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In Learning Measurement, It's Important to Know Your Reporting Audiences

January 4, 2018
Jan 4, 2018 6:00 PM

Our organization, Performitiv, spoke to over 180 learning professionals and what they wanted to change in their L&D measurement process. One trend that appeared was a need to have less reporting more focused on the audience the report serves.  The audiences served by L&D reporting come down to 3 audience types (excluding the data scientists that want the raw data).  These audience types are: 1) detailers, 2) explorers and 3) story tellers.DetailersDetailers are the people in the trenches that need to see a lot of details like individual scores, comments, discrete class data, and specific evaluation scores.  They need this detailed information quickly and they use this information to identify issues before the next learning experience.  The detailers include instructors, content managers, and instructional designers.  The key is to give them 1 report with sufficient details so they see what needs immediate improvement.ExplorersExplorers are people looking across attributes in the data and respondent demographics for trends, outliers, and highlights.  Unlike detailers, they focus on analyzing aggregate data in areas like programs, curricula, courses, locations, modalities, instructors and respondent demographics.  They explore the data across these comparisons to spot opportunities for improvement that are more long-term in focus. Explorers typically manage a program or curricula or oversee business unit training and need to review data over time across attributes to improve their operations learning and people impacted by it.Story TellersStory tellers are people who need to communicate a lot of information to a senior learning executive or to a business stakeholder and do so in a short amount of time on a periodic basis.  They need to paint a picture or tell a story with the data in a succinct and articulate manner without getting into too much detail but yet appeal to the stakeholders interests.  Story tellers use scorecards that summarize key performance indicators (KPIs) that are a combination of multiple data sources (utilization data, assessment data, business data) to tell their story.  Story tellers don’t use a lot of learning jargon if not speaking to a learning audience and they tend to highlight business data that is aligned to the learning programs their stakeholders sponsored.Story tellers avoid controversy or complexity in their reports but simplify the conversation to focus on performance that is below, at or above goal – simple.  Finally, story tellers want to shift the conversation to one of performance as opposed to training satisfaction and where performance is below goal, they want to collaborate with the business stakeholder to take action on that data and improve that KPI.  That signals to the stakeholder this isn’t about collecting data and reporting it but about a genuine desire to improve performance in a data-driven way, a pleasant shift in the conversation.ConclusionKeep reporting simple.  Don’t create and run 30 reports when 3 will do.  Less is actually more in this case as it focuses the audience on what they need to do and highlights information for decision-making so they can make improvements in a data-driven way without getting lost in a sea of data and reports, controversy or confusion.Want to See Examples?If you are intrigued by these concepts and want to see examples of reports for the detailer, explorer and story teller, contact us at and we'll share some outputs so you can find creative insight into improving how you report your learning data.