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In recent years, the scale and availability of the data available to us in all aspects of life have increased enormously.

Organisations are starting to realise how much benefit they can gain from their reports, whether this is refining processes, making important financial decisions, improving learning programmes or any number of other ways in which data is important. More organisations than ever before are tuning into big data and how this can help them refine their practices and learn more about customers’ and learners’ behaviours, but what about the data we all collect through our learning platforms every day? Are you relying on anecdotal evidence and assumptions without reviewing the data available to back up your decisions? In this post, we’ll take a look at why LMS data matters, and how to make the most of your LMS reporting.

Why LMS reporting matters

There are lots of reasons it’s important to keep track of what’s going on in your LMS. For starters, it allows you to identify individuals with a particular talent in a certain area (such as those who consistently score well in specific tasks), along with those who may be struggling. This means you can give more targeted support to each learner. This also works on the team level, where you can see which teams are performing best and which learning is helping their performance. On a broader level, it’s important because it helps you prove the effectiveness of your programme to your senior management team, which can help you secure more funding for future initiatives and make a genuine difference in your organisation.

Types of LMS reports

In Totara Learn, there are four different types of reports:

  • Administration reports, focusing on site activity, usage rates of different parts of your LMS and a log of course backups
  • Embedded reports, built by the Totara team using the report builder tool and can be edited by you
  • User-generated reports, which can be created by users from scratch and customised to generate the data you need
  • Course reports, which look at participation, activity completion and live logs for specific courses.

You can choose to use all or just some of these report types. Different organisations will have different reporting requirements. For anyone just starting out, it might be worth experimenting with the reports created by the Totara team, and moving onto building your own more complex user-generated reports when you are comfortable with the report configuration process.

Find out more about Totara Learn's reporting capability 

Did you know that we have a free reporting course at the Totara Academy? 

Tips for more effective LMS reporting

Whether you’re just getting started or you’re already using your LMS to generate reports, there are always steps you can take to improve the data you’re getting. Some of our tips for improving your LMS reporting include:

  • Splitting your LMS users up into audiences. In Totara Learn, you can add users to static or dynamic audiences based on a range of criteria to help you analyse the performance and progress of different groups for a clearer insight into how everyone is doing
  • Make use of xAPI to access data about what learners are doing outside the LMS for the full picture of your organisation’s learning activities
  • Generate monthly reports on learning activities to help you stay on top of the progress being made. This will help you identify any issues early (such as declining performance in a certain area) so that you can take action faster
  • Tie data into performance management. Often learning is ignored as part of the appraisal or performance management process, so be sure to refer to each learner’s data in the LMS to help you make the link between specific learning activities and performance outcomes.

Learn more about reporting features, functionalities and LMS data in the practical workshops on reporting and LMS data at the upcoming APAC User Conference

We have two workshops dedicated to LMS reporting to help you make the most of the data available to you via your learning platform:

Maximise your user experience with reports

9.00 -10.30am, 19th March 2019

Hosted by Jess Beale and Nikki Sinclair from Catalyst, this session will be a deep dive into Totara Learn’s report builder and dashboards. Attendees will look at ways to maximise the user experience and display relevant data to different Totara roles. 

In this session, attendees will: 

  • Gain knowledge of report builder sources. 
  • Learn how to maximise saved searches with the report table block. 
  • Create a dashboard for a specific Totara role. 

People insights: using people data to drive learning impact

1.30-3.00pm, 19th March 2019

In this session run by our partner, Kineo APAC, James Ballard, Product Manager (enterprise), takes attendees on a journey to explore how to maximise your REAL learning impact through the Totara platform focusing on three key streams: 

  • Operational: Using organisational data to drive structure/reporting in Totara (e.g. programs, audiences, and dashboards)
  • Strategic: Using Totara to drive organisational change
  • Transformational: Predictive modeling and recommendations for action plans and organisational agility
  • A session not to be missed for those wanting to demonstrate return on investment, and learning impact on your learning strategy!

Are you ready to learn more about Totara reporting? 

Meet us at the APAC Totara User Conference  March 18 - 19 to learn how to create your own reports, and learn how others are using reporting. 

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