Capture the Power of SumTotal Advanced Analytics

Mar 03, 2016

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Analytics plays a critical role in providing insights about the impact of learning on organizational performance. SumTotal Advanced Reporting provides the capability for building robust analytics for your learning processes. It is powerful reporting tool that is fully capable of supporting your learning analytics needs – if you know how to use it.

Over the past twenty years, we have seen many instances where the leading human capital management software vendors provided advanced reporting capabilities, but the tools were too complex for non-technical users. That situation persists, and the best efforts of leading companies like SumTotal have not yet overcome the challenges.

Bringing together complex data sets, derived tables, calculated fields, and data filtering to provide actionable intelligence has a steep learning curve for non-technical people. Many people are discouraged by the complexity of analytical tools, and, in our experience, many don’t try. However, there are ways to gain mastery over your data. Let’s examine some that may work for you.

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Achieve Data Competence

If you are leading the learning function in your organization, you have probably already begun the process of aligning learning to the business. That includes understanding how the use of data drives decisions. To help you get started, let us show you some of the ways you can overcome the challenges to having a robust reporting function for your learning organization.

  • Learn the skill. There are many educational resources for analytics. MOOCs and certification courses are available, as are self-study guides and tutorials. A person with a math background and an aptitude for data analysis can gain useful skills in a few months.                                                                                                            
                        It is a viable solution if you have an able and willing person on your staff and can wait for the skill to                          develop.  We know people who have become human capital analysts in just this way.
  • Hire a data analyst. Another excellent solution is to hire a good data analyst with a background in human capital management reporting. 
            However, data analysts are in short supply, and the added requirement for an HCM background makes                   the required skill even more scarce. According to Glassdoor, the U.S. national average salary is $73,500.
  • Get Help from IT. If your IT group has the availability and you can work with them to articulate your needs, it could be a way to get help, at least in the short term. 
                                There are some drawbacks. Your IT group’s priorities are not yours and, like most, it is probably                                    overtaxed. You may find you cannot get help when you need it.
  • Hire a Consulting Company . A consultant is a good option because you can get the help you need and pay only for what you use. However, just as in hiring an employee, human capital analytics is a critical competency, and you need to employ the same diligence you use in hiring a staff member, including financial stability and background checks.

    These are the minimum criteria you should consider.

    1. Domain expertise and experience. Look for a provider who has solved the problem for others.
    2. Sensitivity to your budget.
    3. The resources to give your needs their full attention. Being busy is a good sign, but too busy may mean you can’t get service when you need it.
    4. Good communication skills and ability to work with you. You need a provider who not only can  provide the solution but has the patience to teach you how to use it.

We hope we have motivated you toward taking the first step and making the most of your reporting tools. With the right help, you can master your data to give you the kind of insights that will transform your operation.

Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.

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