding process, enhance member retention, and combat churn effectively.

Recently, we organized a webinar where Shalini Nair Tekwani, Pramod Rao & Nipun Goyal had a conversation on data-led approaches to community building and shared insights on onboarding, retention, and churn retention with the power of data.

TL: DR Using case studies and examples, we’ll discuss strategies for data-led decision-making in community building that you can utilize for your own community.

Read on to gain deep insights on data-driven decisions or watch the whole conversation here:- 

Data-Led Approach for Your Community

Let’s start with why community and data-led decisions for a community are a must. One of the examples shared by Shalini that highlights one of the many benefits was of A US-based SaaS company that experienced a transformative outcome.

The product users who were a part of the community were retained 5 times more than the ones who weren't."

This staggering revelation underscores the significance of adopting a data-led approach. However, the catch in this situation is that terms like onboarding, retention, and churn don’t have any point when you don’t know why you want these metrics to succeed.

So before we get into the examples and case studies of data-led decision-making, let’s first understand a few key terms and aspects to bear in mind:

Data Collection & Analysis - Gather data from various sources within your community platform. This can include user activity, member profiles, feedback surveys, discussions, and more. The goal is to collect comprehensive and relevant data points.

Employ data analytics tools and techniques to process and analyze the collected data. This step involves identifying trends, patterns, and correlations that can provide insights into member behavior and community dynamics.

Metrics and KPIs - Define clear key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that align with your community's objectives. Common metrics include user engagement, retention rates, churn rates, active user counts, and satisfaction scores.

Churn Management - Identify early warning signs of member churn through data analysis and implement strategies to prevent it. This could involve re-engagement campaigns, targeted outreach, or content adjustments.

Resource Allocation - Allocate resources, such as time and budget, based on data-driven priorities. Focus on initiatives that are likely to have the most significant impact on community growth and engagement.

Transparency and Communication - Keep community members informed about how data is used and the benefits it brings. Maintain transparent communication to build trust within the community.

Why is data-led decision-making crucial?

Data-led community management allows you to:

  • Identify pain points and pinpoint the areas where members struggle or disengage.
  • Personalize onboarding and tailor the onboarding experience to individual needs.
  • Predict churn to anticipate and address issues that lead to member churn.
  • Optimize resource allocation in order to maximize community growth.

Pramod highlights the dual benefit of data-led decisions in onboarding, retention, & churn can make your community a business outcome to grow both your business and your community. 

Let’s look at all three strategies with examples of issues at each level that can be solved with real case studies

Data-Led Approach to Onboarding

The initial onboarding experience can make or break a member's journey. Great onboarding has the potential to activate over 85% of new members. However, the stark reality is that this engagement drops to a mere 15% in the second week. How can you improve it? 

  • Set your goals and relate them with your community members
  • Initiate activities to keep your members engaged
  • Establish structured guidance to navigate the community members  

Data-driven onboarding addresses these issues by offering personalized, milestone-based guidance, ensuring members feel empowered and informed from day one.

Data-Led Approach to Retention

Retention is the lifeblood of any thriving community. Shockingly, only 9% of members are retained by the 6th week, with larger communities facing an even more dismal 3% retention rate. On average, members stay active for a mere 42 days. This highlights the urgency of adopting a data-led approach to retention.

Using data to boost member retention:

  • Segmentation: Use data to segment members based on engagement patterns.
  • Personalization: Deliver content and experiences tailored to each member's preferences.
  • Feedback Loops: Continuously collect feedback to refine community offerings.
  • Content Strategy: Analyze data to create compelling, relevant content that keeps members engaged.

Data-Led Approach to Churn

Churn, the silent enemy of community builders, claims 8.8% of members every month. The question is, are you actively monitoring the signals for churn?

A data-led approach to churn management involves:

  • Predictive Analytics - Implement predictive analytics to forecast future trends and potential issues. For example, predicting member churn or identifying opportunities for growth based on historical data.
  • Feedback Analysis - Establish a feedback mechanism that allows members to provide input and suggestions. Analyze this feedback to improve community features, content, and overall user experience.
  • Iterative Improvement - Continuously refine and optimize community strategies based on data insights of your community. This may involve tweaking onboarding processes, content strategies, engagement initiatives, and more.

