The pandemic has significantly elevated the learning and development organization’s strategic profile within the business. Often regarded in the past as a cost center, the learning and development organization now has an important seat at the strategy table. More than 62% of companies say that the pandemic has given the learning and development organization more visibility and a bigger role in decision-making across the business and/or made the learning and development organization more closely integrated with the C-Suite.
To make the most of this transformation — and to make it last — the learning and development organization must prove to be a strong strategic ally to the business. This means the learning and development organization needs to take a closer look at the learning strategy and how it aligns with the goals of the business. The best way to ensure alignment is with data — lots of data.
The problem is that the learning and development organization is not known for their prowess in data and analytics. For most learning and development teams, managing and analyzing data is not part of their core skills and competencies. For years, better reporting and analytics has been among the top three requirements for learning and development organizations seeking new learning technology and one of the top three reasons changing technology. A big driver is the need for technology that is simple and more intuitive to use, making it easier for non-data scientists to handle the kind of questions only data can answer.
In Brandon Hall Group’s study, People Data, Analytics and Algorithms, 71% of organizations responded that it was either highly important or critical to collect and analyze data around the
depth and retention of learning. With most organizations only collecting learning completion rates and smile sheets it can be difficult, if not impossible, to conduct a meaningful data analysis.
In addition to building more data and analytics skills within the learning function, organizations must also evaluate the technologies they use to collect and analyze learning data. Learning leaders must leverage technology to combine other sources of employee data with learning data to provide real business insights.
We are hosting a webinar with learning data specialists, Cognota, to dig into what data the learning and development organization should be capturing and how to use it. We will also review what companies should look for when evaluating tools and technologies for data analysis. The entire business runs on data, which makes these tools and skills critical for the learning and development organization.
–David Wentworth, Principal Learning Analyst, Brandon Hall Group