Learning Analytics as a Service
I’ve been working in Learning & Development for over 16 years and more than half that time (mainly the second half), I’ve done a lot of work in Learning Analytics: Designing and building learning dashboards, align program design with analytics needs, setting up learning analytics teams and trained many L&D professionals in learning analytics.
During all these years I have seen so many of us struggling with the same challenges:
- A lot of effort spend is on reporting as most reports are being build in excel (and often the visuals were copied over to PowerPoint) by many different people.
- Excel is great to get started and extremely flexible, but very time consuming and more often than not resulting in people and teams using their own definitions, calculations and data filters creating many inconsistencies in the reports
- Many reports are created “bottom up” meaning they are typically focused on a specific program, country or department. Not only does this add up to the effort mentioned earlier, but this also make it very difficult (if not impossible) to get a holistic overview across programs, countries and departments. It also makes it really difficult to join up numbers and compare results.
- Just imagine each team or even individuals having their own excel based reports they create, and then refreshed every week or month and share them with their stakeholders. Now imagine being one of these stakeholders receiving many different reports each month from different people on different aspects of L&D.
- Finally, it’s actually quite challenging to design and develop meaningful metrics and KPI’s that enable you to tell the right L&D stories to your business leaders and managers
All of the above challenges brought L&D to a place where most energy and time is spent on collecting data, creating and distributing reports and not to mention keep explaining to stakeholders why differences exist, rather than on activities that really matter like interpreting the data, use the data for decision-making and storytelling!
When I started SLT Consulting a few years back, I always wanted to help L&D organizations to overcome the challenges related with learning analytics. Challenges related to moving from de-centralized and highly manual reporting and dashboarding activities to a standardized single central dashboard that requires zero manual effort to create and update, takes a top down approach by including all the learning data and apply consistent definitions and calculations creating a single ‘version of truth’, that can be accessed anywhere, anytime by all relevant people directly and in a way where everybody sees the data they are allowed to see and last but not least includes key metrics on learning that are widely used in the best corporate learning organizations in the world.
A central place to go for all learning data and insights that would not only save a lot of time, but also enables L&D organizations to focus on what really matters. Not creating and maintaining dozens of excel reports, but to analyze and interpret the data and insights to take actions to correct or improve; to use data and insights to have meaningful conversations with HR and Business leaders.
Learning Analytics as a Service
To that extend we’ve been working with our partners on designing and building a service that allows L&D teams to do just that: prevent the effort spend on extracting data, create reports and distribute them. We’ve brought all our knowledge, skills and experiences together to create a single dashboard that provides the most useful and common data points and insights on L&D for both managers and L&D itself.
With MyLearningSights, SLT can offer this dashboard as service to L&D teams that do not have either the time, skills, tools, capacity or knowledge to build a solid learning dashboard themselves. All you need is to provide SLT with your (anonymized) learning data, and we will take care of the rest. SLT will bring your data into a model, will structure and clean (where possible) the data and push it to one of the best data visualization tools in the current market (Microsoft Power BI). SLT has ‘translated’ standards for data visualization and metrics tracking from the domain of finance to create present the data in such a way that you can immediately see of you are on the right track or not.
The dashboard offers key metrics on your population, finances, compliance and portfolio (naturally all depending on the data available in your LMS, HR and financial systems):
Population: How many employees are you servicing? how many of them are actively engaged? How much learning hours are they consuming and is that what you expect? What are the most popular topics or skills? Are the most popular topics the right ones?
Finances: What are the investments in learning programs? How are investments distributed over topics? How are investments in personal development distributed over job families?
Compliance: What % of mandatory training is completed? What % of mandatory training is past due?
Portfolio: How many programs are available? How are they used and how are they rated? Who is the most popular training provider? Is the balance of training modality (elearning, virtual, video, documents etc) the right one?
In MyLearningInsights special attention is given to skills. If you are capturing skills data in your LMS or LxP and, even better, proficiency levels, you will get an instant view of what skills are most in demand, and at what proficiency level. This will allow you to immediately see if people in the organization are developing the right skills at the right level. Again you can filter on many different datapoints like location, organization and job profiles, depending on what data is available
We do not stop there.
One of the biggest challenges in working with data and analytics is the ability to create useful and actionable insights from the numbers and trends. The art of data interpretation and storytelling using data takes a while to master. So we will help you. Part of our service is that we do not just share the data with you, but also share key observations and narratives. If your mandatory learning completions go down, can the data explains us why? If a specific regions is behind in learning hours, can we explain why?
If you are interested in learning more about My Learning Insights, please do not hesitate to reach out to us via firstname.lastname@example.org, or register your interest at our website.