Data-Driven Content Strategy:

Data-driven content strategy is an approach that empowers community managers to create and curate content based on insights derived from data. This strategy ensures that the content produced resonates with community members, thus increasing engagement and value. Here's a breakdown of how community managers can use data to inform their content strategy:

Audience Analysis: The first step in a data-driven content strategy is understanding your community members. Data analysis can help identify the demographics, interests, and behaviors of your audience. For instance, you can use data to determine the age, location, and preferences of your community members.

Content Performance: Community managers can analyze the performance of past content to understand what types of content resonate with the audience. Data can reveal which posts received the most likes, comments, and shares, indicating the topics and formats that are popular.

Keyword Research: Utilizing data from keyword research tools can help identify trending and relevant topics within your community's niche. This can guide content creation to address topics that are currently in demand.

Content Format Optimization: Data can show which content formats (e.g., text, images, videos) perform best within the community. Community managers can then prioritize the creation of content in the preferred format.

Competitive Analysis: Data can be used to analyze the content strategies of competitors or similar communities. Identifying successful strategies in similar niches can provide inspiration for your own content strategy.

By integrating these data-driven insights into your content strategy, community managers can create content that is more likely to resonate with members, leading to increased engagement, discussions, and a sense of community.

The Future of Data-Driven Community Management:

Data-driven community management is evolving rapidly, and the future promises exciting trends and innovations. Here's a look at what the future might hold for data-driven community management:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning: AI-powered tools are expected to play a more significant role in data analysis. AI can automate the analysis of large datasets, identify patterns, and provide actionable insights. Machine learning can personalize content recommendations for community members, further enhancing engagement.
  • Predictive Analytics: Community managers will increasingly rely on predictive analytics to forecast member behavior. By analyzing historical data, predictive analytics can help in anticipating trends and potential issues, enabling proactive management.
  • Real-time Data Analysis: The future will see a shift towards real-time data analysis. Community managers will have access to immediate insights, allowing for quicker responses to emerging trends and member needs.
  • Data Privacy and Ethical Considerations: With the growing focus on data privacy, future community management will emphasize ethical data collection and usage. Community managers will need to ensure transparency, consent, and protection of member data.
  • Content Personalization: Data-driven personalization will become even more sophisticated. Content will be tailored not only based on past behavior but also on real-time actions and preferences, creating a more individualized experience for each member.
  • Community AI Assistants: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants will become integral to community management. They can provide instant responses to member queries, assist with onboarding, and offer content recommendations.
  • Enhanced Feedback Mechanisms: Advanced feedback mechanisms will allow members to provide detailed insights and suggestions, contributing to continuous community improvement.
  • Community Health Dashboards: Community managers will have access to comprehensive dashboards that provide an overview of community health, including engagement metrics, sentiment analysis, and member feedback.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): AR and VR technologies will enable immersive community experiences, allowing members to interact in virtual spaces, attend events, and collaborate in unique ways.

As data-driven community management evolves, it will be essential for community managers to stay informed about emerging technologies and best practices to adapt and thrive in the ever-changing landscape of community building. The future promises more sophisticated and member-centric communities where data is at the heart of decision-making and growth.


A data-led approach is not just a trend; it's the future of community building. It empowers community managers with the insights needed to transform onboarding, supercharge retention, and combat churn effectively. Remember, in the world of community building, data isn't just numbers; it's the key to unlocking lasting success.

About LikeMinds

Likeminds elevates businesses in unlocking the true potential of their users through their in-app community and social network. Using LikeMinds, businesses achieve higher conversion and retention, by building custom community experiences in their existing platform unlocking community-led growth.

With LikeMinds, businesses get an easy-to-implement and highly scalable infrastructure with a fully customizable UI. All of this with a customization time of 3 days and a deployment time of 15 minutes.

Our Chat and Feed infra have pre-built widgets such as image carousels, PDF slides, short videos, polls, quizzes, events, forms, and more for user engagement and retention along with moderation capabilities to ensure frictionless community operations.