Find Data Intimidating? How to Pull the Best Data from Your LMS
Ever wish you had an ‘Easy Button’ to tell you what data to pay attention to? What stories the data is telling you? And, most of all, how to make an actionable plan to improve your program using that data?
Well, you are not alone...
With the tips in this article, you’ll soon be using data like a pro. The best part—you don’t need to be a numbers person to get started.
Kevin M. Yates, the L&D Detective, and overall L&D measurement expert encourages all organizations to start with the end in mind before moving onto the question of how to measure it.
For third-party training providers, Yates suggests starting with these questions:
- What’s the intentional goal for this product?
- What would measurement in this context look like?
- What business goals do I want to meet?
No matter how much money you pumped into your LMS, you’ll never see the results you want unless you answer those questions first.
“Data mining should be intentional,” says Yates, "Working without intention is like walking in the dark without a flashlight. Just as a flashlight gives direction in the dark, so too does defining your purpose upfront. Purpose and intention is the guiding light."
If you’ve already aligned your L&D outcomes with your business needs, then you’re most of the way through the data puzzle. Here are a few suggestions on how your LMS can help you solve the rest of it.
Use Analytics to Drive Change
Decisions around measurement should ideally begin at the design stage when you decide what results you’ll be measuring. (Don’t worry, you can always find a data story at the end. It’s just easier if you add it to your design phase. You’ll do that next time, right?)
All analytics need to help people make decisions. For training companies, this data could help inform new product design or training courses.
Here are the types of data stories you can pull from your LMS to help you improve your program.
- Who is consuming your learning? How frequently? Do they need new content or more engaging content to increase usage?
- What types of learning do your clients consume most often? Can you sell more content like it? Or, could you repurpose successful content for a new audience?
- Can you analyze the client’s previous courses to suggest new courses? Can your learning technology automatically make new course recommendations?
- Where do your learners “drop out”? Can you make the learning more engaging around those points? Do they need a badge or a reward to keep them motivated?
- What modalities of learning drive learner engagement (video, games, podcasts, ebooks)? Do different audiences respond better or worse to different modalities?
Track Digital Adoption and Improve Overall Product
The amount of the overall training budget used for outsourcing dropped by 6% in 2019, according to Training Magazine. If you’re not measuring the digital adoption rates of your product, then your training program might end up on the chopping block.
Usually, training companies can’t measure how much value learners receive from instructor-led training. Do learners immediately use their new skills or immediately forget them? Research on the forgetting curve suggests most learners forget what they learn a few weeks later.
Your learning management system can help.
Digital learning products provide invaluable data about your learner. You’ll know if they’ve mastered the material, if they access it frequently, or if they never use it again. You’ll be able to share this data with your customers. And, even better, you’ll have the information you need to improve your program.
What data can you extract from your LMS to measure the adoption rate of your product and inform future product design?
- Measure the amount of time spent on the platform, as well as the frequency of log-ins to highlight adoption.
- Percentage of learners using different parts of the product. Are some more popular than others?
- The number of learners receiving the correct or incorrect answer (questions could be re-written if too many learners fail them).
- Design a feedback loop to help pinpoint what types of activities engage learners.
- Pinpoint drop-out locations in a given course.
Your data journey doesn’t begin with numbers. It begins by answering the tough questions.
“We’re missing opportunities to measure by not having an intention,” says Yates, “When I work with organizations, I ask, “What am I measuring?” and I’m often met with silence.”
Once you answer that question, “What am I measuring?”, you’ll be able to look at your analytics page confidently. You’ll know what you’re looking for. You’ll know the story you want to tell with the data you collected.
How do you use data analytics to improve your training or digital products? Where are you on your data journey? Download our on-demand webinar to learn 5 storytelling secrets you can use today to power your business forward by making data-informed decisions.