Impressive Capabilities and Usability
The LM-Mess of Reporting
Last year a client released training on a major change initiative in their business. Every quarter, key learning evaluation metrics are tracked for four unique territories.
For this one training initiative I must:
- Provide 40 unique reports (10 reports for each of the four territories).
- Re-apply all of the filters to generate the reports so they show the applicable date range, territory and metrics and run the report (disclaimer: there are 8 which are templated to a point where I only need to apply date range).
- Export the reports generated manually to various formats (PDF, Excel, CSV) to meet the needs of the stakeholders
- Provide explanation of the reports, because most aren’t intuitive.
- Manually email these reports to the different stakeholder groups.
I lose half a day each quarter performing this repetitive task that is the same exact process, just shifted a business quarter, and hope I don’t make a stupid mistake. This is a very scary realization given that I manage over 350 learning solutions for this client.
The LMS I am using is not cheap and is not alone. Most LMS reporting services have no ability to create a report and save it as a report design (or template) and access the same report at a later date with slightly different parameters. Furthermore, there is no ability to automate export to one format or another as part of the report design. There is also no ability to route the outputs of the reporting process to stakeholder groups.
The Accord LMS – What a Relief
Let’s contrast this with the Accord LMS. With their learning management system reporting services I can:
- Create just 10 unique reports for use in each territory (instead of 10 for each of the four territories).
- Save each report configuration as a Definition for later re-use.
- Each Definition can have multiple scheduled Deliveries. Each Delivery specifies:
- The basic report type, there are over a dozen.
- The filtering options. These are quite extensive with over a dozen settings.
- The report columns. Options include all basic user information and custom profile fields as well.
- The export format (PDF, Excel, CSV, Rich Text, TIFF and Web Archive)
- The distribution frequency (in this case quarterly).
- The report time span (previous three months).
- The distribution emails of the appropriate stakeholder teams.
- Quicktest – I can send the Definition to myself to double check the results before committing to automation.
These LMS reporting features provide a great time and labor savings, but there is more - the Accord LMS allows me to set up four Teams, where each Team has a defined scope of Learners limited each of the four territories. Each report is automatically filtered to deliver only the utilization results for the Learners on each stakeholder’s team. This is why I only have to create (and maintain) 10 reports instead 40. As an added bonus, if I place the 4 territory Teams under a single division Team, the division stakeholders will get results from all territories. In fact, multiple division Teams could be placed under a single corporate Team for further increases in the Learner reporting scope. These 10 reports could serve a large company with 300 local branches, and a hierarchical corporate structure. Each team in the training structure would receive reports on only their cross section or grouping of Learners. With my current LMS, this would require 3000 separate reports to be created each quarter!
Other Nice Features
During my tour of Accord LMS Reports, I saw a breadth and depth of data absent from many e-learning platforms.
Report Details: Clear pass/fail, data regarding launch/attempts, time-on-task, scores, and much more. This should be expected, but I still see frequent postings on industry message boards regarding reporting shortcomings with many LMS vendors. Many LMS vendors make claims about reporting functionality, but the fact is that they often fall short on delivery.
Usage Detail on non-SCORM items: I often create job aids as a training solution, deployed as a PDF. The only information we get back on those assets are from surveys deployed in the LMS with questions relating to the use of the PDF. We don’t have any actual usage data for the asset itself; as a non-SCORM item, most LMS systems will not return data on its usage. Accord LMS provides options to wrap your non-SCORM assets as a learning event to provide launch and tracking data that can be reported.
Readability: I spend a great deal of time explaining reports from LMS systems to stakeholders- they are not intuitive. Accord LMS reports have a simple color coding scheme and simple layout that help a reviewer read and understand status of items. This formatting is retained when exported from the web presentation to Excel or PDF formats.
The breadth and depth of the reporting functionality and data provided on reports in Accord LMS are impressive. The most distinguishing feature is the intelligent design which enhances usability and efficiency.