How to get more from your Learning Analytics Data
April 15, 2021
Training is Only Part of the Solution
While training is often designed as a way to solve a problem (often through teaching learners a new skill or changing their behavior in order to better align with the needs of the business), many businesses don’t typically spend much time determining if that expected result actually occurred. This can lead to a scenario where a team has implemented training and yet the effectiveness of their workforce may actually be worse than before. This is where properly implemented Learning Analytics can provide a powerful advantage to your company.
How can Learning Analytics Help?
The point of Learning Analytics is threefold: Analyze Patterns, Predict Future Trends, and Drive changes in Behavior. These are also sometimes known as Descriptive, Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics. When companies are able to receive high quality data from their learning analytics, they will better understand the impacts that their training has on learners, which in turn allows them to be make the changes they need to their processes.
Learning analytics can help you measure the business impact of training and greatly improve the speed and quality of decision-making because it highlights the areas where outcomes aren’t occurring as expected, while allowing you to identify inefficiencies and correct them before they become more of a serious problem.
Get more from your Data
Each team is different and some metrics that are of critical importance to one team may be useless for another. Below are some general areas that are important to examine when designing your training to be able to ensure you include the right data points for your team’s needs.
- Perform a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) to determine which data is the most important to collect in order to help improve your training and your outcomes
- Identify what the desired gain for the business is from learners taking your training
- Look for patterns in data to determine where problem/success areas are linked to
- Watch your learners’ reactions to determine if the training is effective
- Review the results of the training and discuss the best ways to resolve any issues that might have arisen. This phase may repeat several times before your team is happy with the results
You may encounter some challenges as you design your training, such as how to collect and analyze the most appropriate data and determine what changes to make. However, the most challenging area you will likely encounter stems the team itself.
People may not be fully open about what they’re doing, and they may defend unwanted behaviors or even be unwilling to change for the greater good. Finding a way to navigate through these challenges and help the team improve is the mark of a good leader. Below are some of the more common challenges you may encounter as you review and analyze the data.
Quality vs Quantity of data
Some companies may think that more is better, especially when it comes to data. They often have spreadsheets, charts, and infographics covering a myriad of data points where everything is designated as important. This can sometimes cause more harm than good because when everything is important, nothing is important.
While having a large quantity of relevant data to analyze as a starting point is useful, taking that data and refining it through the lens of understanding the goals and outcomes of the training is critical in discovering the most important metrics for your company and team. From there, you can use those metrics to help determine if your team is meeting their desired outcomes.
Siloing of data/processes
Whether an employee is operating on their own without sharing their process with the team, or a team isn’t sharing their data/processes with the company, this is known as siloing and it reduces the quality of analytics data. These silos become counter-productive because you’re making decisions that could have large-scale impacts on the organization based on low quality data.
Encourage your team to share by praising the importance of open communication and the positive impact it can have on the entire company. Use the data to show the benefits that collaboration across teams can have in meeting company goals. Remind them that every team member is an important part of the process.
Unwillingness to change
Some team members may see the data (and may even agree with the findings), but they still want to keep things the way they are because it’s familiar and they don’t want to deal with change management. They may argue that doing things their way is more efficient than having to re-train everyone on a new method.
While that may be true in the short term, sometimes it’s more important to make short term sacrifices for greater improvement in the long term. It’s important to have conversations with your team to understand their concerns around the areas that need improvement and how best to solve for them with the bigger picture in mind.
Defending unwanted behaviors
It isn’t uncommon for data to point to particular behaviors as a big reason why the team is not reaching the expected outcome. It’s important for people not take this personally, but instead to see the benefits from identifying the issues and resolving them.
If team members get caught in a blame game or become defensive about what is being presented through the data, this is can undermine the change you’re wanting to create before it even begins. Instead, we suggest turning it into a teachable moment where the entire team can grow from it, which will then hopefully be reflected in the data in the future.
Positive Results™ is a training development and cloud solutions company that analyzes the business process of organizations and implements training and tools to solve for any gaps we find.
We utilize Learning Analytics to help companies get the most out of their training, and believe that properly analyzing high quality data can help identify and resolve many challenges facing teams. Even though change can be daunting, when the issue is made visible and understandable, it is much easier to resolve.
If you have additional questions or need support, contact us at:
Positive Results™ Custom Business Solutions