We already know that training is critical and data says, companies that offer comprehensive training programs have 218% higher income per employee and 24% higher profit margin than companies without formalized training programs. Corporate training includes customer, partner training too. There are added benefits of training which are increased employee retention, employee job satisfaction and employee retention.
With such enormous benefits, how can organizations ensure that training and development departments implement the right kind of training? The answer is Data Analytics. Data Analytics has been a friend to training efforts for the longest time.
What is Data Analytics in Training?
Data Analytics can be defined as “qualitative and quantitative techniques and processes used to enhance productivity and business gain.”
In training data analytics is used to a) identify training needs of employees b) assessing performance during training c) evaluation post training. It is also used in a cost-benefit analysis of time, effort and money utilized for training against profit made by the organization.
The need for Data Analytics
However, what is the need for data analytics in corporate training and how could it be useful? 49 percent of Deloitte’s Analytics Advantage Survey respondents assert that the most significant advantage of incorporating data analytics into their organization is that it facilitates better decision-making capabilities.
Decision-making being the core of companies’ functioning, affects all their stakeholders alike. Catering to all three segments of stakeholders — employees, clients, and partners — corporate training enables a customizable learning experience for the individual users. As a result, learning becomes more engaging, useful and productive.
Data Analytics Transforms Corporate Training
With only 4 percent companies making optimal use of data analytics to leverage the appropriate combination of data, tools, and people. Data analysis is not only logical, but its application is necessary to justify investing in knowledge enhancement which is in line with organizational goals and success.
- Impactful Analytical Methods(Pre and Post Training): Even before the training can begin, the T&D department uses different methods of analysis such as SWOT, feedback from managers to pinpoint where training needs apply – this is called Training Needs Analysis, where data crunching is compulsorily required.
Accordingly training programs are created and implemented in the organization. Implementing the right learning methodology also depends on the needs and how they can be addressed for the best learning outcomes.
Post-training studies are conducted to measure the effectiveness of training against profits or relative benefits of the training. Subjective tests measure satisfaction, reinforcement of learned behaviors among many others– results of which again are pure data, guiding insights and influencing future strategy by Training managers. Financially measurable impact of training can be observed by implementing methods such as Cost-Benefit Analysis which involves a comparison of developmental costs (of conducting and developing T&D session) against monetary benefits (how much money can the organization make as a benefit of the employee attending the program). Two offshoot methods to conduct cost-benefit analysis are the ROI and Utility Analysis. The ROI method measures merely the cost of training against profitability and Utility Analysis is a way of measuring role productivity post-training.
- Competitive Advantage: An impactful training based on results of data analytics has a ripple effect on the organization. By increasing employee satisfaction, retention, skills, and knowledge, and reducing attrition and losses, it has an undeniable impact on profits. It gives such a competitive edge, where talent clamors to get a job in such organization.
- Training Impact on Personalizing training modules: With each one’s diversified needs to be accustomed to a fixed training course, data analytics helps to personalize the modules to increase learner engagement and improve productivity.
A Microsoft study suggests that big data analytics, through insights into large data stores, enables corporations in assessing and predetermining the requirements of partners and customers.
Organizations using data analytics are empowered to design unique and effective training methods for the employees based on correlating person-based skills, knowledge, and capabilities.
- Closing the skills gap: The 2012 McKinsey report, ‘The world at work: Jobs, pay, and skills for 3.5 billion people’ estimates a worldwide shortage of 40 million high-skills employees by 2020. With skills of the workforce not matching the changes in company’s strategies, markets, goals or business models, data analytics can provide useful insights about skill gaps and ensure training is tailored according to those gaps.
- Continuous improvement in organizational performance: Corporate training involving data analytics may utilize aggregated feedback to motivate employees’ and organization’s performance over time. The 2016 Workplace Trends Report by Sodexo offers examples of how data analytics can be crucial in making policy changes that ensure a boost in companies’ productivity.
Another way in which data analytics changes the way corporates train is by encouraging a focus on corporate responsibility and sustainability. Ensuring sustainability results in the corporation’s prosperous future.
- Training Impact on Human Resources: Using data analytics in training has a surprising impact on Human Resources (HR) department where insights derived from data analytics directly influence some tasks of the HR. The functions are related to updating job descriptions, making the right hiring decision, performance appraisal, conducting professional development programs which in turn influence, motivation and job satisfaction, increased employee retention and lowered attrition.
A recent Sodexo Report marks a whopping 44 percent reduction in recruiting cost, a 25 percent reduction in hiring time, and a 23 percent cost-per-hire saving a year by deploying data analytics in training its employees to hire right. This is but one example of how using data analytics in corporate training induces business profitability. The Evolv Workforce Performance Report points out as to why employees of a global corporation missed customer service targets, and how, with the use of data analytics in human resource training, they achieved a 5-10 percent improvement in resolution rates.
- Receiving real-time feedback: The advent of data analytics in corporate training-induced real-time feedback on training sessions. With online training, the input is accessed live or is recorded for later consumption by company’s employees, partners or customers.
When an organization trains its stakeholders in real-time using big data, the chances of on-session feedback increase, leading to a crucial to and fro learning session. Data analytics is helpful in keeping track of follow-up emails; email opened count, response submitted and other related metrics, sent to learners.
Future Trends in Corporate Training
Training is now increasingly being done via online training software to make delivery of training modules easy. It also ensures that online training is accessible to all employees.
By aligning training programs with real-time analysis of the training sessions, corporates can easily secure optimized operational productivity and increased profits.
Alignment of training programs is in line with assessing the future trends using data analytics while utilizing it in training employees and partners. Real-time information accessibility is a corporate boon that is derived directly from data analytics. In-depth and consistent data analysis helps to predict future market trends prepare employees for impending challenges while training them to tackle the difficulties at face value.
 http://www.bain.com/Images/BAIN _BRIEF_The_value_of_Big_Data.pdf