The Importance Of Learner Analysis And How To Measure It: The L&D Perspective

The Importance Of Learner Analysis And How To Measure It—The L&D Perspective
Summary: As L&D's, what is it that you really focus on if not understanding your learner's motivation to access and enroll themselves in training and proceeding to complete it? If you haven't guessed it yet, let me make this simpler; learner analysis and behavioral deciphering are what you focus on!

How Can You Really Measure The Importance Of Learner Analysis?

As an L&D, corporate trainer, or HR, what is it that your focus should really be on? Is focusing on the profitability of your organization a primary task? In this case, profits are definitely important, but it is secondary since your job is to ensure human capital development, and that leads to profits.

Which brings us to the question — what primarily aids human capital development?

It is through your ability to understand learners’ behavior patterns and fine-tuning the training approach that you can develop your organization’s human capital.

Why Is Learner Analysis Important?

As L&D professionals, it is time to take a scientific approach towards training as compared to ad hoc training practices that do not yield positive results. After all, isn’t that what an L&D team really has to do? To understand the underlying habits of learners and fine tune it? How else can you scientifically understand what your learners like and fine tune—if it isn’t for learner analysis and behavioral studies?

Learner analysis at an organization-wide level is important, and collecting the data to perform the analysis is what aids in the development of human capital.

These are some of the most fundamental things an L&D has to focus on, and the answers needed to solve organization-wide questions will arise from here.

In the field of learner behavior analysis, people have gone as far as to understand what time of the day most of their employees access the LMS! Is it in the mornings? Is it in the afternoons? Do they even access it at all? Knowing the answers to such questions helps in developing a scientific approach to training. It isn’t ad hoc anymore, and the data used is true and reliable, allowing you to approach the problem with the maximum probability of success. Isn’t that better than shooting in the dark?

2019 should be about the year of scientific approaches, and as L&D professionals whose primary focus is to ensure employee development, understanding your learners is very important. Bringing us to the next part of the problem—how do you collect the needed data?

Collecting this information, using traditional practices, requires excessive efforts and dedication. Especially, when the same can be achieved in a much simpler way with less time and efforts involved, leaving the L&D team with more time and ability to devise solutions.

Luckily, the eLearning space has always strived to push forward the boundaries of progression. As L&D professionals, there are numerous tools at your disposal. From Learning Management Systems with an xAPI to intelligent tutoring systems with the eye-tracking feature, there is a myriad of tools available.

In most cases (90%), the information needed is simple. An LMS with xAPI or eye-tracking is not even needed. At such a basic level, even a modern LMS can solve most of your L&D woes, as long as it has the ability to track and recover the information you need. And what information do you really need? Again, in most cases, it is as simple as:

  • Completion rates of courses and which ones they are.
  • Who the most pro-active learners in your organization are.
  • What your learners want to learn.
  • Why they want to learn it.
  • Where they are facing difficulties.
  • What their strengths and weaknesses are.
  • Who the best fit is for a certain task.

With access to such information and the ability to automate training, your ability to reach out and engage with learners increases. Shooting in the dark becomes a thing of the past. Decisions are informed and well planned—they are based on reliable data. Your training starts witnessing increased success and learners are motivated to train as well.

Furthermore, these tools are only being improved with time to aid your function of being an L&D professional, a corporate trainer, or someone with the responsibility of improving human capital development, whatever your role is.

However, some L&D professionals still do not acknowledge the importance of learner analysis. In a time where consumer purchase decisions and presidential elections are won based on analysis and fine-tuning of the human psyche using data, learner analysis is important. Think of Learning and Development as an investment towards improving human resource, and you are in charge of it.

Collecting information on the internal customers of an organization is as important as collecting information about your customers.

The L&D process is not as straightforward as some of the other organization-wide functions like sales, operations, finance, HR, and so on. The L&D function has to be performed with absolute precision, understanding, and reason.

When you talk about the L&D department, you are literally talking about an investment made by an organization towards developing their most vital resource—human resource. And the agents entrusted with fulfilling this are you.