Data is the fuel that makes modern businesses go. From marketing campaigns to jet engines, data enables more transparency. We can now use data effectively to highlight successes and create improvement opportunities. Learning should be no different from these other areas.
If we have a better understanding of how learners engage, perform and feel about learning experiences, then we have the potential to significantly improve the quality of learning across an organisation. Which in turn drives performance individually and collectively.
Digital Learning experts Kineo recently launched a new service called Kineo Analytics, to bring data and analytics to more L&D teams.
Introducing Kineo Analytics for Learning Content
Alittle more than ten years ago, xAPI (aka Tin Can or the Experience API) was launched to usher in a new era of data transparency for learning. Unfortunately, for the vast majority of organisations capturing and using data still remains elusive.
Kineo has been an advocate for xAPI since it launched, and have had some interesting successes. However, like the rest of the industry, they see the opportunity for so much more. This prompted them to reflect on why the use of data remains elusive across L&D and to explore what could be done about it.
What they uncovered
Kineo found most organisations are still wildly enthusiastic about capturing and understanding data. However, there are some practical reasons why organisations haven’t matured their L&D data strategy.
Kineo Analytics is their response to what they found. It's a value-add service built on a robust technology infrastructure. It launched at the end of 2022 with the goal of ushering in a new era of data use and insight - in partnership with clients.
Kineo’s Chief Product and Marketing Officer, Steve Lowenthal, said:
"We have worked closely and extensively with organisations to understand their problems regarding data analysis and insights. We know that this isn’t an easy journey going forward for many organisations. However, we are here to help you navigate the blockers and realise that data can be your solution rather than your enemy (or worse, an afterthought)."
The 4 most common blockers
All the organisations Kineo worked closely with had ambitions to expand their data use and create meaningful and relevant solutions for their colleagues. There were recurring themes and issues that were being experienced by many organisations.
Kineo created Kineo Analytics in direct response to the issues L&D teams are facing. Here’s how these blockers informed their approach to Kineo Analytics:
Blocker 1: Resources
"We struggle to secure the incremental investment for technology and infrastructure to support data analytics. And what’s more, we struggle to secure the time and additional budget for consulting to include data analytics."
The biggest blocker from clients is investment and time in infrastructure for data analytics. This is the investment in a Learning Record Store (LRS) that is above and beyond the investment in a Learning Management System or Learning Experience Platform already being made. And ensuring when these systems are in place that they are being used regularly and in the most effective and efficient way.
- Kineo made the decision to engineer the ability to capture, analyse and visualise data into their infrastructure and include it at no additional cost to customers.
- Identifying data to be captured is integrated into the course authoring process and environment, anonymised data is exported as the course is used and that data is sent to a powerful business intelligence (BI) tool to make it easy to manipulate, analyse and visualise.
Blocker 2: Practical knowledge
"We don’t have the technical know-how to implement data analytics."
- Kineo has embraced the idea that data analytics is more than technology and infrastructure. They have expanded their service model to include a data lens for the design and development of content and to include regular reviews of data.
- Important insights are captured at both the course level and across courses. This will ultimately improve user experience and the impact of learning.
Blocker 3: Choosing between xAPI and SCORM
"We don’t know how to choose between systems."
Most Learning Management Systems require you to choose between launching and initiating sessions via xAPI or SCORM. You can’t use both (at least not without some technical wizardry).
- Kineo Analytics works in parallel with SCORM. With Kineo Analytics, you can launch a course via SCORM, so the completion and other traditional data are written to the Learning Management System database.
- At the same time, more granular data is captured via Kineo Analytics.
Blocker 4: Confusing and unstructured data
"We can’t navigate the data we have, let alone future or unseen data."
Even if we have data, the data is often unstructured and hard to understand. xAPI enables us to collect data on just about anything in a course, but all that data can be overwhelming and difficult to analyse.
- The foundation of Kineo Analytics is a simple framework that captures data around four dimensions: competence, perception, engagement and reaction.
- This provides a solid foundation of data and a great starting point to grow and mature the model over time.
Steve Lowenthal said:
"We’re proud of the investment and capability we’re bringing to market with Kineo Analytics. And we are excited to go on this journey with our customers.
Our vision is for learning and development teams, armed with data, to engage with stakeholders across their organisation as trusted advisors on how to make the greatest impact with their learning and development investments.
Many people think we are crazy for not charging for this service. At the end of the day, we want to create the best learning solutions possible and we know that data is essential to be able to do that. We want to create meaningful solutions for our current and future customers. We are excited about the opportunities and insights this will bring."