ShareKnowledge Blog

Selecting a Learning Management System (LMS): Reporting

Amber Rasmussen February, 2018
Selecting an LMS: Reporting

Simple and easy generally aren’t words used to describe creating reports.  More often than not the words time consuming and tedious are used.

Reports play a very important role in learning and development which is why it should be one of the top things to consider when choosing an LMS.

Creating a report is so much more than providing a document with checkmarks showing a staff member took a course. It should tell a story that clearly defines how your training initiatives have impacted your business goals. And most importantly, how to continue down the path of training success.

If front line managers have difficulty pulling the information needed, it’s impossible to check what is working and what is not.

Common challenges that happen when it comes to reporting include,

  • Difficulty accessing information due to permission restrictions.
  • Creating a report that is too complicated and too many steps involved.
  • There isn’t an option to customize the report to fit specific needs.

These example scenarios are just a few of the problems that could be avoided by choosing the right LMS.

Information is power. That is why choosing an LMS with excellent reporting features will give you the tools to help make informed decisions about all aspects of your business.

So what reporting features are a ‘must have’ when choosing an LMS?

It’s true, no two businesses are alike and not everybody will have the same needs. But, here is a list of some of the most valued reporting features:

1.    Simple and easy. When you need to pull information quickly, it’s imperative that the report can, not only be created, but reviewed in a few simple clicks so managers can get the information they need to make business decisions.

2.    Integration. The LMS should be connected to all your business systems so any report can easily and quickly be analyzed against data from your HRIS or any other system.

3.    Customization. One size does not fit all when it comes to reports. Excellent data reporting tools can compile records from a variety of categories and organize them in any way you see fit.

4.    Permissions. The LMS administrator shouldn’t be the only person able to create and review reports. Each front line manager should be able to access the system without issue and create reports for their department or team.

5.    Automation. Nobody wants to spend hours every month recreating the same reports over and over again. The ability to save templates so that data can be shared each month automatically allows more time to analyze and use the data versus time spent compiling the data.

The Selection Process

There are a variety of reasons why a company chooses to switch their LMS. According to TechnologyAdvice.com, about 66 percent of the time it has something to do with issues related to reporting.

This means that a little more attention should be paid to reporting features during the LMS selection process.

One of the biggest reasons for an LMS to have great reporting capabilities is that it should demonstrate a return on investment for your organization. And if your learning program is not meeting expectations, the report will help you identify where improvements can and should be made.

A helpful tip is to create scenarios of how you will use the LMS and what types of reports you may need. This will provide a guide outlining the various types of reporting features that will be most useful.

For instance, department managers often times need to run reports for their departments but some training systems only allow LMS administrators access. So, in this case, they will need an LMS that allows permissions for managers to run their own reports.

In other instances, it might be important for a business to get very detailed, granular information in their reports.

ShareKnowledge has a Question-Level Report that would be very useful in this scenario. It allows users to see how well learners did on a test but also assess the test itself.

If everybody got the same question wrong there is a high chance there is something wrong with the question and you can reword it next time. If the results show a mixed bag, learning professionals, instructional designers and course creators can decide whether it’s something that can be addressed with more training or change the wording so the question is understood more clearly, or implement both.

Choosing an LMS is difficult as it is. Selecting the right feature sets for learning management systems is important but you also need to make sure that reporting is up to par as well. Being aware of your specific needs and pairing that with an LMS that can solve the problem will pave the way to a stress-free reporting process. And, the best part of effective reporting features in an LMS is the positive impact it will have on the success of your business.

If you’re currently using SharePoint and want an LMS with robust reporting features, ShareKnowledge might be a good option for your business. To learn more about our unique advantage point to corporate training, please fill out the form and we’ll be in contact soon.

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