Splunk provides operational intelligence software that monitors, reports, and analyzes real-time machine data. I joined Splunk as a content strategist and eLearning developer for their education department.
The Challenge
Splunk is a complex, mature product with a wide audience: some of its users are developers, some are IT professionals, and some are security engineers. They all need to pick up information quickly, and they don’t always have time to take an official Splunk certification course.
My task was to research, write, and edit educational content for our YouTube channel. I chose topics that were specific and focused enough for short content, useful for immediate use, and educational, exposing deeper understanding of how Splunk works.

Role
• Content Strategist
• Producer
• Scriptwriter
Process: Research, Curation, Focus
We wanted to create content that our users would find useful, so we collected as much information as we could directly from customers. We set up a Confluence document where sales and education teams added questions from users. This ensured that we would address relevant, timely, and useful topics.
Next, I dove into research mode. While Splunk's documentation is usually thorough, occasionally it could be a bit thin. If necessary, I met with a SME to get detailed insight into the subject. I also researched the chosen subject outside of Splunk, to find out how it was understood outside of our product.
Once i had a thorough understanding of the subject at hand, I narrowed my focus to find a use case that would address users' questions. Most of our viewers had a basic knowledge of the product, so I stuck to specific problems to be solved. For example, my first videos covered use of features like DB Connect and the Search Job Inspector.
Storytelling Saves the Day
Storytelling is the secret to education. There’s nothing like an engaging example to get you interested in learning, take you through a complex idea, and lead you to understanding. So, Splunk's education team used a fictional company and cast of characters to take learners through our tutorials: Buttercup Games. Though I was tempted to fill my scripts with puns and in-jokes about the company, their stories were there to help users understand Splunk more effectively. We used motion design and animation to visualize Splunk's processes, as well as illustrate the examples in our stories.
Results
Our detailed tutorials showed how Splunk's features solve specific problems for users, from sending events to Splunk via HTTP, to writing custom search commands for machine data monitoring. Thousands of users have taken advantage of them. Many have gone on to become paying attendees of Splunk's live and on-demand courses.
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