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?
Learning Management Systems (LMS) are making analytics more accessible than ever before. Your 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.
Addressing the Challenges of Analytics in L&D
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, as 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
- employee 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 over the long term.
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' performance, 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 into other factors such as employee satisfaction and engagement.