If you’ve chosen to use a corporate learning management system (LMS) for skills development in your company, you’ve likely chosen it because they’re proven to:
- Engage learners
- Promote learner progress
- Boost retention
But the best learning management systems don’t stop there. An outstanding LMS helps you analyze the learning process and compose accurate and insightful reports on your corporate training.
An LMS is more than a content creation platform. Yes, a good online learning platform will be easy to use for instructors and learners. But also, and vitally, it will offer insights into the strength of your learning programs and the validity of your learning process.
In this blog, we’ll explore why reporting and analytics features are crucial to productive online training courses and how you can use the analytics tools in your LMS to create informed, data-driven training programs.
How LMS reporting supercharges employee training
Whether you’re using a learning management system for customer training, sales training, or compliance training, its strength is in letting you deliver the right courses to the right audience.
But you can’t be sure you’re targeting the right audience without monitoring advanced reporting metrics like user engagement and knowledge retention.
Build better training
Providing your workforce with cornerstone learning that’s both informative and interesting is a tall order. There is often a disconnect between the educational content administrators prescribe and the materials that learners actually enjoy.
Calculate the ROI
When you use LMS reporting features, you’re using data you already own to make decisions about the effectiveness of your online training and the value of that investment. You’d use reporting and analytics to calculate the ROI on other corporate costs — your skills development program should be no different.
Ensure individual and company goals are met
Plus, LMS reporting allows you to ensure learning and development at your company meets individual needs as well as company ones. You can track progress for each learner to monitor whether they’re completing and retaining course content. Tracking learning performance lets you accelerate or slow their learning path as required, creating a personalized learning journey that delivers precisely what they need.
Key metrics you can track in a solid LMS
Most learning management systems offer some standard tracking and reporting features. But for enterprise-level learning, you’ll probably want more than the minimum. Any LMS should feature ways to track:
- User engagement
- Knowledge retention
- Course completion rates
An LMS built for sturdier use cases will offer a deeper layer of analytics and detailed tracking options. With a more comprehensive platform, you can fine-tune your LMS reports to track almost any scope or angle.
- Generate a complete and downloadable transcript for each learner (including upcoming classes).
- Filter reports by learner, class, or group, or by educational outcomes like retention or activities
- Download an activity log of every action a learner takes within the LMS
- Review feedback on courses or learning journeys
- Pull reports based on educational outcomes, like assessments or scores
- Create revenue reports that outline subscriptions and transactions
Versatility in your LMS reports lets you share the metrics that matter to your stakeholders. You’ll be able to give precise answers to the questions they ask rather than attempting to read between the lines of default reports that don’t really offer the data you need.
How LMS reporting drives informed decision making
When you generate detailed LMS reports, you can use that data to improve your content, target the right audiences, and ensure your learners retain knowledge longer.
Decide whether your content works
Audience engagement metrics can tell you whether your content is compelling for your learners. Here’s what we suggest:
- Look at in-class attention metrics, class attendance records, activity reports, and class completion rates.
- At the course level, find the courses with the highest markers of success, such as high completion rates, positive feedback, and lots of quality learner engagement.
- Note what’s contained in these successful courses. Maybe they have more videos or live webinars. Maybe they include interesting activities or projects. Or perhaps the instructor engaged more with their learners in the more successful courses.
When you find the common denominator to success, apply it to your other courses.
Decide which classes belong in which learning journeys
You may have a host of engaging courses that you’d like to organize into learning journeys. A learning journey leads learners from one course to another because the courses are somehow related to one another.
Learning journeys can encourage learners to level up their skills, gently guiding them to a higher plane of training. Follow these steps to create learning journeys:
- Filter courses based on users and see which courses are often taken by the same users.
- Look at the demographics of the users who take the same courses. What skill sets do they have in common?
- Group courses that are routinely taken together into learning journeys.
Once you have established learning journeys, you can advertise them to your learners as learning journeys rather than as individual courses. That way, learners see how their training will evolve and how their skills will grow over time.
Decide whether you need to offer refresher courses
Watch your data retention metrics closely, and check in on knowledge retention with quizzes several months after your learners have completed a course. The results of those quizzes and metrics may show you that you need to offer refresher courses.
Knowledge retention is a crucial metric when it comes to the cost-effectiveness of your training. If your learners aren’t retaining the data from your courses, you may want to either:
- Restructure the courses.
- Reorganize them into learning journeys (which would reemphasize and build upon the previous course’s materials).
- Periodically refresh your learners’ memories with a brief refresher course.
Decide whether your audience matches your course content
Some courses will be required by everyone, like compliance training or ethics policy training. And some courses will be specific to job roles, like learning unique technology or tools.
But a few courses will fall somewhere in the middle, and the content of those courses may surprise you. You offer everyone onboarding training when they start their jobs, but your seasoned staff members may like a reminder of some of your onboarding policies or procedures. Or, you may find that there are opportunities for cross-departmental training that can benefit several departments at once.
For example, in a healthcare setting, you may offer pediatric training to your pediatric nurses. But your triage nurses may benefit from pediatric training, too. Or perhaps your pediatric nurses could also use some basic cardiovascular training, even though it’s generally used for cardiovascular specialists.
Use your analytics to find ways your content can go further and work harder for your organization. You’ve already created your educational content, so you should use that resource in as many ways as possible.
Decide which courses aren’t worth continuing
Your metrics may lead you to decide that some courses simply aren’t performing well enough to stay in your educational library.
Track which courses display sharp drops in attendance and completion, poor engagement with activities or assignments, and bad reviews. If a class isn’t serving your goals, don’t be afraid to scrap it.
Trust the data, and use it to make decisions that reallocate resources to the courses that are working hard for you.
Use LMS reporting to set a course to corporate learning success
As you track learning in your company, you’ll accumulate months’ and years’ worth of information. That data can show overarching trends in your online courses, allowing you to respond to the shifting needs of your learners.
You’ll be able to see whether user preferences have shifted towards different learning modes like mobile learning, or whether a particular course is no longer of interest to your audience. You’ll also find that you can predict certain changes before they happen based on past trends, allowing you to incorporate strategic planning into your training process.
LMS reporting can help you address company-wide issues that, at face value, seem unrelated to your training program. For instance, if your customer service feedback is poor, you may find a corresponding drop in employees completing customer support training.
However, you use LMS reporting features, demand tracking, and analytics that are top-tier. Content creation bells and whistles may look impressive when you start using an LMS. But, over time, you’ll see that abundant and thorough reporting and analytics are crucial to your company’s training success.