People Analytics – Part II – Talent Data Every Trainer Needs

One of the most important aspects of making data-driven decisions in any industry is to figure out what data is most relevant and will make the biggest positive impact on operations. It does little good to track employee PTO history, for instance, if your goal is to develop a training protocol. That information would be better put to use for engagement/retention purposes, or to assist in the development of a company handbook. Identifying the most useful information for your desired outcome is the first step in the people analytics process.

In this second article about people analytics, also known as HR analytics or talent analytics, we’ll explore the most useful data you can collect regarding your employees when it comes to making fact-based decisions for corporate training development.

Learning Styles & How They Can Drive Results

Most of us are already familiar with the four basic learning styles: visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic ( Familiarity with this model might persuade you that the best, most effective training would include activities from all four areas, and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. Imagine, though, how much more effective your training would be if you knew precisely how many of your team members (and which ones) learn best according to their different styles. Think of how you could tailor your large and small-group training activities for your team to get the highest level of learning possible.   

Preferred Activities-How Can You Rate Them

Chances are this is not your first rodeo. You’ve probably hosted hundreds of training sessions already, from orientation seminars to skills-training conferences.  What worked?  What didn’t?  What hands on activities did you include for the learners?  Was it lecture based or did you have projects that the group could work on?  What were the learning results?  What could you do better next time in terms of engagement and learning outcomes? The best way to know is with robust learning analytics that test people’s reactions to various activities and highlight their preferences.

Content-Modify It Based on Your Learners

A strong analytics strategy helps trainers determine the right content to present by gauging learning outcomes based on previous efforts. In combination with data about learning styles and preferred activities, these analytics can help leaders know which learners to enroll in which courses to accomplish the desired goals (  Using analytics also lets you continuously monitor and modify your training programs based on the learners involvement. 

Skills-How Analytics Can Help Identify Them

Who thrives in a small-group setting? Who shows leadership potential? Who excels at teamwork? Who could sell dirt to the Man on the Moon? Who demonstrates exceptional critical thinking skills?  On the flip side, which of your employees needs refreshers or mentoring?

Discovering your employees’ diverse strengths and weaknesses through accurate data analytics will not only help you devise effective, personalized learning opportunities for them, it will also help you recognize which employees are right for the various roles within your organization and give you opportunities to challenge them, satisfy them, and help them grow ( Once you have determined what data you need to collect, the next step is to collect, analyze, and leverage that information to enhance your talent strategies. In the last article in this series, we’ll explore how you can utilize the people analytics you’ve gathered to your greatest advantage.