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Drowning in data? Seven approaches to data to help you measure success

Reports and Guides | 11.05.2021

How do you measure impact? If you’ve been in L&D long enough, you’ve probably been confronted with questions about the impact of learning solutions. Your internal voice may say ‘yes, of course we make a difference’ but you probably also have a sense of unease thinking about your ability to prove it. You’re not alone. 

Brandon Hall Group’s 2020 Learning Measurement Study found that fewer than 16% of organisations are very effectively able to identify and track a series of metrics, including participation, satisfaction, knowledge transfer, behaviour change and business impact for any of their learning. In our experience, one of the main reasons for this shortfall is that most of the energy around measurement is spent debating the best way to measure the impact of a specific course or program. While doing so makes sense in some cases, it also takes a significant commitment from the business. On the other hand, we see too little energy being put into a broader learning analytics approach.

Taking a holistic approach to data 

The good news is that there are more tools available to us today to collect and analyse data to identify trends and patterns across a portfolio of learning solutions. The insights from this data may not be the “smoking gun” of ROI, but it can expose patterns and trends on how people interact, feel and perform across learning solutions. Armed with these patterns and trends, the L&D team can and should engage with the business to explore what’s driving these trends and how they relate to other metrics the business tracks.

This guide first explores the breadth of measurement approaches and data you can potentially collect, then outlines a simple action plan for planning your data and measurement strategy moving forward.  

Seven approaches to data

In this guide, we explore seven approaches to data gathering and how you can make more sense of them.

  1. Business Impact
  2. Behaviour Change
  3. Application
  4. Knowledge Retention
  5. Confidence
  6. Engagement
  7. Reaction 

Drowning in data?

Seven approaches to data to help you measure success