Businesses are ultimately result-driven. No organization can survive if they don’t have quantifiable, positive results. Each promising strategy to boost sales or enhance employee efficiency is ultimately an expense no matter what it guarantees. Unless the management can ensure that a new marketing campaign or employee onboarding program is delivering tangible results everything is a moot point.
Simply put, business strategies are incomplete with ROI. (Return on Investment) When it comes to measuring ROI, data is your best friend. However, browsing through mountains of data can be an intimidating (and time-consuming) affair. This is where business intelligence tools can be handy.
What is Business Intelligence?
Business Intelligence (BI) is software that simplifies business-related data into comprehensible reports, charts, and graphs. BI tools enable the users to have a holistic understanding of all data about the organization ranging from real-time results of current initiatives to measuring social media impact. A careful observation of these reports can inform the management about:
- Market and Social Media trends
- Client response and employee performance trends
- Effectiveness of training programs, marketing campaigns, etc.
- BI tools ultimately help the management make better business decisions, identify problem areas/gaps and discover new business opportunities.
Where BI Tools & L&D functions Intersect
Sometimes the boundary between ‘wasteful expense’ and ‘investment’ can be rather hazy especially if business owners have no access to measurable data. Learning & Development budgets have gone considerably up, especially in recent years, due to factors such as high employee attrition. The management is ready to spend more on upskilling programs but they are also more concerned than ever to understand the impact of L&D initiatives. Here are the following reasons why BI tools have become indispensable for L&D heads:
Data analysis is needed to ensure training programs are aligned with business goals
The main priority of training initiatives is to help employees align themselves with organizational goals. BI tools can be indispensable to identifying trouble areas like skill gaps. This will help the L&D team form effective training programs. For example, if the data shows your sales team is struggling to meet their monthly quotas it is time to introduce a course on sales strategies.
Incorrect data can lead to a waste of organizational funds in the long run. For example, if the biggest current skill gap is communication skills, it is pretty useless to invest in time-management training.
Measure Training Effectiveness Easily
ROI is a huge concern for most business owners as it is directly related to business impact as well as return on investment. A great training program is based on relevant KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and metrics such as business process improvement, improvement of customer satisfaction ratings, revenue per employee, and improvement of innovation.
Then there are factors like employee/learner engagement statistics, test results, measuring post-training performance trajectory, etc. The management should keep an eye on the data so that they can keep track of how much progress each employee has made individually and what impact the training has had on business performance.
Data-focused reports can be analyzed to find out the effectiveness of training courses especially those that are self-paced. Employers can have access to important data like course completion rates, and learner engagement trends per course through LMS reports.
Make Training More Personalized
Not every employee learns the same way. Some people learn better through hands-on experience. Others thrive more in self-paced learning. BI-generated reports can help training managers understand the learning patterns of each employee in-depth.
For example, some learners will show better rates of course completion where course content consisted of short videos and infographics. Such employees should not be subjected to long training sessions unless it’s an emergency.
Create a More Effective Customer Service Training
Want to ensure your customer service is a roaring success creating happy learners and clients? Here again, data can be a Godsend. Through BI-generated reports, you can find out more about customer behavior, spending habits, etc.
For example, if the reports say that the customers seem unaware of the additional products/services you have to offer, you can create a course on upselling/cross-selling rather than going for a generic sales training course. Customization is a great way to ensure training is more aligned with business goals.
Helps Management Figure out Key Weaknesses
Data-based reports can also provide you with a 360-degree glimpse into your organization. You can discover employees who have had considerably less workload in recent years. This can be an opportunity to cross-skill them for a role where they would get to be more productive.