What is data-driven learning?
Throughout your organisation, you will have seen the power and potential of data to transform your operations through deeper insights into the processes that matter the most to your success. The same is true for data-driven learning. New technologies have opened up new opportunities to collect meaningful data on your learning and your learners, allowing you to create more meaningful, engaging and effective learning.
Benefits of Data Driven Learning
Access to deeper and more relevant data on your learning gives you clarity and certainty on areas of your learning that would previously have been difficult to fully understand. The right learning data can help you to more accurately target your learning to the needs of your learners, increase engagement, close skill gaps and deliver the results your organisation needs for success.
Data-Driven Learning helps you to:
- Provide the information your learners need most
- Contextualize your learning in terms of real-world results
- Reach learners on the devices they use the most
- Measure the value of your content
- Understand how your learners interact with your learning
Where previous eLearning models were reliant on tracking progress and completion, data-driven learning opens up opportunities to gather more meaningful data. Key Performance Indicators can be linked and measured as your learners interact with your learning, connecting learning-based activities with real-world results. Learner engagement can be tracked, as can the when and how your learners are interacting with your content, letting you tailor your material to your learner’s needs.
Learners develop deeper engagement and get better results from their learning when they feel like they are heard and understood. With data-driven learning, you can embed response capture and playback into your learning materials, allowing you to take your learner’s own responses and use them to encourage reflection, scaffold learning and automatically build an action plan that is personal and unique to each learner.
Personalisation of learning content creates a unique learning experience that increases engagement, promotes learning transfer and helps ensure that each learner receives the right level of support. Data-driven learning gives you the opportunity to create learning that adapts to the needs of the individual learner, allowing them to see the consequences of their choices and building a learning pathway that accounts for their skills and experience.
With data-driven learning, insights are specific and relevant. The ability to measure the KPIs and results that matter to your organisation mean that you can easily identify when and where skill gaps occur and implement strategies to deal with them. Being able to quickly identify what is and isn’t working in your learning programs gives you the information you need to refine, improve and scale learning solutions to meet your organisation's strategic objectives.
Learning and development solutions are not static or uniform – every organisation is different, and their learning needs change over time. The ability to determine a clear image of the needs and behaviour of your learners and the performance and effectiveness of your learning programs gives you the power to create learning that is flexible, relevant and timely, addressing the right issues in the right way to get the best results for your organisation.
Developing a data strategy
Determining your strategy for data-driven learning helps ensure that you will get the right results. Your data strategy outlines the types of questions that need to be answered and the data you need to gather to support your learning and development strategy and achieve the results that contribute to your organisation’s goals.
Steps to a data strategy
- Know the problems you need to solve with your data
- Identify what questions your data will answer
- Determine the data you have available, and what you’ll need to track
- Plan how your data will be tracked, measured and analysed
- Show how data will be used to refine and improve your processes
What questions does your data need to answer?
The questions that you want answers to will likely be the ones most closely linked to the performance of your learning and of your organisation. What is the impact of your learning on the goals of your organisation and on the KPIs needed to influence them? Are learners engaging with the learning? Are there any areas in which your learning is underperforming? How long does it take a learner to develop the skills and competencies they need to operate effectively? Compiling a list of these key questions will provide the framework that influences what you need to accomplish with your data strategy.
What data do you have?
Once you know the questions your data needs to answer, look at the data that you have available to you and identify what data can be used to answer those questions, both in the sources of data that you already have available to you, and in the areas where you will need to gather additional data. Look at how the information is gathered, and what systems and people will be involved in collecting and aggregating the data. You should also bear in mind any restrictions around what data you can gather and how, in relation to privacy and information security.
How will you track your data?
With the data in place to answer your questions, you should consider how to best access monitor data you have gathered. How often will you update the data that you are gathering? What visualisations can you employ to illustrate the data, and how easy will they be to read an interpret? Who will have access to what data, and how will it help them to perform their role? Having clear and understandable methods of reporting will mean that you can easily interpret the data you have gathered and act accordingly.
How will you analyse your data?
Finally, think of how you will utilise and measure the results you have gathered. How does the data you have gathered relate to people and performance within your organisation? What metrics and what thresholds will indicate success or failure? How will you track KPI indicators? Having targets and goals for the performance of your learning and your learners that can be tracked against your data means you will be able to act to make the right changes to your learning at the right time to help optimise its performance and meet your organisation’s goals.
How will your data improve your learning?
Learning development is a never-ending process, and the data that you collect will feed back into your learning development process to inform future changes. Your data strategy should include the ways in which you plan to incorporate the findings from your data into your learning, and what you hope to achieve through iterative improvement.
Data-driven learning has the potential to transform your learning and development, adding value and giving you the tools you need to ensure that your learning is performing at its best. If you’re ready to start developing your learning data strategy, we can help you get the results you need - get in touch with us to set up a discussion today.