Faced with organizations that are more dispersed, a workforce that is more diverse and the pressure to reduce costs, CEOs and CFOs are increasingly asking what the return on investment is from training and development programmes. Learning Analytics provides a framework for understanding how to work with learning analytics at an advanced level. It focuses on the questions that training evaluation is intended to answer: is training effective and how can it be improved? It discusses the field of learning analytics, outlining how and why analytics can be useful, and takes the reader through examples of approaches to answering these questions and looks at the valuable role that techlogy has to play. Even where techlogical solutions are employed, the HR or learning and development practitioner needs to understand what questions they should be asking of their data to ensure alignment between training and business needs. Learning Analytics enables both senior L&D and HR professionals as well as CEOs and CFOs to see the transformational power that effective analytics has for building a learning organization, and the impacts that this has on performance, talent management, and competitive advantage. It helps learning and development professionals to make the business case for their activities, demonstrating what is truly adding value and where budgets should be spent, and to deliver a credible service to their business by providing metrics based on which sound business decisions can be made.
John R. Mattox II is a senior measurement consultant with CEB, a best practice insight and technology company. Prior to this, John was director of research at KnowledgeAdvisors and led training evaluation teams at several Fortune 500 companies. Mark Van Buren is an HR Practice Leader at CEB. He has worked with hundreds of organizations to respond to a clear shift in employee preferences for learning and an increase in employee-driven, technology-enabled development. Jean Martin is CEB's talent solutions architect. She leads insight and product development in talent management and regularly presents to executive teams at top Fortune 500 companies. Her commentary has appeared in publications such as Harvard Business Review, The Economist, and Forbes.