Ever wonder how leading organizations have advanced their ability to demonstrate the impact of learning? It doesn’t happen overnight. Moving from reporting basic L&D operational metrics to being able to predict learning impact and ROI requires patience, focus and persistence.
In a recent webinar hosted by Performitiv’s Chris LeBrun, Jim Abbinanti, Program Manager of the Learning Strategy & Analytics group at Fortune 1000 financial services leader CNO Financial, took a group of leading learning executives through their analytics journey and explained how they are currently able to provide precise, useful data on the impact and ROI of their programs to company execs.
Following Bersin’s model of Talent Analytics Maturity, Abbinanti and the team at CNO Financial began with Level One - Operational Reporting - by using “heavy, heavy Excel and very basic survey tools,” which resulted in a “mad scramble to get basic quarterly reporting in place.”
They advanced to Level Two - Advanced Reporting - by bringing in business data and outcome KPIs, pairing learning evaluation data gathered automatically via Performitiv. This gave him the ability to review simple trend and benchmark data to gauge individual program performance.
“Then I started creating Excel-based dashboards, putting those on a regular cadence, using that data and actually reviewing it with program managers” says Abbinanti.
Abbinanti and CNO now collaborate with Performitiv to achieve Level 3 – Advanced Analytics. This involves more advanced statistical analysis using interactive dashboards to identify issues that need work and improvement on an aggregate and programmatic level. Performitiv’s dashboard solutions allowed them to start bringing in data from multiple external data sources simultaneously and segment the data to provide pinpoint precision to drive more effective continuous improvement.
"At CNO, we use Workday as an HR system, which feeds into Cornerstone (our LMS), which then feeds into Performitiv. But when we go in and start doing some drill downs and filtering and analyzing my data in Performitiv, at any point in time, I could be looking at HR data, Cornerstone data and Performitiv data. That's three different data sources in one dashboard - all organized and easy to visualize with advanced tagging."
Abbinanti highlights how this shift into Advanced Analytics allows them to spend less time on data collection and more time defining improvement areas, taking action and focusing on storytelling.
“Storytelling in general has become really more prominent with us. Once we got access to more data and better data and then better tools, we just find that we are now spending more time looking at that data in different ways and uncovering meaningful stories that we can share with our field force, about the value and impact of learning” said Abbinanti.
Above is a great example of how CNO was able to provide detailed reporting on how specific programs were statistically proven to have driven outsized financial, sales, and customer success outcomes using data and language relevant to their specific business.
CNO is just beginning to delve into the very earliest stages of Stage Four – Predictive Analytics – by leveraging Performitiv’s AI Insights Engine and consulting services to help predict the likely impact and outcomes of a handful of learning programs, and the company is still very much in the learning phase.
It’s taken Abbinanti and CNO a couple years to advance to the maturity level they are currently at, and he advises other learning leaders not to get discouraged by thinking they have to do too much too fast.
“Start somewhere. Everyone has something usually, even if it's super basic. And sometimes you can do a lot more with that than you even realize you can."