Learning Data Application

As HR continues to evolve in the digital space, professionals are collecting massive amounts of information.  In many ways, this data, which includes everything from data surrounding retention and diversity and inclusion, can be used for the betterment of the organization.  Learning data is no different, but as is often the case there are questions around its application.

If used properly, and that’s subjective based on the make-up of the organization, learning data can, for instance, positively impact the environment in which employees learn.

Learning Data Application


How does data impact the learning environment?  HR professionals have to consider this question from a couple of different angles:  traditional learning and digital learning.  Either way, those tracking data are going to look at a couple of different metrics including, but not limited to, learner feedback, scores on tests/exams, completion time, and even data personal to the learner.  Examples include everything from individual performance to skill level and personal preferences.

These measurements can be used to establish the best learning environment possible for the workforce.  This environment will improve engagement, motivation and knowledge retention on the part of the employee. 

The Importance of Learner Feedback

It can be argued the most important feedback received regarding learning comes from the learner.  This comes in the form of employee performance and knowledge retention rates.  This data is critical in the continued improvement of the learning environment made up of classes, courses, content and content delivery.

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If the desire is to track the success of the learning program, of the two indicated above the best is knowledge retention rates.  From this, HR and learning professionals can see just how well-designed and successful the content and its delivery is for the learner.  Remember though, this data is not always easily gained.  Employers have to really lean on their employees to share their feedback.  Employees have to feel comfortable in doing so as well.  It’s the employer’s responsibility to encourage employees to speak up.  The feedback can be used to custom-tailor content and its delivery based on the employee’s preferences.  Of course, the goal and the desired outcome of the content must be preserved.

In Summation

While the information about the application of learning data is key, the reality is a fair number of HR and learning professionals don’t understand data at all.

In fact, a recent Bersin survey pointed out that just 28 percent of organizations have "good" or "very good" levels of proficiency in basic data literacy skills. And that makes sense, because it often feels like professionals need a statistics degree to understand HR analytics. But the truth is, they don't need a degree. They just need to know what to look for and how to turn that into meaningful conclusions. 

On July 23, 2019, Degreed data scientist Marissa Saunders will present a webinar called Data for Dummies:  How to Apply Data to Learning.  The presentation will help HR and learning professionals to understand the connection between data and learning, including important learning analytics to look for and how to draw insights from data sets.

Click here to register for the free webinar.