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ATD Blog

Leveraging Data and Technology for Better L&D Outcomes

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Technological benefits for business are talked about constantly, and the conversation reached the ears of L&D years ago. But as the speed of business ramps up, so do the expectations placed on the training function. It seems that the conversation around the role of technology—and data—in L&D can no longer be ignored.

But while there is a lot of hype around the concept of data and technology in relation to learning, recommendations on the specifics are sorely lacking. What data should L&D collect? And what technology should they use to do so?

Training Intake Data

Putting a formal and consistent training intake process in place provides your training team with tons of useful data and insights. This applies to day-to-day workload and overall strategic planning.

By standardizing your training intake forms and funneling them through one central location, business partners know that their training requests are seen. Meanwhile, you can start gathering data from the standardized process to understand where training requests are coming from in the business and the demand for training overall. Plus, your L&D team members will know that nothing is slipping through the cracks, and it’s far less likely that accidental duplicate projects will occur.

Learning Measurement Data

Most L&D departments have implemented some form of learning measurement, even if it’s as simple as smile sheets for learners at the end of a course. Going slightly further with more in-depth learner surveys and metrics gathered through your LMS can tell you a lot about engagement rates and the design elements and content that really resonate with your learners.


But there’s a reason that learning measurement is a core L&D trend at the moment. Learning and development needs go beyond learner satisfaction and deeper into metrics such as behavior changes, performance improvements, and bottom-line business results to demonstrate its strategic impact to stakeholders.

L&D Operational Data
Business partners may come to your department with requests for training that will improve the productivity or efficiency of their team. But does your L&D team pay the same attention to its internal operations?

From training intake and project planning through to the resource management and capacity planning of your department, learning operations data is the key that L&D needs to unlock faster training creation, increased budget and resources, and better strategic alignment with the business.


Leveraging Integrations and Creating an Ecosystem

Once you’ve identified what data your team needs, the natural next step is to figure out how it should be captured. You also need the ability to use the data and create actionable insights.

Effective training departments use purpose-built L&D technology to capture and leverage learning operations data. In addition, you need partnership from the rest of the business when it comes to data on the business performance impact of learning interventions. In those instances, integrations are your best friend. With technology capable of integrating across L&D tools and the rest of the business, you can create a data ecosystem that enables your training team to gain the insights they need.

Next Steps

Before diving into an overhaul of your learning measurement and analytics, it’s critical to take a step back and understand what insights you need. What do you not know about your department or its impact on the business, and what data could help you get there? Once you have those questions answered, the journey to better learning measurement can truly begin.

About the Author

Lauren Farrell is content marketing manager at Synapse. She regularly writes about industry trends in L&D and how leaders in the industry can optimize their learning operations for increased efficiency.

1 Comment
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Hi Lauren, great article. I loved what you said around before diving into an overhaul of learning measurement and analytics, it’s critical to take a step back and understand what insights you need. I am curious about your thoughts on the use of Big Data in improving the L&D outcomes.
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