We are barely scratching the surface of the potential of leveraging Big Data. Big players like SAP and IBM are already touting the phenomenal explosion in the volume of data generated by enterprises as the next gold mine for extracting competitive advantage.
By and large training departments are behind the curve when it comes to analytics (once again, there are exceptions and I am happy to make such sweeping statements and, hopefully, get away with it!) Seriously, I am still talking to big companies that don’t even have a LMS, and most of them that have a LMS are not using it properly!
But, there are companies that are pushing the boundaries when it comes to learning analytics. Standards like Tin Can API now allows us to take learner tracking outside the LMS and into the realm of social collaboration applications. I believe this will herald a truly interesting chapter when it comes to training. While training departments don’t necessarily create data on a large-scale, they can benefit from Big Data generated by the rest of the organization. Here are few scenarios:
- Sentiment Analysis on a product or service could unearth training deficiencies among customer facing employees and dictate curriculum revisions.
- Analyzing unstructured data pertaining to internal emails / instant messaging and structured data from the LMS could throw light on demand for training.
- Tracking chatter on LinkedIn groups, Glassdoor.com, and other public forums can tell you what people think about working for your company including what type of training is provided (just Google “training at “name of your company”).
- Customer education groups (especially in technology companies like Microsoft or Cisco) have a huge incentive in finding out how customers and partners assimilate and use their products, what use cases are more popular, what support calls are generated, and tie it back to training and certification programs. This particular example is a classic Big Data scenario as it involves processing static as well as real-time information from a diverse set of data sources.
Stay tuned for a more authoritative update on how Big Data and Analytics could be used for managing human capital.