Why Today’s Businesses Should Use Learning Data

by | Mar 6, 2015 | Articles

Piers Lea details why LEO places data analysis at the core of L&D strategy; reflecting on personalisation, responsiveness and LRS.

What does it mean to be an end-to-end provider of learning technologies services in 2015?

The fact is, it’s a transformational game changer.

Data from organisations like Towards Maturity clearly shows that the ‘Top Deck’ of learning organisations (the highest performing 10% of those surveyed) are taking a more strategic approach to learning and achieve better business results. But 50% of UK PLCs don’t have representation of learning at the board level, making it difficult to take advantage of a strategic approach. That is why LEO is committed to moving learning to the heart of business strategy. Every day, our teams are involved in work on this strategic level, helping organisations to bring their learning challenges and requirements to high enough level in the business so that long-lasting strategic benefit can be derived. So how can organisations like LEO and Towards Maturity work together for real strategic results?


We know that the real promise of ‘learning using technology’ lies in personalised learning. This is now reflected in the desire of the marketplace. A huge 90% of organisations surveyed in the 2014 Towards Maturity Benchmark Report recognised the need to increase their ability to adapt programmes to the individual context, but only 22% are achieving this. 62% of the Top Deck organisations strongly agree they need personalisation tools and technology to achieve this, compared to just 10% of other organisations. In reality, technology is a key to the personalisation process, enabling much closer targeting of personal and business goals. Learning Record Stores (LRSs) and xAPI allow us to think about things like future-proofing our learning and obtaining learning analytics for better-targeted learning. LEO’s new partnership with The Open University will help us address the need for quality learning analytics, as well as drawing on their expertise in distance engagement and supplying learners with “what they need when they need it”. We are also working closely with fellow LTG company Preloaded, looking at diagnostic gaming techniques and using educational games for personalised learning opportunities as other European partners in an ambitious personalised learning project.

Diagnostics and Responsive Learning

Most of us know the benefits of using diagnostics for learning. They can save time and money spent on training, and they ensure people only see the content that they don’t know for a more personalised experience. But how do we build systems that respond to an extensive assessment? This needs to be considered from the very start, as part of an organisation’s business strategy, sales technique or management approach. It is only at this strategic level that businesses can leverage the power of responsive learning. For instance, we work with large global organisations to help them identify which of their markets have certain qualities or capabilities. This information then informs the entire learning strategy, including how we construct an appropriate blend based on the individual needs of each market. Collecting analytics about the way our audience learns means we can apply our expert understanding of ‘just-in-case’ and ‘just-in-time’ learning to select approaches that work in each context. The next question is how we think about these ecosystems in a more sophisticated, more efficient, more cost-effective way. In a world which is both moving faster and becoming more complex, we cannot expect people to learn everything. But via performance support systems (often via the mobile phone or tablet in your pocket), we can divide curricula quite fundamentally. The strategy needs to cater for this – and that probably means some aspect of learning, knowledge management and communications coming to together.

Using the Data

Benchmark data from organisations like Towards Maturity reveals that the L&D community is not currently capable of addressing learning at this strategic level. Just 31% of respondents in the 2014 Benchmark are realising the benefits they seek from their learning programmes, and only 15% of organisations measure the effectiveness of their learning against specific KPIs. As a founding Ambassador of Towards Maturity, LEO is committed to using evidence-based methods to improve performance in global businesses. The data from Towards Maturity’s Benchmark reports and independent research paints an invaluable picture of the industry today.

Today, it is all about getting measurable results based on real data. It’s about finding analytics which feed into Learning Record Stores (LRS) and leveraging the power of the LRS to help us understand the entire learner journey, rather than just individual learning events. This will enable us to take a more intelligent approach to learning, overseeing the whole process and offering input at the precise point of need. This is why LEO offers an end-to-end service – it is only in this way that we are able to plan, design, execute and measure an organisation’s learning programme from conception to delivery and beyond – and an unrivalled capability to deliver evidence-based results and compare them to market-place best practice.

Thank you, Towards Maturity, for providing our industry with an invaluable data set and benchmark. This will only grow in value as we all get better at delivering strategic results.

Join Laura Overton and the LEO team on 23rd April in our free half-day session, Increasing the value that L&D adds to business – how to open new conversations:


Read the full article by Piers Lea on the LEO website

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