2. Lambda Analytics (Zoola)
  3. START HERE: Introduction to Lambda Analytics

Lambda Analytics (Zoola)

This articles focuses on providing an introductory overview of Lambda Analytics.


Lambda Analytics

Lambda Analytics (Zoola) is a cloud-based reporting and analytics solution that allows you to prove the impact of your learning, and further improve your current learning management system. Lambda Analytics gives complete and secure access to your data, stunning reports and dashboards, embedded reports, and automated delivery. 

With Lambda Analytics, you have complete access to all your data, including unique fields and tables that are specific to your company's needs. The connection to your database is a read replica, and thus you can play around and experiment with your data without tampering with the contents of your database.

You can create custom reports and dashboards through using our intuitive drag-and-drop designer that can help you further visualize your data. Additionally, you can choose from a library of over 40 out-of-the-box reports and dashboards that you can immediately run, or customize further.

Lambda Analytics also has all of your presentation needs covered. You can embed your reports and dashboards directly into your Moodle or Totara system, and you can schedule your reports to automate delivery to your stakeholders.

Lambda Analytics is built for Moodle, Totara Learn, and xAPI-conformant systems.

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Lambda Analytics Information Hierarchy

The Lambda Analytics Information Hierarchy is the complete process of rendering system data into reports and dashboards. Each stage of the hierarchy exists as an individual page and set of steps within Lambda Analytics. The hierarchy consists of:

1.  Data Connections

2.  Data Sources

3.  Ad Hoc Views

4.  Reports

5.  Dashboards

The components of the Information Hierarchy can be broken down even further into:

Public Artifacts: Contains Out-of-the-Box data sources, Ad Hoc views, reports, and dashboards that you can immediately view and run. We recommend using public artifacts if you are not database-savvy, and need quick and intuitive reports.

Private Artifacts: Contains custom data sources, Ad Hoc views, reports, and dashboards that have been created to serve a specific purpose, or are copied versions of Out-of-the-Box content that have been edited. We recommend creating private artifacts if you have highly specific reporting needs.

plug  Data Connections

The entirety of your database is overwhelmingly large. To create meaningful views, reports, and dashboards in Lambda Analytics, your data source must be accessed through a data connection. A data connection is the connection from your Moodle or Totara database to Lambda Analytics, and defines the connection properties needed to access your data. The server transmits queries to defined data connections and obtains datasets in return. This is only visible when creating data sources, and will thus not appear on your homepage.

database-storage  Data Sources

data source is the metadata layer derived from your Moodle or Totara database, and is shown on Lambda Analytics. When creating an Ad Hoc view for your eventual report or dashboard, you must first select a relevant data source from which you can draw data from, in the form of fields and measures. 

Lambda Analytics comes with over twenty pre-configured data sources that are ready to use. The data accessible through these data sources is grouped around logical eLearning topics, such as course completion data, quiz data, grades, and attendance.

view-2  Ad Hoc Views

An Ad Hoc view is the arena in which you can select specific fields and measures from a data source and create visualizations and filters for charts, tables, and crosstabs. Applying different visualizations, filters, and calculated fields and measures will yield a variety of meaningful insights for further exporting needs.

You can save an Ad Hoc view and use these artifacts to explore your data. You can also export snapshots of Ad Hoc views into various static forms, such as PNG, PDF, or PPTX, for quick imprints of your exploratory visualizations. 

When creating an Ad Hoc view, you can choose between:

Out-of-the-Box Ad Hoc views: Lambda Analytics contains over forty pre-configured Ad Hoc views that are ready to use. These Ad Hoc views can quickly be converted into reports.

Custom Ad Hoc views: If you have specific reporting needs, you can use the Ad Hoc Editor to create custom Ad Hoc views and save them into your private artifacts. You can either create an entirely new Ad Hoc view from scratch, or you can duplicate and modify an Out-of-the-Box Ad Hoc view. 

business-report  Reports

Reports are the finalized versions of Ad Hoc views, meant for demonstration and presentation. Reports can be exported to static formats, and can also be scheduled and emailed to specified users at assigned intervals with updated data. While Ad Hoc views are completely configurable, reports can only be configured in the Report Designer for formatting, filtering, and presentation purposes.

When creating a report, you can choose between:

Out-of-the-Box: Lambda Analytics contains a variety of pre-configured reports that are ready to use. 

Ad Hoc views: If you have specific needs, you can save a customized Ad Hoc view as a report. 

dashboard (1)  Dashboards

Dashboards are the ideal platform for presenting trends and analyses to executives. Dashboards are composed of dashlets, which can consist of reports, Ad Hoc views, or filters. You can use the features of the Dashboard Designer to select, format, connect, and filter your dashlets to create meaningful insights with beautiful visualizations. 

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Your Reporting Needs

With Lambda Analytics, the reporting possibilities are endless. Thus, it is important to have a clear and concise reporting objective before you begin. In narrowing down your report, you and your team will need to ask yourselves:

Who: Who is your audience? Who will be viewing your report? Are they eLearning users or are they business executives? Do they prefer simple and visual reports, or do they appreciate an in-depth analysis with tons of data? 

What: What kind of information does the audience need to see? What kind of action will they be taking? What is the purpose of our reporting? Will we be using it to track compliance? Find ways to improve our eLearning system?

When: What period of time will you be drawing your data from? Are there any dates to exclude? How frequent will your reporting be?

Where: Where will your audience be viewing your report?

How Much, Many, or Often: What is the scope of your report? Will your report include data from all users? Or users from a specific cohort or audience?

Through using our Out-of-the-Box Ad Hoc views, reports, and dashboards, you can create intuitive reports that visualize a wealth of database information. You can also adjust and edit these out-of-the-box files to further customize your reports.

google-forms  Lambda Analytics Report Request Form

However, if your reporting needs are highly specific and you would like to create a custom report that is not already provided, or if you are confused on where to begin, then you can always contact our Support team. When contacting our Support team, please fill out the Report Request Form. With the Report Request form, you can detail your reporting needs in a way that translates easily to our Support team.

Click here to download a copy of the Report Request form.

Purpose of the Report: When submitting a report request to our team, it is important that you detail the use case and the importance of this report. This helps us provide best practices when running the report, or potential suggestions on ways to improve it. 

It also gives us a greater understanding of our clients' needs, so that we can provide guides and tutorials on how to create frequently requested reports.

Fields, Columns, and Measures: Depending on the format of your report, you will likely need to provide different information regarding your desired fields, columns, and measures. Typically, we require at least two things: the field(s) and the measure(s). 

This helps us determine what you are reporting on, and its measure, if applicable.

Additional things that you can include are your sort order, filters, and visibility preferences.

Extra Details: We have also provided you with a space to further define your specific needs. This might include the type of chart that you would like to use, how much data the viewer should be able to access, and any custom fields that you would like to include.

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