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?
This blog is based on a learning portal seminar hosted by Peter Dobinson, Solutions Architect at NetDimensions’ partner company LEO, at the NextSteps 2017 conference in London.
While a Learning Management System (LMS) provides a wealth of diverse information for your learners, portals act as a neat destination on more focused areas. As well as being gateways to further learning, portals are popular with NetDimensions’ clients because of their capacity to provide everything from guidance about new working processes to insights into user engagement.
Why do organizations like learning portals?
There are a lot of reasons why companies find learning portals highly effective. You can target a specific audience – potentially employees, customers or anyone who wants to access your learning programmes – and focus on a precise business impact area or goal, such as sales learning, with a holistic solution.
Measuring the business impact of learning was a key focus at the NetDimensions EMEA User conference in London in May. According to Fosway’s Learning and Talent Analytics: Practical Strategies to Drive Real Outcomes 2015 Study, 85% of companies say HR Analytics is a medium or high priority. In addition, research conducted by our partner companies LEO Learning and Watershed found that more than 85% of L&D professionals want to use analytics to improve their learning programs, while over 77% believe that it’s possible to demonstrate learning’s impact. However, L&D departments are still unsure about how to effectively measure the business impact of their learning activities.
Why measuring the business of learning is important
As budgets inside large organizations are decreasing, it’s becoming increasingly important for L&D to demonstrate its impact to top management. We now have the capabilities and the tools to actually analyze the connection between Learning and Development activities, and business performance. According to the Brandon Hall Group’s Learning Analytics 2017 Study, as much as 51.5% of organizations only analyze their learning program’s data annually or on an ad hoc basis. Only 14.4% of organizations continuously analyze their learning program’s data. Organizations need to move away from a snapshot analysis, which quickly becomes outdated over time, to a more sustainable process where big data is used strategically to make business decisions.
The technology to measure the business impact of learning is now available in the market but organizations are struggling to put in place a sustainable strategy to measure and then demonstrate that impact.
In the interview below, Piers Lea, Chief Strategy Officer at LEO Learning and Donald H Taylor, Chairman of the Learning and Performance Institute, talk about why measuring the business Impact of learning is important and why L&D managers should begin the journey now.