Capture the Power of SumTotal Advanced Analytics

Mar 03, 2016

learning analytics.jpg

SumTotal provides powerful reporting and analytics tools to help you and your team make data-driven decisions.

Advanced Reporting gives you a robust library of out-of-the-box reports and the tools to create reports. You can combine data from SumTotal and other technologies for complete reporting on all your data. Based on Jaspersoft, an open-source reporting and business intelligence platform, it enables you to perform complex data analysis and flexible visual reporting—if you know how to use it.

What follows is a guide to getting started in SumTotal Analytics, the tools to supercharge your learning and development measurement, analysis, and prediction.

Align Learning and Development to the Business

According to LinkedIn’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report, the top priority for L&D professionals now is aligning learning to business goals. They realize that the best way to prove the value of learning is to enable the company to reach its goals.

Alignment has changed since the L&D team was simply an order-taker. LinkedIn’s report tells us that 44% of L&D professionals work closely with the CHRO and 50% work directly with executive leadership.

So, it’s no surprise that the steps to learning alignment begin with conversations with the leaders who own company objectives.

  1. Get the business leader’s perspective on goal achievement, the skills required to accomplish them, and the gaps in the current workforce.
  2. Make their goals yours. Write case studies that show how your interventions improve business metrics.
  3. Analyze the gaps and develop a plan to remedy them. Don’t forget to build manager coaching and development skills into your program.
  4. Measure your results with business metrics. You won’t want to neglect the internal metrics that help you improve programs, but the actual result is the goal owner’s measure of results. In your conversations, don’t overlook the power of estimation.

For a complete guide on using estimation, we recommend How to Measure Anything by Douglas W. Hubbard.

Seeking Data Quality

Modern business runs on data—business leaders see data quality as critical to business success.

If you’re not there yet, you’re not alone. In a report from The Data Warehouse Institute, only 39% of organizations say they rarely have data problems. Bad data costs businesses in the U.S. over $3 Trillion a yearBut there is a solution, a way to get control of your data, and it begins with a commitment to making your data the valuable asset it can be.

What is Data Governance?

Today, almost everyone in every organization creates and uses data, but without governance, it becomes chaos. However, with the right effort, you can get control of your information with data governance—the key to data quality. It enables you to keep everyone in sync with good data management and quality goals.

Data Governance is a system of decision rights and accountabilities for information-related processes, executed according to agreed-upon models which describe who can take what actions with what information, and when, under what circumstances, using what methods.”

The Data Governance Institute

We recommend joining The Data Governance Institute to get their guidance in creating your organization’s framework. They have a wealth of tools to get you started on the right path.

Achieving Data Competence

Data competence begins with understanding how data drives decisions by delivering the business intelligence decision-makers need. Busy managers and executives don’t need data to analyze—they need insights.

Start with the decision-makers at every level of the organization to understand their needs. To help you get started, let us show you some ways you can overcome the challenges of building a robust reporting function for your learning organization.

Upskill Your Team

Instead of treating skilling costs as an expense, treat them as an investment and measure the business impact. Most L&D team members won’t need to know how to compute statistical analyses, but they do need to know how to apply the results.

Hire a skilled data analyst. A good data analyst with a background in learning analytics and human capital management will get you up to speed quickly.

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 $71,637. If hiring an analyst is beyond your reach, you can borrow, build, or rent the expertise.

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. However, there are some drawbacks. Your IT group’s priorities are not yours, and they’re likely overburdened. You may find you can’t get help when you need it.

Develop the Skills. Many data analysts learn their skills when they upskill from other roles. 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’ve become human capital analysts in this way.

Hire a Consulting Company with analytical expertise and the proven ability to use SumTotal Advanced Analytics to create data visualizations that deliver real business intelligence.

A consultant is an excellent option. You can get the help you need and pay only for what you use. However, just as in hiring an employee, human capital analytics are 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.

  • Domain expertise and experience. Look for a provider who has solved the problem for others.
  • Understanding of your business model and your strategy.
  • Sensitivity to your budget.
  • The resources to give your needs their full attention.
  • Excellent communication skills and a focus on your needs.

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

About Pixentia

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

Previously:  Next up: 


News Letter Sign up

Get in touch with us
phone_footer.png  +1 903-306-2430,
              +1 855-978-6816