Analytics have taken over the business world. Business intelligence and predictive analytics are helping businesses make better decisions and stay competitive. As of 2017, more than half of U.S. companies were using big data.
Analytics aren't limited to workflows with quantitative impacts anymore. Businesses are focusing on implementing analytics in areas such as sales, marketing, production and quality, but recent innovations are making analytics a viable approach in entirely qualitative areas like training, learning and development as well.
Who Can Benefit from Learning Analytics?
Organizations of any size can benefit from leveraging learning analytics. You get visibility over the quality and outcome of training programs in the short and long term.
Learning Management Systems (LMS) are making analytics more accessible than ever before. Your Learning and Development (L&D) team can leverage these tools and gain valuable insights into your training programs even if you don't have an analytics specialist onboard. Visualization tools and customizable dashboards will help you access the insights you need and present them in an accessible way.
You can benefit from an analytics solution regardless of the size of your organization and training program. Each individual learner will benefit from these tools since data can be used to deliver a more customized learning experience, and instructors can use data to improve their material and the way they present information.
Your business will derive value from analytics by leveraging this data to improve training and development programs, and the data will also help your organization keep track of the strengths and weaknesses of each employee.
Addressing the Challenges of Analytics in L&D
Did you know that even though 85 percent of companies try to use data to make decisions, only 37 percent say they are successful? Don’t be that 37 percent. Anticipate the challenges your organization would face when trying to implement best practices in leveraging analytics.
These four strategies will help you build a solid plan to leverage analytics and improve L&D in a consistent manner:
1. Don't Let Big Data Get Too Big
Building a data warehouse with as many data sets as possible represents a significant investment of IT resources. Assess the scope of data that will be beneficial to L&D instead.
Data that is directly linked to training programs such as quiz results should be tracked and so should data that gives you insights into the outcome of the training, such as productivity, quality or customer satisfaction. Remember that complex data sets don't necessarily give you better insights.
2. Identify the Most Relevant L&D Metrics
Customize your LMS dashboard to keep track of the most relevant L&D metrics. Here are a few examples of metrics you can track:
- Study time and time to completion
- Volume and delivery time for training material
- Employees' satisfaction with the training program
- Knowledge and skill levels
- Engagement levels
These metrics need to be tailored to the objectives of your training programs and should be tracked in the long run.
3. Ask Yourself How Analytics Benefit Learners
Think of analytics as a tool your HR or L&D team can leverage to deliver a better experience for learners. Data can be used to identify an employee's learning style, strengths, weaknesses, and interests. This information can then be used to deliver customized learning material. You can also leverage data to assess the talents of a team or individual and identify career paths.
4. Evaluate Your Training Programs
There are benefits to assessing employees' performances, but keep in mind that the real value of analytics lies in the ability to assess your training programs.
You can evaluate a training program by setting some clear objectives that you can measure and track. By having a baseline for performance, you can compare how employees progress as they complete the different stages of the training program.
Schedule regular reviews of the data and use these insights to make decisions regarding your training program. Some organizations choose to focus on ROI to assess the impact of their training program, but analytics gives you a lot more visibility over other factors such as employee satisfaction and engagement.
Learning analytics is achievable and actionable if you have a plan and use an LMS and analytics reporting solution adapted to your needs. Contact us to find out more about different solutions such as Moodle, Totara Learn or Zoola Analytics.