5 Reasons why the 2nd Edition of Learning Analytics Should be Your Next Read

Written by Cristina Hall, Vice President, Marketing, Explorance.

Written by Explorance thought leaders, Learning Analytics: Using talent data to improve business outcomes is the result of decades of experience supporting learning organizations on their journey to build a culture of sustainable, effective measurement and data-informed decision making. This second edition includes significant revisions and several new chapters. It serves as a practical guide to implementing sound learning analytics processes based on science and real-world success stories.

We asked the authors to share their thoughts on what makes Learning Analytics a must-read for all L&D and Talent Analytics professionals. They have highlighted five takeaways from the book.

Takeaway #1: Learning Analytics clearly defines what you need to build a great analytics culture

We introduce the concept of the Value-centered Learning Organization and how to become one. Becoming value-centered means moving beyond volume (classes delivered, learners served) as the primary measure of L&D success and shifting the lens to focus on value delivery – how have L&D programs and experiences improved organizational, team, or individual performance?

Learning organizations can make this shift by developing a suite of organizational capabilities focused on process & governance, business alignment, and using data to support continuous improvement, planning, and investment decisions, and communicating L&D’s contribution and value. These capabilities comprise the Talent Development Value Framework, which provides a roadmap for organizations shifting their focus from volume to value.

Takeaway #2: Excellent content on establishing and maintaining alignment with the business

The second edition devotes several chapters to the all-important topic of alignment. We highlight the Portfolio Evaluation approach that segments learning programs by their intended business purpose. The purpose then drives the evaluation strategy, ensuring that the organization marries its measurement practices to business data and insight requirements. The second edition also provides a comprehensive view of the alignment process, including strategic and tactical alignment, to ensure L&D continues to focus on value (vs. volume) throughout the design and development process.

Takeaway #3: Practical advice for building a solid foundation for your measurement strategy

We have dedicated chapters that demonstrate how to establish and prioritize the KPIs, link learning to business impact, measure informal learning, and use technology to enable the measurement and analytics strategy. As authors, we felt that readers should not need a strong background in statistics or experimental design to apply these concepts, and to help them balance scientific rigor with the practical realities of decision-making at the speed of business.

Takeaway #4: Step by step guidance to ensure that you use the data you gather to improve business outcomes

Collecting useful, valid evaluation data is only the first step – data has no value unless you use it to learn or improve. The book provides details on how to establish a tactical reporting strategy and develop the data literacy skills your team needs to use evaluation data to monitor, manage, and improve. We also demonstrate how to develop executive reporting that closes the loop on strategic alignment conversations, using the Talent Development Reporting principles framework.

Takeaway #5: The content applies to readers who want to build analytics capability beyond learning, too

When we started writing the book, we felt strongly that it should apply not only to learning but also the entire employee experience. L&D is an excellent use case for applying sustainable analytics because it involves hundreds or thousands of learning experiences each day, and is generally one of the largest line items in the HR budget, which makes it a visible target for constant scrutiny. However, you can apply the same principles throughout HR to measure the effectiveness and impact of repeatable processes or specialized initiatives related to recruiting, onboarding, engagement, and beyond.

Download a sample chapter of Learning Analytics and get a special discount code here.


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