Just how granular does reporting need to be? You’d be surprised.

Detailed reporting shouldn't be a hassle

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Just how granular does reporting need to be? You’d be surprised.

When evaluating an LMS, reporting is always a topic of interest. While general, companywide reporting is standard, detailed reporting capabilities get spotty from LMS to LMS.

Basic reporting may suffice for smaller companies with simple needs, but what happens when it’s time to scale, which is inevitable?

You could be working with multiple locations, organizational units, divisions and job roles — and it’s essential to be able to ‘slice and dice’ the data in the way you need it.

For example, in manufacturing it’s important to be able to quickly pull a report to identify which employee is qualified to work on a piece of equipment at any given time.

Identifying training gaps, like in this example, is nearly impossible to do in a fast, efficient way without the right reporting capabilities.

Without the option to filter a report leaves your business at a disadvantage — losing efficiency, losing competitiveness and possibly opening yourself up to the risk of noncompliance.


So, what makes features will assist you with detailed reporting?

  1. Active Directory Sync. It’s important to find an LMS with the infrastructure that supports detailed reporting. It should sync with active directory and all training should automatically update with each change in job role, location etc. 
  2. Permissions. Many large companies have specific training and reporting needs unique to their business units or geographic location. A manager should be able to access the LMS to pull detailed reports without interfering with the global LMS.
  3. Customization. Any type of detailed reporting requirements may come with customization needs. If the LMS doesn’t come with the report you need, can they customize? And, if so, it should be simple to do and not require an engineering or coding degree.
  4. Automation. Nothing is worse than having to track down the data you need manually. A good LMS will update training by country, role and organizational unit as changes happen and distribute throughout the organization.
  5. Dashboards. Being able to view detailed data in an easy-to-read format is priceless and an essential feature to have in an LMS. Anybody can view, in real time, exactly what they need to see in order to make better business decisions and improve training.

During the LMS selection process, keep these features top of mind while exploring additional requirements.

The Selection Process

Reporting tends to be an ongoing reason for many companies not being happy with an LMS.

Normal complaints include issues with ease of use and difficulty with integration. But, another common problem that isn’t discussed regularly during the selection process is the ability to filter reports on characteristics such as job role, country/location and business unit for example.

Here’s a hint: never assume during the selection process that the LMS you’re in talks with comes equipped with the reporting features that will be the most helpful for your needs.

This is sure to send you on the fast track to buyer’s regret.

Unfortunately, an LMS solution provider cannot read your mind nor assume to know what your business needs.

That’s why it’s so important to jot down in detail what your current and future needs are and not just provide vague answers like ‘we need reporting.’

For example, if you mention that you plan to expand your company to another country in the next five years, this will automatically alert the LMS provider that you will need reporting that can filter by country.

By providing enough information the conversation can be steered in the right direction so you can find out before buying an LMS if they can or can’t meet your reporting needs.
When reporting is done right it provides a multitude of benefits from avoiding fines to increasing productivity. Take for instance, the new GDPR requirements. An LMS that can filter by country can quickly and easily report if the company is in compliance with possible GDPR training requirements. Or, an LMS that can keep production moving along by providing a list of employees that are certified and ready to work on a certain piece of equipment. Filtering is a wonderful tool to have in LMS reporting. Be sure to consider this during the selection process.

If you’re a complex organization with reporting needs that require detailed information, ShareKnowledge may be a good LMS option. For more information, please fill out the form for a member of our team to contact you.


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