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Straightforward Learning Analytics with Trish Uhl

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Episode summary 

In this episode of the Learning While Working podcast, Robin chats with Trish Uhl about the importance of using a variety of evidence-based approaches when considering the impact of learning. Trish also emphasises the importance of using proven tools and logic frameworks to gather data and draw conclusions more efficiently without reinventing the wheel.

About Trish Uhl

Trish works with learning & talent development professionals, people leaders, and other businesses executives on engineering dynamic ecosystems to equip and empower their people with data, analytics, and tech to enable the cultural transcendence necessary to power this kind of strategic change.

Key Takeaways

  • One thing L&D people get wrong when it comes to data is starting by looking at data. Instead, it should be more about starting with a business challenge or opportunity in mind—and then sourcing the data we need, whether it’s already available or needs to be generated or a combination thereof.
  • It’s not about the learning function as much as it is about using data to generate the insights to drive the outcomes that allow others in the organisation to make better decisions.

  • Data should be used to improve our processes. Data should allow us to expand our understanding and the context in which we’re using data to help us make more quality decisions.

  • The whole point of evidence-based practice is to use the best quality data we have available, and this can include:

    1. Data

    2. Our judgment and expertise

    3. Stakeholder’s expertise, experience, and perspective

    4. Scientific literature and academic research

  • There are so many other data sources that we can use in addition to learning data, for example, Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation or smile sheets. We can line those pieces up to be able to have a journey that actually helps us over time to drive outcomes.

  • While financial performance has been a critical indicator of organisational success in capitalist countries, the performance metrics are changing as we move into a more sustainable business world.

“Even though profit is important, it can’t be the sole focus anymore – it’s about people, the planet, and prosperity for all” – Trish Uhl

  • Using existing logic frameworks and measurement scales that have been academically vetted and rigorously tested in the field can help us collect data and reach conclusions faster.
  • We should use existing logic frameworks to answer the big questions - there are proven ways to measure qualitative data such as employee engagement, culture, safety, leadership, and much more. We just need to become aware of what tools already exist and take advantage of their reliability.

“It’s not just about the analyses, and it’s not just about playing with data. It’s also about being able to compel action. We need to take that analytical insight and actually compel action with that” – Trish Uhl

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