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Continued Refinement – A Q&A on MTM 8.2.4 with Lead Product Manager Eric Matson

Written by Lorcan Archer, Explorance.

MTM (Metrics That Matter) is Explorance’s renowned Learning & Development effectiveness solution. MTM is designed to help enterprise-level L&D teams better understand, measure, and refine the effectiveness of training and instruction programs.

Explorance is committed to continuously improving MTM via regular software updates. This month’s update – MTM 8.2.4 – offers both a number of requested changes in response to client requests, as well as the initial provision of an exciting package of new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) focused capabilities.

We sat down with Eric Matson, Explorance’s Lead Product Manager.

What’s New in MTM 8.2.3?

New Features

  1. Additional Scores present in Quick Question Report Export

    Exports to Excel from a report’s PDF version will now feature overall NPS and average multi-choice scores.

  2. New Report setting to only show selected multi-choice options

    Ready Reports to include only the multi choice options learners have selected.

  3. Resizing option for Dashboard Ranking and Activity widgets

    A minor but very helpful adjustment to increase the width of the Ranking and Activity widget, allowing for easier reading.

  4. Archived Forms now hidden by default on Manage Forms page

    Users will find it easier to manage active forms now that archived forms are only visible when a new setting has been enabled.

  5. Question Category ID added to the MTM Connect OUT API question endpoint

    Calling the Question endpoint will return each question’s Question Category ID to facilitate aggregate reporting at the Question Category level.

  6. External Student ID added to the MTM Connect OUT API enrollment endpoint

    Calling the Enrollment endpoint will return each learner’s External Student ID alongside their email, name, and manager information to better link MTM data to data from other systems.

  7. New Benchmarking for DEI

    Compare your organization’s delivery of DEI training across industries, geographic areas, and other data sets.

Hi Eric! The updates keep coming for MTM, with this release following fast on the heels of September’s 8.2.3 update. What kind of an update is 8.2.4?

Eric: Technically this would be a minor release in terms of the number of changes, but there are some aspects that are very noteworthy and significant.

Let’s dive into some of the changes that will affect day-to-day use of MTM. Was the adjustment to the report setting to only include the multi-choice options that learners have selected a much-requested change?

Eric: Yes! This is something we have been working to deliver for a while. I am excited about this, even if it is not a huge visual change. This really is just that – the hiding of multi-choice questions that have not been selected from appearing in reports.

There are standard questions that MTM supplies, such as business results questions. Something like “Which area of business results do you think this training will affect?” However, some questions are only applicable for surveys related sales training, or executive training, or other types of training.

Typically, a client may prefer to ask their own question that’s more applicable, and they won’t use some of the standard ones that have been supplied. These were still showing up in reports, so the removal of this data will be very helpful for those who are presenting these reports. They won’t have this extraneous data present. 

It’s a similar situation with the hiding of archived forms in this release, with these not being required at that time by the user.

Similarly, the new re-sizing option for the Ranking and Activity widgets just seems to be a nice quality-of-life change.

Eric: Exactly. We understand that the previous width of the widgets meant that course names, instructors, etc – this information was somewhat truncated.  This update means it will be a lot easier to take that great illustrative screenshot for your CRO, for example.

This release features a new Category ID option for MTM Connect OUT, as well as including the External Student ID alongside learner data for MTM Connect IN. Can you break down the decision to include these?

Eric: Sure. It’s should be noted that these are our first MTM Connect feature requests! 

 When you call the question’s endpoint, you’re requesting data on that question – the question name, ID, question type, etc. This update is adding the ability to see what category it belong to, helping you to make aggregations and better define an average score for example. This is being added to the question’s endpoint result. It’s essentially adding a new data point, and it’s a very similar situation with the student ID. 

For this release, we’re seeing those very important letters, DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) for the first time. What does this release deliver regarding DEI and what prompted it?

Eric: Yes indeed. This release marks MTM’s first instance of supporting DEI-specific benchmarking.

We plan to add much more functionality regarding DEI in our next planned release, which will allow for more flexibility and ways to calculate benchmarks.

Clients can apply this DEI benchmarking to existing courses via a simple course update process. Our Customer Service Managers are standing by to assist clients with updating existing courses to include this insight, should it be desired.

This new DEI insight was spurred by an increase in interest among our users. We’ve stared to get more questions via Customer Service Managers and via consultants about DEI. 

People are creating and conducting these courses and now they’re looking to see how they can measure these courses against other MTM clients, and everyone else.

Can you give us a scenario where exactly this new DEI benchmarking might be used?

Eric: The way MTM benchmarks typically work is you have a pool of data, and then you can pick different ways to filter it. For example, you could say “I want to look at healthcare companies for example, or data from companies in North America” and you specify that you want to look at training related to a type of training: like new-hire training or management training.

Now, with this new DEI benchmarking, it can be applied to and viewed alongside any segment you have selected.

So, if someone in senior management has the responsibility of investigating how DEI is being addressed, the L&D team can provide far more context and insight on how the organization is doing.

This is a very promising new aspect to MTM. What’s next in the process?

Eric: Our approach for DEI will be two-pronged. For this release, 8.2.4, we have all this historical data and we’re going to help you to compare yourself to benchmarks related to your industry, geographic area, and so on. 

Our next release early next year will focus on how the course is being conducted: making sure you’re measuring correctly, you’re asking the right questions, and ensuring you’re pulling the right data to support decisions.

Thanks for your time Eric!

Eric: No problem. As ever, I’d like to thank the MTM DevOps team for their hard work and dedication in realizing this latest update!

 

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About EricMTM Product Manager Eric Matson

Eric Matson is lead product manager, MTM at Explorance. An experienced agile product owner, he has a passion for technology, transportation, and urbanism, primarily where these intersect to make our lives easier. Based in Chicago, he has been an Explorer for over two years, leading feature development and retirement related to Metrics that Matters (MTM). 


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