Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 57

SECRETS OF SOURCING
DOUG HARWARD

USING BUSINESS DATA TO
DRIVE TRAINING OBJECTIVES

Measuring and communicating the value
of training has long been one of the
most important challenges of a training
professional. I often think of it as the holy
grail of the profession. It's a topic that many
analysts and consultants speak to often.
But with all the rhetoric and attention
given to the subject, the problem still
seems as big as ever. Is our organization
creating value for the business? How do
we measure the ROI of training? Is the
training creating behavior change?
Why does the problem persist? I believe
the problem is two-fold: We struggle
with understanding what we need to
measure and why we need to measure
it. Training analytics often focus more
on understanding whether the student
learned what we wanted them to
learn. While this is important, we often
lose focus on measuring whether
the learner's behavior changed posttraining, and how the learner's behavior
impacted the business.
When Dr. Kirkpatrick introduced the four
levels of evaluation, he helped us better
understand this and the relationship
between measuring the learner's
satisfaction (Level 1) with training to
whether the training positively impacted
the business (Level 4).
Measuring the impact of training has
often been thought of in terms of ROI.
Unfortunately, training professionals have
struggled to understand the financial
value gained from the training. We may
know how much the training cost to
develop but being able to measure value
based on financial impact is an extremely

difficult question to answer - especially
if that training is not aligned to a specific
need of the business.
If we really want to measure the impact
of training, we need to think of analytics
from the perspective of the business.
Understanding the learner's behavior and
how that behavior impacts the business
is much more important in determining
the future needs of training. And I believe
this is at the root of understanding how to
provide value. As training professionals,
we must work with the business leadership
to understand what is happening in
their organization, such as quality issues,
communication problems or delays in
deliverables. This data is the source of
where training can have the greatest
impact to the business.

WE NEED TO THINK OF
ANALYTICS FROM THE
PERSPECTIVE OF THE
BUSINESS.
Strategically aligning training to these
kinds of problems can provide L&D with
a direct line to how we create value and
how we communicate our value based
on improvements to the business after
the training is completed. If you can
say that training is offered specifically
to solve a problem, then your ability to
measure the value of training becomes
much clearer. It allows you to assign a
financial value because you can better
measure the cost of the problem to the
business prior to the training. You can

then measure the cost of improvement
to the business after the training,
measure the change and compare it
to the cost of the training, ultimately
providing you a return on investment.
The biggest hinderance to measuring
value comes from the idea that we
offer training that has no direct link to
a business problem, initiative or issue,
and we try to communicate the value
of something that unfortunately has
little to no value. This is the difference
between supply-based and demandbased learning. Supply-based learning
is when we offer a curriculum of courses,
allow learners to register for what they
want, do nothing after the course to
reinforce the information or the behavior,
and then try to figure out how to justify
the expense. Demand-based learning
is where we offer training based on a
need (demand) of the business. And we
understand these needs best from data
we get from the business units, not from
the training organization itself.
From where I sit, an increased focus on
data analytics is what will help training
professionals more than anything else
going forward. Data is widely available
today, but we need to make sure we're
measuring the right things. Let's change
the paradigm of thinking about learning
analytics from a learner's perspective
and focus on understanding how we
can better use business data to drive our
training objectives.
Doug Harward is CEO of Training Industry, Inc.
and a former learning leader in the high-tech
industry. Email Doug.

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MAGAZ INE -LEARNING ANALYTICS 20 19 I WWW. T RAININGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

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https://www.trainingindustry.com/magazine

Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019

Learning Analytics: Table Stakes for Business Success
Table of Contents
Let's Build a Measurement Practice for L&D
Brain-Based Learning Analytics and Evaluation Practices
Who [Else] Cares About Learning Impact Data
Justifying the Investment in Leadership Training
Is Training Analytics Smoke and Mirrors?
Leveraging Analytical Tools to Transform L&D
Levearging Learning Analytics to Improve Business Outcomes: Where to Start
Was It Worth It? Measuring the Impact and ROI of Leadership Training
How to Make the Transition to a Data-Driven Learning Culture
How Personal Skills AI Assistants Might Disrupt Corporate Training
Machines Are the Future of Training: How Data-Driven Feedback Is Fostering Improvement and Enhancing Human Relationships
Improving Instructor Impact on Learning with Analytics
A Year in the Life: Evolving L&D Metrics From a Reporting Managed Service to Business Insight Partner
Localizing E-Learning Programs for an International Audience
Learning Analytics Is More Than Data Collection
Using Business Data to Drive Training Objectives
Quality versus Quantity: How Analytics Can Improve Training Effectiveness
Coursera Reaches Unicorn Status and Accelerates Enterprise Product Innovation
Company News
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Cover1
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 2
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 3
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 4
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Learning Analytics: Table Stakes for Business Success
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Table of Contents
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 7
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 8
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 9
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 10
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Let's Build a Measurement Practice for L&D
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 12
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Brain-Based Learning Analytics and Evaluation Practices
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 14
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Who [Else] Cares About Learning Impact Data
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 16
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Justifying the Investment in Leadership Training
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Is Training Analytics Smoke and Mirrors?
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 19
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 20
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 21
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Leveraging Analytical Tools to Transform L&D
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 23
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 24
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 25
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Levearging Learning Analytics to Improve Business Outcomes: Where to Start
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 27
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 28
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 29
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 30
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 31
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 32
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Was It Worth It? Measuring the Impact and ROI of Leadership Training
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 34
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 35
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - How to Make the Transition to a Data-Driven Learning Culture
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 37
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - How Personal Skills AI Assistants Might Disrupt Corporate Training
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 39
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 40
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 41
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Machines Are the Future of Training: How Data-Driven Feedback Is Fostering Improvement and Enhancing Human Relationships
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 43
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 44
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 45
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 46
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Improving Instructor Impact on Learning with Analytics
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 48
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 49
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - A Year in the Life: Evolving L&D Metrics From a Reporting Managed Service to Business Insight Partner
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 51
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Localizing E-Learning Programs for an International Audience
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 53
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 54
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Learning Analytics Is More Than Data Collection
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 56
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Using Business Data to Drive Training Objectives
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - 58
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Quality versus Quantity: How Analytics Can Improve Training Effectiveness
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Coursera Reaches Unicorn Status and Accelerates Enterprise Product Innovation
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Company News
Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2019 - Cover4
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