You’ve got the Information in There, Now How Do You get it Out?
How many times have you heard that we are living in “The Information Age”? Well it seems to be true. Every organization, company, store and even restaurant gathers data and information when you interact with their products or services, especially when you are online. This data is compiled and analysed with the overall goal of using it to provide you with better service, carry products that you use, and focus marketing efforts to connect with you on a more meaningful and personal level.
Using a learning management system, is no different. An LMS tracks and maintains a great deal of learner data that can be very useful to associations. For instance, TopClass LMS tracks purchases, time of purchases, learner progress through courses and certification programs, credit hours, test results, training history, and so much more. As you can see this is a lot of information to track in a database. However, information without meaning is not useful, so how do you add meaning to all this information to make it valuable to your organization? And now that you have all of this data, how do you get it out of the database and use it to better server your learners and members? The obvious answer is through LMS reporting.
Many LMS, AMS, CRM and HR systems only come with a handful of fixed standard reports. This is especially true for systems designed to be used across a wide variety of industries, but not specializing in the needs of any specific group. Fixed reports take the information out of the database, but only allow for a limited analysis of the data. This may not provide the insight needed to make mission-critical decisions about your education programs, such as how to increase non-dues revenue, or which courses are of most interest/value to your members?
Many vendors typically promise that they can create custom reports to get the information out of the database that you as an organization need to have to be effective. In most cases this is true but the drawbacks to this are the time it takes to develop them and the expense of custom report creation. Creating custom reports as a service, is not cheap and many times when the software is upgraded the custom reports have to be redone thus costing the organization even more in the long run.
When you deal with a vendor that has been serving the association sector for as many years as we have, they have built up some expert knowledge regarding the specific information needs of associations. Our LMS, TopClass, comes with more than 20 configurable reports that have been built based on our knowledge of the information and formats that are useful and valuable to associations. The configurable reports in TopClass can be exported into many different file formats which is convenient to further massage the data and combine it with output from other applications.
Even with over 20 configurable reports there may be some other data that you want to get out of the LMS database and TopClass has you covered there too. TopClass includes Jasper Reports so that organizations that have in-house expertise can create their own custom reports, with the data and formats they need. This allows you to really understand if your members and learners are getting value from your course catalog, and use this to continue to improve the value of your education offering for members. WBT Systems professional services team can also assist associations that don't have in-house expertise to create custom reports.
The best database in the world is only as good as the information you can produce from it, so when looking at LMS solutions don’t forget check out the out-of-the-box reports, to see if they provide the information you need, in a format that is useful to you. It could save you a lot of time, headaches and money.
To see TopClass LMS reporting capabilities for your association, request a demo today.