How to succeed in L&D: Simplifying analytics

There’s an increasing emphasis on data-driven decision making, but before you start analysing anything, make sure you know what you’re trying to achieve first. Krystyna Gadd shares some tips on what you need to consider before gathering any data. 

Would you like:

  • A more simplified approach to uncovering what your organisation needs?
  • More clarity on how L&D can perform better by working with the organisation?
  • An approach to ensure tangible outcomes from learning?
  • Help in demystifying data?

If all of this seems like an impossible task and data analytics seems a step too far, then I can help you make the link between the information you collect/analyse and performance outcomes.

Before you start to gather any data or analyse anything, it’s essential to know why. Use the stakeholder analysis grid from my previous blog to find out what is really important to the people in your organisation. If you understand the link between data and improvements in performance this will also help. Then you can start collecting the right data.

This diagram will hopefully help to demystify the link between data and performance: 

  • Data is just a collection of numbers which has no meaning until we store it in an accessible way (in a spreadsheet, or data base or some other system). 
  • Organised by person or team, so that you can start spotting patterns, the data then becomes records. 
  • When analysed, this yields information
  • This information then can feed into the decisions that you make. 
  • You can then take the right actions which lead to improvements in performance.

Let’s see how this could relate to a real life example using a customer service team.

  • The data you might collect could include call times and length, customer feedback, repeat calls, complaints and colleague queries.
  • The records could be organised per employee, or per team or by products. 
  • Any analysis would yield information about whether individuals and teams met their targets, if the figures were better this month than last, and who the best and worst performers might be. If complaints had risen in the last month, more data might need to be collected.
  • The information would inform our decisions on which areas need improving most and may lead us to gather more information on the issues underlying any rise in complaints. 
  • If an increase in complaints has been through poor product quality, we can put into place actions to improve it. That will also help with the performance of the customer service team, because they won’t have to defend a poor product.

In this example, you can clearly see that not every performance issue has a learning need! 

It’s also worth asking questions and finding out more. For example, speaking to a team leader might reveal that a spike in complaints is from a relatively new team which is still in training. 

Use your gut instinct when looking at data, but also ask questions and deepen your stakeholder relationships. Together this can help reveal the real area of need to focus on and help you create solutions that will have a real impact on performance.

Read more advice from Krystyna Gadd for succeeding in L&D here.


About Krystyna Gadd

Krystyna Gadd is an L&D consultant with over  30 years experience in the field. With her background as an engineer, Krystyna applies the same process thinking to L&D as she did in her former career. Her aim is to help elevate the L&D profession by helping professionals to align themselves more closely to the organisations they work with, but also in a creative way.

Find out more and buy Krys’s book How Not To Waste Your Money On Training at


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