By Jessica Philpott
If one of your senior executives asked you tomorrow to provide hard data on the impact of eLearning at your organization, could you? Your first step may be to look at data like overall license consumption or cost per user, or even employee reaction to the learning—but what value does this information really provide? At a time when organizations are becoming leaner and every dollar spent must be justified, it is imperative to begin measuring the impact and value of eLearning.
You may be wondering what’s wrong with tallying the number of licenses consumed or the cost per user of eLearning? The short answer is nothing. But without placing those numbers in context as part of a larger value story, they will not be enough to justify your eLearning program.
Here’s an example – imagine that you’re in charge of procurement at your organization and you have purchased a piece of equipment for $5,000. You keep the equipment for five years, then scrap it. Using straight-line depreciation, you can say that the equipment cost you $1,000 per year to own. This seems like a good value at first glance, but what if the equipment was rarely used and broke down early in year 2? It could have taken you the additional 3 years to acquire budget to purchase new equipment, which is why you did not scrap the initial equipment until year 5. On the other hand, the equipment could have worked perfectly for the entire 5 years and your money may have been well spent, but this information is not clear from the data provided.
Now let’s apply this concept to eLearning. You purchased an eLearning solution and your personal goal was to have it cost less than $100 per user license consumed. You have met this goal, but when you asked users how they felt about the eLearning, nearly half told you that they opened a course, didn’t finish, and never logged back in. This makes your cost per user metric much less useful than you originally thought.
Your next question is likely – what do I do now? The good news is that your Skillsoft Customer Success Consultant is here to help! Your consultant can work with you to help you determine which metrics are most valuable for your organization to measure. Once you’ve determined what metrics matter to you and have set out a plan of action, your consultant can help you to conduct an Impact Analysis. This is a short survey (5-10 minutes in length) sent to your users to gain real data on the following aspects of your eLearning program:
- Efficiencies created through cost displacement and time savings delivered by Skillsoft eLearning
- Effectiveness of the Skillsoft solution in terms of relevance, application rate, skill gain and satisfaction
- Outcomes supported by improved performance
- Opportunities to strengthen impact in the future
Your consultant is an expert in this field and can even provide you with industry benchmarks to see how you compare to others. The output of the Impact Analysis will provide you with hard data to make a splash in your organization by showing the value of your hard work and commitment to learning, and proving the value of the eLearning investment. Head over to Skillsoft’s Client Community (login required) to review additional information on the Impact Analysis under the Measure Program Value tab. Also, during your next scheduled check-in with your Customer Success Consultant, ask how you can measure value using an Impact Analysis.
The American Red Cross has been able to demonstrate great value from eLearning—thanks in large part to their partnership with their Customer Success Consultant. Here's their story:
Jessica Philpott is a Customer Success Consultant at Skillsoft.