The top 10 LMS reporting features to look for

Robust reporting and analytics are critical components of any good learning management system (LMS). The more user data you can access, the more effectively you can fine-tune the program, identify problems early on and equip your team for success. When shopping for a learning system, there are certain reporting features that are especially invaluable.

1. Engagement metrics

Employee engagement metrics are among the most valuable data points at your disposal. They identify the extent to which learners are willingly participating and connecting with the material. Who is using the system and content—and how often? It’s not just about hours logged but also the level of enthusiasm.

A quality LMS should let you examine total participation, course completion rates, drop-off rates and engagement filtered by individual and team. It should also include compliance reports that help you quickly identify participants who are falling behind or not participating. These key metrics make it possible to identify skills gaps and knowledge gaps so that you can focus your marketing and engagement efforts accordingly and determine potential value questions.

In addition, a modern cloud LMS should be equipped with social features that allow participants to interact, encourage one another and share real-time feedback. This information can be incorporated into LMS reports to accurately determine levels of engagement and areas for improvement.

2. Enhanced filtering

Precise filtering is an essential LMS reporting feature. It allows you to lean into complex organization hierarchies and analyze your trends and behaviors on a micro level. At a minimum, you should be able to filter based on:

  • Job role. For instance, a grocery retailer might want to analyze engagement metrics for just the cashiers or deli workers.
  • Job function. Are frontline employees participating more actively than corporate workers?
  • Department. Compare learner progress for different teams across the organization.
  • Region. If specific regional branches have lower participation and engagement, this may signify issues at the management level.
  • Brand. For parent companies with multiple brands, divisions, or store formats, brand-specific filtering is critical.

In addition, administrators should be able to easily filter LMS reporting data based on lesson or content type. By filtering the content, you can more easily identify strengths and areas for improvement within the online training program itself.

3. Comparison features

In an enterprise organization, leadership should be able to compare between regions, teams and locations. This goes hand in hand with the previous point, but filtering is just the first step.

Once you’re able to isolate filtered data, you should be able to leverage that advanced filtering for side-by-side comparison. This allows you to determine gaps, adjust strategy and ensure that everyone gets equitable value from the program.

For example, company leaders use Axonify’s “Compare” feature to determine how their own department, branch location or team stacks up against the company average and against other teams within the organization. Using all the data in this custom report, they can spot compliance issues and other challenges early on, and then take action before their team falls far behind.

4. Confidence-based assessments

It’s not enough for an employee to know how to do the job; they must also possess the ability to confidently apply their knowledge. An LMS should have tools in place to track changes in both knowledge and confidence. After all, raw scores don’t give you the full picture. Sometimes high scores are due in part to lucky guesses, and sometimes knowledgeable employees are hesitant to take important action due to their own lingering doubts. With confidence assessments, you can identify and correct these types of issues.

Confidence-based assessment is an important part of Axonify’s algorithm, and it’s a key feature that sets Axonify apart from other learning management systems. When completing quizzes, trainees input their level of confidence in a given response. This allows for more accurate reporting in terms of where employees are over- or under-confident.

5. Workplace behavior metrics

A good LMS is concerned with learning, but an outstanding LMS can measure how that knowledge transfers to behavior on the job. It allows you to determine how each lesson, module and program is impacting employee performance.

It all starts with the ability to set custom behavior targets for each job role. From there, you should be able to complete digital behavior forms (in lieu of traditional paper-based observation forms) and log behavioral observations and employee audits on the fly.

Your LMS should be able to interpret this critical data in light of the other learning metrics and provide accurate reporting on behavioral strengths and gaps. Team leaders can then use this data to determine where additional coaching is needed before performance declines.

6. Custom business targets

In addition to customizing your behaviors, you should also be able to customize the goals, or KPIs, of your business. Common KPIs include:

  • Conversions
  • Sales
  • Customer experience
  • Customer satisfaction (CSAT)
  • Basket size
  • Revenue
  • Call resolution times

Once you set your KPIs and assign specific targets to those KPIs, you should be able to quantifiably measure how your corporate training efforts are impacting those targets. While KPI progress can trend up or down for numerous reasons (not just training), an intuitive LMS can analyze the goal metrics and training metrics side by side and isolate potentially valuable correlations.

Axonify makes this type of reporting easy. All goals are graphically represented on a single convenient dashboard, and you can see at a glance which goals are on track, above target and below target. You can also view data-based estimates of the extent to which each KPI may be influenced by modifications to the training materials.

7. User behavior metrics

Not to be confused with workplace behavior metrics (which are concerned with how employees apply the learning on the job), user behavior is all about the ways in which learners engage with the content.

For instance, do learners participate more frequently with mobile or desktop devices? Mac or PC? What web browsers are they using? This type of technical information may seem minor in comparison to learning and engagement metrics, but it’s nevertheless important.

This type of data allows L&D professionals to understand how tech is used in more detail, thus enabling the team to better optimize the system for an improved user experience. This, in turn, means more participation and better engagement.

For instance, the average millennial spends more than 200 minutes per day on a mobile device, and Gen Zers use their devices even more. If your workforce skews young, or if your LMS has a high concentration of mobile use due to employees being constantly on the move, you’ll want to be sure that your system is optimized for mobile learning.

8. Deep experience data

Deep experience data takes user behavior metrics to the next level. For instance, administrators should have the ability to access the number of views and completions for each activity, whether it’s a lesson, quiz or other module. You should be able to see who accessed each activity and on which dates. In addition, you should be able to see information like:

  • Which questions are commonly answered incorrectly
  • Which questions are commonly answered with high or low confidence
  • Time spent completing each learning session

Using this information, you can more precisely gauge your strongest and weakest questions and materials. And if you’re auditing an employee, you can view course status information and identify their specific areas for improvement more easily.

9. Automated reports

Administrators should have the ability to schedule custom reports that are generated on a weekly, monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly basis and automatically forwarded to all relevant stakeholders.

The ability to schedule reports at regular intervals is important because it encourages leaders to continually track the progress of the program.

In the course of doing business, it’s easy to put your reporting needs on the backburner and forget to periodically review the analytics. Before you know it, three months have passed and several trainees are falling behind. Automated reporting keeps you in the loop and ensures that you identify problematic trends before they negatively impact your productivity, revenue or customer experience.

10. Actionable reporting

Your LMS may have plenty of fancy visualizations, dashboards and exports, but does it actually interpret this information for you in a way that’s useful? For best results, your data should be actionable. In other words, it should identify specific insights and make actionable recommendations that admins and managers can take to improve outcomes.

Actionable reporting is the secret sauce that ties together all of the other LMS reporting tools on this list. It identifies the correlations between engagement metrics, behavior metrics and comparison features, and highlights ways that you can improve your training, hit your KPIs and maintain a knowledgeable and confident workforce.

Remember – solid reporting and analytics leads to informed questions, smarter decisions, better training and improved results for your organization, employees and customers.

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