Learning analytics: Start now, profit later

New research from our sister companies, LEO Learning and Watershed, is now building a comprehensive picture of how L&D executives feel about measuring the business impact of learning. This blog takes a look at the key headlines and how you can start your own measurement efforts to get the most out of our learning analytics.

It’s been a question that’s been around for some time now: how can L&D actually measure the business impact your learning is having in order to prove ROI and other business KPIs? Recently, the rise of analytics tools and specifications such as xAPI have given us some pretty good answers to this question. The answer is essentially: use tools to collect data, then analyse it. Simple, right?a young professional looks at a learning analytics report

Maximising the business impact of learning

Trying to evaluate the impact that learning and development has on your people and ultimately, the business is not a new challenge. Learning should be a strategic investment that drives business performance and builds business capability. But knowing ‘how’ to achieve this measurement is not always easy.

There are different approaches to evaluation that I have explored with NetDimensions in our recent webinar and the accompanying paper. However, the time has come for us to move beyond just evaluating learning activity. At Fosway Group we often say that L&D has a habit of delivery. So to embrace impact as a central ethos, L&D needs to stop taking orders and just tracking completion rates, number of events run and happy sheets returned. Instead, we need to look at whether or not learning delivers a positive result – ideally for both the learner and the business. And if it doesn’t, we shouldn’t do it.

But 80% of the attendees at the webinar rated themselves as ‘OK’ or ‘Poor’ at measuring learning impact. And our current research into over 1000 learning professionals also shows there is considerable room for improvement with only 54% of respondents saying that their learning technology ‘always’ or ‘frequently’ delivers a positive impact for their organisation.

First things first, L&D needs to talk to the broader business audience.