When it comes to L&D’s priorities for enhancing the digital learning experience, analytics come fourth behind better formal asynchronous learning delivery, better learning in the flow of work and better synchronous learning delivery.
Learning teams are focused on delivery, which might not be surprising. But it is a problem. Analytics provide the one thing that can help learning delivery – insights. Without insights on how employees consume resources, where and why, how can the L&D team be sure it is delivering what’s required?
Data collected from employees’ learning activities enables learning teams to provide a more tailored, personalized learning experience based on a range of factors such as location, job role, and development pathway.
And at a more granular level like responses to questions, algorithms learn from an employee’s learning activity which means the personalized targeting of resources can improve over time. Data generated from spaced repetition and nudging activities powers the adaptive learning approach. As the technology learns what employees know, what they don’t know and how confident they are in their knowledge of a topic it delivers further questions and provides resources dependent on their response.
As well as helping shape the learning experience, the data generated by employees also reveals the proficiency of the workforce as well as the efficacy of the content. Without this level of insight, learning teams are flying blind and potentially investing in resources that simply aren’t having the intended impact. But the potential to transform L&D does not stop there. The insights generated from this data have the power to transform learning and have a significant impact on the organization. By combining learning data with business data, such as sales results, organizations can reveal where learning has and has not had an impact.
This approach to data and learning analytics is a world apart from the analytics most learning teams have experienced over the last 20 years. Compliance learning data provided a singular view of learning – whether an employee had completed a piece of learning. And this was predicated on a standardized view of learning content. Learning teams have been happy to report on these metrics and, because compliance is business critical, the organization has been happy to play along with the standardized content/completion rate status quo.
But the world has moved on and the way we work has been turned on its head. Completion rates tell only a tiny part of the story of learning in organizations. Now data can help personalize the experience, provide feedback for the learner, their manager and the organization, act as a guide to new resources and adapt to the knowledge of the learner. And it can show the business impact of learning. So, what can learning teams do to seize the opportunity here? Let’s go back to L&D’s focus on delivery. If the priority is on delivery over data, then there is a danger that L&D is not delivering what the organization requires. Putting data ahead of, or even part of, delivery would change this. This is a mindset shift for learning teams. Rather than jumping to delivery, consider impact and outcomes and the data required to demonstrate them. For many, this area has become a burning platform. The 2021 Digital Learning Realities research shows that since the pandemic 46% of L&D teams say there is more pressure to show their value-add to stakeholders.
It’s time to make data a part of delivery!
For more information, download this paper to learn why organizations need data to demonstrate value to the business and feed insights back into learning at every stage.
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