Business Insights from Learning Data on a budget!

Donald Taylor recently tweeted requesting help for people asking about Learning and Business Analytics:

My response to this was to provide some links to presentations that took place at the 2020 Learning Technologies Conference – my own presentation can be found here.

Much of my presentation was based around the use of a Data Lake and tools such as Power BI or Pentaho. But for those of you with zero budget, how can you get started with presenting your learning data in a better way? The starting point is to know what kind of insights you are looking to get out of your data – those reasons might include:

  • Does Sales training increase sales?
  • Which Regions need help to improve Sales?
  • Does training for Customer Engineers improve the NPS score on post visit surveys?
  • Which courses are generating the most revenue?
  • Which courses should be shelved?

Using Excel, a tool you will all have access to, it is possible to create interactive dashboards like this one:

To create something like this, you will only need the following:

  • Access to the data from your LMS as xls or csv file
  • Access to data from your Sales tools such as SFDC
  • Access to data from customer surveys – tools such as Survey Monkey.
  • Excel skills in:
    • VLOOKUP
    • Pivot Tables
    • Slices and Timelines
    • Excel Data Model

The only real costs here is time – for the example above, I manually run the reports I need and add the data to the template I have created. The Pivot tables do all the magic and the Slices & Timeline give me the overall dashboard controls.

Of course, you may be able to automate much of this through Excel’s ability to connect to data sources – and Excel has a lot of those and if you know how to setup ODBC connections to the source of the data, then the regular updating of the data behind your dashboard can be automated.

If your technical skills go beyond the above, then you probably don’t need to be reading this post!

Finally, if you need some inspiration for what makes a good case study on how to get business benefit from your learning data, then this conference session from Guy Wilmshurst-Smith from Network Rail is a great starting point!

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