5 Learning Analytics Truths That L&D Managers Shouldn’t Take Lightly In Training Evaluation
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Evaluating The Impact Of Training Is Important For L&D Managers

Learning analytics has become an increasingly popular topic in Learning and Development (L&D) and it’s not surprising if you consider the potential impact a successful employee training program can have on a business. Providing employees with Learning and Development opportunities improves their skills, boosts productivity, increases employee retention, and often leads to a significant rise in profits.

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However, not all training programs are alike. In fact, millions of dollars are wasted on ineffective training every year [1]. This is one of the many reasons why training evaluation is such an essential component of corporate learning. You cannot understand the business impact of your online learning programs without learning analytics [2].

The most popular method used for training evaluation is the Kirkpatrick model which has 4 levels of measurement. This method requires that you measure the employee's reactions to the program, how much knowledge they are retaining, how much of that knowledge is applied on the job, and of course, the impact of the training on the business. Learning analytics can help you effectively measure each level of evaluation and provide actionable data that can be used to improve employee training.

To help you better understand learning analytics we have shared a list of 5 truths every L&D manager should know about.

1. How Learning Analytics Works

There are many misconceptions when it comes to how learning analytics works. By definition, learning analytics is the measurement, collection analysis, and reporting of data about learners and their contexts. Its purpose is to assist organizations in better understanding and optimizing learning experiences and environments.

There are two components of analytics you should know about. Data is the information that analytics tracks and records. Analysis is the process that adds intelligence to data using algorithms.

The information that is collected is often thought of as Big Data, but the truth is that it is a very small amount of information in comparison to Big Data collection. Much of the information that is collected by learning analytics is what takes place during an online training program.

The next step is the analysis process where machine learning techniques or algorithms find patterns and data points that provide actionable insights. These data points are often compiled into analytics reports. These reports break down some of the most important highlights and patterns. For example, some analytics reports on clusters of learners who are either high or low performers and gives you further insights into what they have in common.

These insights are what L&D professionals can use to improve learning experiences for employees.

2. Making Data-Driven Decisions Will Improve The Effectiveness Of Training On A Large Scale

The goal of any training program at its core is to improve employee performance. Using data to drive decisions will help ensure the best results. Analyzing learner data provides L&D professionals with actionable insights that will make training more engaging and efficient.

Learning analytics is a learning technology that can automate the data collection process, making the collection of data faster and the analysis process simpler. Being able to track how employees respond to training materials will also help identify and resolve issues more quickly.

For example, an analytics report may show that there is a piece of content that employees are engaging with more than others. These findings can then be used to find ways to increase engagement for other videos within the program.

3. Learning Analytics Benefits Both Your Organization And Employees

Optimizing your training programs is a win-win for everyone. High-quality training improves productivity and employee retention and increases profits, making them well worth the investment for your organization. Quality training programs can even help your organization attract new talent and improve retention rates. Providing positive learning experiences for employees helps build a more positive brand image and company culture.

Analytics improves the quality of training which engages employees while helping learn new skills and abilities. This increases job satisfaction while at the same time helping them achieve their career development goals. Most employees today are looking for opportunities. 94% of employees would stay with a company for longer if they invested in their Learning and Development [3].

4. The Metrics You Track Should Align With Your Business Objectives

Data collection and analysis provides no value unless you act upon your findings. The actions you take should also be aligned with your business objectives. If you make data-informed decisions but they are not directly related to the changes your organization is trying to make, then they are not likely to help you achieve them either.

Learning analytics is becoming more advanced and organizations can now track all kinds of learner data but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it's all useful. This is why it is important to focus on tracking the data that is most relevant to attaining your organization's goals. For example, if you are looking to increase engagement, taking a closer look at which training materials are viewed the most may give you insights into the kinds of content that will help you reach that goal.

5. How Analytics Contributes To Creating Personalized Learning Experiences

The data that learning analytics collects can be used to predict learner patterns and preferences. This is immensely useful when it comes to developing personalized learning paths. This way L&D managers can better understand where the employee is in the learning process and provide additional assistance when needed.

This is particularly useful when training diverse groups of employees. In today’s global workforce many employees may speak different languages, have different skill levels, or work in different locations around the world. Personalization can help L&D professionals deliver training in a way that is most useful for each individual learner.

Conclusion

Providing learning opportunities has become essential in today’s competitive market. Learning analytics is the tool your organization can use to ensure that their training programs are effectively teaching employees the knowledge and skills they need to reach their full potential. It can be used for the purposes of better understanding the employee learning experience and how to make it better.

To learn more about the benefits of learning analytics, read the eBook The Power of Learning Analytics Measuring L&D Outcomes For Business Performance. If you're curious about how to use learning analytics for remote workforce engagement, join the webinar, too!

References:

[1] 10 Statistics on Corporate Training and What They Mean for Your Company’s Future

[2] Business Impact of Learning Analytics Infographic

[3] LinkedIn: 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer for this reason—and it’s not a raise

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