Every organization has its own set of goals, unique methodology, and a particular way of using their LMS to serve learners and provide training. Because of this, it’s important that you choose the right analytics when presenting your program to management. The data available to LMS users is expansive and highly-detailed, so the best analytics-based presentations always have a game-plan, that makes sure only the most persuasive and relevant data is used. For example, there’s little value in presenting data on the potential for course expansion, if your organization is focused on internal restructuring - no matter how impressive the numbers might be.
One way of ensuring that your analytics are representative is to ask yourself fundamental questions, like what would my perfect data look like? Envisioning your ideal data set will help you in building a mental picture of your overall analytics project. It may also optimize your data-gathering by focusing your efforts on the most valuable outcomes.
Another useful question is to ask who exactly you are presenting to. Knowing your audience helps make better business decisions, and greatly increases the chances of adoption when pitching analytics, as personal information allows you to select the appropriate data at the appropriate level of complexity. Does your audience contain individuals with high-level statistical understanding? Then supply them with analytics that will give them a deep insight into your LMS functionality. Is your audience unfamiliar with analytics in general? Then select the data that gives the best overall picture of your program.
Proving Your Learning Program Effectiveness
Once you’ve set your intentions in using analytics, their power in proving the effectiveness of your program becomes immediately evident. Of the many techniques used to encourage management buy-in, an analytics-based approach stands alone in its ability to provide clear and objective descriptions of performance and attainment.
A great way to exhibit your data is through visual presentations, which allow audiences to immediately recognize the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) related to your business. Dashboards, created by LMS learning analytics software, are fantastic for presenting real-time information on your programs, making you the authority on successes, trends, and problem areas. They help to show that you and your team are intimately aware of all aspects of your current activities.
Dashboard example using Zoola Analytics
Using a Dashboard Designer to create your analytics-based management pitches puts interactive, drilled-downed information directly on the table. From this, teams are able to increase the productivity and value of their conversations and strategy meetings, which translates into increased trust, confidence, and potential buy-in.
Dashboards also allow automated data reporting, which means that management can continue to access the latest data on successfully-pitched projects. Because reports and dashboards can be embedded directly into your LMS, they expand their usefulness beyond pitching, to become an everyday tool for educators.
Illustrating ROI Using Learning Analytics
Similarly, analytics are not only useful for pitching new ideas and programs, but for showing returns on investments. Learning analytics software is able to continually collect learning data across entire timelines, which means that educators are able to gain insights that go far beyond single data points. When it comes to using this capability for ROI presentations, LMS users can easily present data across whatever incremental period is most appropriate for wider business objectives. For example, presenting on returns for a quarterly meeting is easily achieved by gathering weekly or fortnightly analytics. This is a great way of presenting trends, and thinking about future actions. On the other hand, isolating certain data is great for drilling into specific aspects of learning. Take the following examples available through learning analytics:
- Time Spent Learning Reports - Gain specific insights on how long learners spend in each section of your program, to make suggestions about course complexity and immersion.
- Forum Engagement - Look at the extent to which students apply their independent thinking and wider experience during their learning activities.
- Login Activity - Form a macroscopic view of your program by understanding when learners are online.
Suggesting Next Steps
Beyond showing program effectiveness and ROI, learning analytics opens up pathways to improving your learning program. Analytics are able to identify skill gaps among users, showing the difference between performance and potential within your organization. A skill gap analysis is an effective way of asking what a workforce currently offers, and what would they need to perform optimally.
Analytics also become a home for continuing reflection and feedback. As your program evolves, analytics software tracks those changes, which can then be used to easily explain and demonstrate your developments to other stakeholders within your organization. In turn, this sets up the possibility to leverage your learning data for future management buy-in.
Lambda Solutions specializes in eLearning LMS solutions. We have developed Zoola Analytics, an LMS reporting and learning analytics solution, to help you analyze your learning data and improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and ROI of your LMS courses and programs. Watch our on-demand webinar to learn about different ways to measure and analyze course or program engagement from your learning programs in your LMS: