8 Steps to Increasing Learning Efficiency Through the Rise of People Analytics

• 4 min read

8 Steps to Increasing Learning Efficiency through the Rise of People Analytics

In our data-driven world, the need for goal-driven analytics on people, processes, and roles is becoming ever more important.

What’s more, as individual performance and business performance become more connected, organizations are looking to find ROI in their employees, and want to know how they can make smarter and more strategic decisions about the people they hire.

People analytics allows organizations to make smarter hiring decisions, retain top talent, create personalized learning strategies, and increase employee performance. This task used to rely on managers’ instincts but, as these metrics become more important, data science and machine learning have been leveraged to automate these findings and provide a more accurate picture.

With many L&D pros leading the charge on collecting such data, it is unsurprising that their learning platform is often held accountable for collecting, organizing, and providing insights on an organization’s people analytics.

Learning vendors offer various reporting features aimed at determining best practices for recruitment, learning, managing, and developing teams. But the next step is for business analytics and people analytics to be combined in order to provide a holistic picture of how a business is performing. This information helps organizations to then create, manage, and execute strategies based upon the business need and increase learning efficiency.

With 89% of organizations saying that workforce analytics is already part of their planning process, but with few understanding how to properly interlink the information on an individual level, what is the best way to elevate your people analytics?

“Business leaders don’t care about people analytics, they care about business analytics. So the underlying message there: don’t operate in a vacuum with your people data and people analytics. The demand now is to connect your HR and learning analytics to all other functions like finance, projects, and sales, so you’re providing the holistic picture of the operation, and your people are in the middle of everything.” Steve Goldeberg, VP and Research Director, HCM at Ventana Research

Increase Learning Efficiency With People Analytics

While many businesses may already have a strategy for their people analytics in place, it’s important to assess whether it is providing you value. Check out this 8 step process based upon the The Eight Step Model for Purposeful Analytics from The Power of People, to determine why you want to undertake this project in the first place, how it should be carried out, and the result that you are hoping for.

  1. Start With Why: Linking the reason that you are assessing your people analytics to a business reason will give your project the best chance of success and make sure that you are measuring the correct components.
  2. Make a Prediction: As observant folks, we often have a good idea of what is negatively impacting our business, and this is your chance to test out your theory. Link your hypothesis to your ‘why’ to help from reaching conclusions based on data that can often result from chance instead of real-life situations.
  3. Collect Data: Find the most relevant data that can test your hypothesis and determine whether the quality of the data is sufficient to continue.
  4. Analyze, Analyze, Analyze! Apply stats and methodology to the data that you collect to test out your prediction and collect insights. (Without performing analysis, you will never find patterns!)
  5. Show Your Insights: Data and analysis would mean nothing without insights – this stops stakeholders from drawing their own conclusions to fit any preconceptions that they may have.
  6. Make Your Recommendations: Now that you have your data, analysis, and insights, it’s time for you to make recommendations to improve the business based upon these findings. Maybe you realise that you need more headcount in a particular department, perhaps you discover that certain teams are missing training on specific topics – this is where you can truly make a difference and inform decision making.
  7. Hammer Your Point Home! As L&D pros, you have unique access to your workforce and can often see what senior stakeholders cannot – use the data that you collect to your advantage and champion your ideas to make real business impact.
  8. Implement Change and Evaluate: Once the decision is made, make sure to keep track of what has happened in your organization because of these changes.

Level up Your Personalized Learning Strategy

Luckily, not all of the work rests on your shoulders – we see learning technology systems taking an investigative approach to people analytics, guiding admins on what mix of data to draw from to understand what has gone right or wrong. For example, if headcount decreased in a line of business, why did it happen? There might have been a restructuring, maybe the organization was hiring less experienced managers, maybe they were spending less on learning and development.

Platforms equipped with AI skill mapping will allow for admins to personalize the learning experience at scale with adaptive learning techniques, providing the right learning content to the right users to see results.

A centralized analytics function that takes everything into account supports you in understanding the full picture and then taking the right actions.

For a deeper dive in this, and other trending learning and development issues, check out our full report on the E-Learning Trends of 2020.