How To Avoid These 5 LMS Reporting Mistakes
Reporting is a vital task in any business, and it’s important to make sure you do it correctly! Incorrect reports are not only a massive time waster, but they can also give you inaccurate figures, which are not what you want to be basing your important business decisions on.
You also want to make sure your reports are clear and easy to understand so that the people reading them can see exactly what they need to see without wading through lots of extraneous data.
We’ve got some tips for you on how you can avoid these 5 common LMS reporting mistakes so that you produce amazing reports every time.
1. Not Reporting Regularly
One really easy mistake you can make when it comes to reporting is not reporting regularly enough! It may not be your favorite task in the world, and sometimes it can feel like it takes forever to get it done correctly, but it’s important to think about how often you really need to be doing your reports.
Think about it—if you only compile your reports every 6 months or so, that means it could be 6 months before you notice there is something going really wrong! You’re not giving yourself enough time to catch problems before they turn into massive issues. However, if you did your reports every month, any issues which crop up could be noticed fairly quickly, giving you plenty of time to fix them before they start to escalate.
Also, if your reporting is quite spaced out, it means you’re not providing yourself with the most up-to-date data to work with when it comes to making business decisions or measuring your training offering. If you’re trying to make plans for the future of your business, and you’re working with data that is 5 months old, how can you be expected to come up with accurate predictions for your business? So many things could have changed in the time since you last compiled a report that the data you are working on is probably completely useless!
Report as regularly as you can, and then you will always have the most up-to-date picture of your business as possible, so you can hopefully get ahead of any problems which may crop up.
2. Assuming What Data You Need
With LMS reporting, there can be this urge to report on everything, but you really need to ask yourself whether that’s worth your time or not. Think about the reason you are creating these reports in the first place. Do you want to see how a class is performing? Do you want a snapshot of your finances from a specific area of your business? Do you want to see how many hours your staff are working each month?
You need to think about the question you are trying to answer when you are creating a report, and then think about the specific data that will answer this question. This will let you know what you need to focus on when creating your report, so you don’t include lots of extra data just for the sake of it.
Also, if the report is for a bigger audience than just you, ask the rest of your audience what vital data they need to see as well. Different departments may have different needs, so you may not think about including something which is very important to someone else in your business.
3. Not Splitting Your Reports
As we said above, trying to cram every piece of information into one report may seem like a good idea at the time, but when it comes to analyzing the data, you’ve basically just created a big, unusable document that no one will make the time to look through!
However, if you still feel there are lots of points you need to report on, why not split them out into lots of individual reports? As we said above, what question are you trying to answer with your report? Try and keep each report to one question so as not to overcomplicate things.
This means people who are interested in one point know exactly which report they need to look at, but all the information has still been reported if you need it for future reference.
4. Not Having All The Data You Need
The other end of the scale of reporting on too much is not reporting on enough! One common reason for not having all the data you need in your reports is that your data is stored in several different places, and therefore not easy for you to access and pull into one place.
One way around this could be to use a Training Management System with a built-in training reporting system. This would allow you to store all your company data in one system, and then, when the time comes to report on it, the built-in reporting system can simply pull all the data from all across your business, and quickly compile it into exactly the report you need.
If vital data from all across your business is stored in different documents, spreadsheets, online documents, and individual computers, you’re never going to be able to find all the data you need when you need it. Having one central storage system is a much better way to guarantee that you’re always including everything you need to report on.
5. Wasting Time And Effort
The last major mistake you could be making is still compiling your reports manually. Think about it—every time you compile a report, chances are you’re hitting the same data points, you’re just updating the actual facts and figures with the most up-to-date information. But once you’ve decided what should be included in a report, you could be saving so much time and effort by automating your report creation.
As we mentioned above, a Training Management System with a reporting system included could be the answer to all your reporting problems! To create your report, all you need to do is decide on the data you want to be included, and how you would like it to be displayed. Then, your report will automatically be generated from the most up-to-date data within your Training Management System. This means every time you open the report, it will display the updated data to you, without you having to reenter any data, or redo any calculations.
So, instead of having to recreate the report from scratch every time you need it updated, all you need to do is open it, or send it to the other people who need to see it, and you will be working from the most up-to-date data you have. You should also be able to download copies of the report to keep them for reference if you need to refer back to older version of the report in the future.