Why should you make data your most used tool?

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Updating your learning content is something you should be doing regularly. But how can data help you to do this?

Your team needs the right level of knowledge to be able to perform their best. This can be anything from basic knowledge, to legislations, procedures and practical skills.

But what’s the best way to update your content? How do you know who needs to update their knowledge and what they need to learn? This is where data comes in, and will soon be the best tool in your learning tool box.

Where does data come from?

Data can come from previous learning you have done within your organisation. Whether this was through digital learning or traditional learning, there should be data available to you. Data can come in different forms, depending on the kind of method used.

You may have tested your learners which will mean you have test results. This will show you the level of knowledge each individual is at. You may have asked for feedback on how difficult or easy they found the learning and if further learning is required.

Additionally, you may gradually start to see that some team members aren’t doing so well in practice. This should be a good indicator on what should be done next. Lastly, you can provide your team with questionnaires to get a better understanding of who feels they need more learning and on which topics.

All of the above are key pieces of data which will help you to build future learning plans.

“We are moving slowly into an era where big data is the starting point, not the end.”
Pearl Zhu

So how can this shape your learning?

Provide targeted learning

Using the data you have collected means you have the ability to provide more targeted learning. Your data should help you to understand who needs further learning, if any and on what topic. Alternatively, you may find that some of your team have no problems but want to learn new skills or knowledge for their own benefit.

More targeted learning should improve performance and confidence at work. Your whole team should then be on the same level, so overall teamwork and performance will be reaching new heights. As an L&D manager, this is a huge bonus!

A personalised learning path

By taking on a more targeted learning method, you will be offering more personalised learning at the same time. This may be more difficult with larger teams, but you may be able to group learners to address the main focus areas.

Personalised, targeted learning will make your learners feel like they’ve been considered individually rather than as a whole team. This should make your learner want to be more involved [1]. Think of when you receive something personalised, whether that be an email, gift or even an ad. It makes you want to engage with it, because it’s directed at you.

“The more personalized the content, the higher the chances of conversion.”
John Rampton

Personalised learning should have the same effect on your team, resulting in higher engagement.

More appealing content

The steps above will improve learners’ engagement, as the learning will be more directed towards them.

However it’s just as important to see if your data shows how your learners learn, and how you can use that data. Some of your team will learn better one way, and others another way. This is really important when you’re deciding how to deliver the content.

Some may learn through reading, some through doing and some through listening or watching. Where possible, target and personalise your learning even further with this data. You can switch up how you deliver content through adding videos, practical sessions and interactive modules. You could even use methods like storytelling and gamification.

By changing these elements, the learning should become more appealing and therefore more engaging. Not only will this make it easier for the learner to learn what they need, but it will improve their performance.

You should always do your best to acknowledge and deliver learning to suit your learners style.

Optimised learning

If you are providing learners with surveys, or you deliver digital learning there’s a key piece of data that is very important. Do learners prefer to learn digitally, and if so what kind of device do they prefer to use?

Why is this useful? Well, if your team prefers to learn digitally, it can save you time and money. Initially, it can cost extra to digitally transform your learning. However, you will see the benefits over time. The main one being no more classroom time and costs.

If your team already learns through digital means, then you should find out how. Do they use their phones, laptops, desktops or tablets? It’s important that your content is functional on all devices. If not, learners will struggle to interact to their best capability, hindering their retention of knowledge.

This is definitely an important step to consider when you’re designing your content and delivery.

How do we use data at Near-Life™

We understand why data is so important in the development of your learning content. With this in mind, we’ve made it easy for you and developed intelligent reporting. As our learning scenarios are all based around interactive, branching game design there are lots of key data opportunities.

As a learning manager, you get access to an area which shows you the progress of each learner and their performance within each scenario. We want to make sure that you can identify any gaps in your team’s learning.

We also know how important it is for the learner to understand their capabilities. That’s why we also provide individual feedback on scenarios. This allows them to understand where, how and if they made the wrong decision. This is crucial for learners to understand how to make the correct decision in the future.

We want to continuously improve learners’ knowledge and skills.


[1] Understood: Personalized learning: What you need to know

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