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Training Analytics: The Next Big Wave in Learning Management Technology

Training Analytics: The Next Big Wave in Learning Management Technology
Quote: “The solution is here. Training analytics is a new breed of application that gives companies a systematic, reputable way to measure the activity, efficiency, compliance and effectiveness of training. We see a trend toward an exciting new solution that will give you the ability to really measure training ROI and correlate training back to business metrics in your corporation.”
Comment: I disagree. I think the next major trend in LMS and elearning will (or should) be an increased focus on the human side of learning. The direction suggested by the author of this article is what got the industry into its current over-blown, hype generated stage. Learning is not a cold, calculated process. It is a rich, unique, human process. I predict next generation LMS will move into more human processes – support for personalization, learning communities, simple collaboration, etc. The analytics may be a part of it…but not the main focus. After all, what’s the point of analyzing the impact of learning that’s clearly not meeting learner’s needs? Get the learning right first…then evaluate the impact.


  1. Harold Jarche wrote:

    Training analytics is another desperate attempt of LMS developers to show their relevance to business. With all the data in the LMS, you can crunch these many ways (GIGO), but to what purpose? As Gloria Gery says (tongue in cheek), “Why don’t we weigh the students and report on a cost per pound?”. It’s all about performance, which is difficult, but possible, to measure if you know where you want to go. You could start with Bob Mager’s “Analyzing Performance Problems”, but there are many other good sources for performance measurement. As I tell my clients, figure out what you want to do and then find the technology that meet your needs. “Performance Analytics” may appeal to bean counters, but it won’t improve performance.

    So, I agree with you George, the LMS vendors should be focusing on learning, but once again they’re going for the low-hanging fruit, measuring data that is not really going to make a difference. Most of the courses and tests within these LMS don’t measure real performance anyway, so who cares if 95% of workers are 95% successful with these “courses?. I hope that buyers are a bit smarter than that.

    Thursday, December 4, 2003 at 2:49 pm | Permalink
  2. isma wrote:

    I agree with both.

    “the ability to really measure training ROI and correlate training back to business metrics” should not be an LMS feature but a Human Resources Dept. feature. This is not a joke, I mean it: the return of investment on training indicators should be independent from the suport or de way you’re training your staff. Only external indicators will also be able to bring to light comparisons among different training systems.

    Besides, I agree with George’s forecasted evolution of LMS:
    - humanize e-learning
    - collaborative work
    - co-teaching by e-learners

    All in all, active learning.

    Friday, December 5, 2003 at 6:35 am | Permalink
  3. Jochen Robes wrote:

    I agree and share Harolds concerns, but there is also some truth in what Josh is referring to: If you have to prepare the LMS business case for your company’s CEO, what will you highlight? The human side of learning? Co-teaching by e-learners? I don’t think so. Not today, if you have to think strategically and if you want to meet your management’s expectations. Today, there are good reasons to stress the fact that the future LMS will integrate all company’s training, that it will provide you – perhaps for the first time – with some metrics, the opportunity to run reports and to fulfill regulatory requirements, etc. Then, I would point out what George describes in his response. And it makes completely sense to me that LMS providers are currently picking up the ball. So, what’s wrong with this picture – from a corporate point of view?

    Friday, December 5, 2003 at 11:51 am | Permalink
  4. Picking up this thread again. Jochen is right that something like Training Analytics is the best way to address management’s concerns. But I think that management is WRONG. It is up to us, who have seen what can work, and what went wrong with the first wave of e-learning, to shine a light on what should be. It won’t get us the next big contract, but if enough of us say what our experience tells us – you have to focus on the human side – then we may see some change.

    We are already seeing a glimmer of hope, with distributed technologies like RSS, showing more promise than LCMS, for a much lower price. If we don’t tell management, who will?

    Monday, May 10, 2004 at 5:24 pm | Permalink