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Is Implementing Learning Analytics a Complicated and Expensive Endeavor?

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Is Implementing Learning Analytics a Complicated and Expensive Endeavor?

Learning Analytics is quickly becoming a part of the training strategy in organizations around the world. There was a time when decision makers used to take crucial decisions on rolling out training programs in their organization based on their observations and perceptions. This scenario has changed as decisions have become data-driven, paving the way for learning analytics implementation.

Simply collecting volumes of data is of no use, until analytics is applied to extract real value from the data. Training managers often struggle to justify the impact of online training programs on employee performance. Learning analytics can help identify the best training programs and strategies that give a great return on investment (ROI), on every dollar spent, in corporate training. But, the hitch is that most organizations think learning analytics are too complicated to comprehend.

What Makes Organizations Think that Learning Analytics is Complicated?

Amount of Data – Dealing with a large amount of data can be overwhelming. Organizations might gather huge volumes of data about learners and the online training programs, and use it to build new reports and dashboards. However, if an organization does not gain an insight from the data, the entire activity is going to be a waste of time and effort.

According to a survey from MIT Sloan Management Review, 65% of organizations are effective at capturing data, but only 46% among them are effective at disseminating information and insights. So, the solution lies in learning how to eat an elephant one bite at a time. Instead of analyzing all the learning data captured through the LMS at the same time, split it up into smaller segments. This gives you more clarity on the results.

Resistance to Change – Many organizations are hesitant to adopt learning analytics because of concerns on data privacy, while for others it is just resistance to change. Despite knowing the benefits of implementing learning analytics, functional and training managers are unaware of the best ways to analyze the data.

A clear strategy for learning analytics implementation needs to be in place. Also, learning analytics needs to be customized to suit the training goals of an organization. Getting a buy-in from the top management lets the rest of the organization know that there is a commitment to learning analytics. 

Why is Learning Analytics Perceived to be Expensive?

Many organizations view learning analytics as an expensive endeavor. Here is a list of misconceptions that make learning analytics seem very expensive:

  • A lot of effort goes into learning analytics implementation, thereby contributing to an increase in cost.
  • Learning analytics leads to additional expenditure on infrastructure.
  • Additional time needs to be invested in deciding how to use the insight gained from learning analytics. And in today’s world, time means money.

As an L&D professional or functional manager, a thought that might frequently cross your mind is, “What does my organization lose by not investing in learning analytics?”

Not making an investment in learning analytics, can prove to be a costly mistake in the long run.

Imagine not knowing whether employees in the organization are actually gaining the required knowledge or skillset through the e-learning courses rolled out to them. If learners do not find the courses useful enough, or if the course does nothing for performance improvement, it is just a waste of the organization’s training budget.

The LMS can be harnessed to implement learning analytics on a budget. Here’s a case study that sheds light on the basic level of learning analytics implementation.

One of our clients, Canada’s largest retailers, wanted to use technology to train their geographically dispersed workforce. The number of learners going through the course needed to be tracked. The client also wanted a complex scoring scheme in the assessment. Depending on whether the learners managed to answer assessment questions on the first attempt, or after using a hint, the score assigned for each question differed.

The LMS was customized to achieve the project requirement. This project was completed well within the training budget. So, you can rest assured that implementing learning analytics does not always have to cost a bomb.

The real value of learning analytics can be realized only when it is considered as an investment, and not an expense. If you are considering implementing learning analytics at a basic level, to benefit learners and help with decision-making in your organization’s training agenda, it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. An e-learning solutions provider can guide you on the best course of action.

It’s about time organizations switch to data-driven learning and bring out the real value of training programs. If you are interested in reaping the benefits of learning analytics, remember you’ve got to be slow and steady to win the analytics race.

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