Selecting an LMS: Reporting from the CFO Perspective

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Selecting an LMS: Reporting from the CFO Perspective

Reporting features in a Learning Management System are particularly important for those in a finance position because it provides critical decision-making data.

Without specific information, it leaves you making decisions based on a guess, assumption or estimate.

This is never a good idea when making business decisions.

All data is not the same either. That is why it’s important to learn more about the depth of reporting capabilities of any LMS you’re considering. 

Can your LMS integrate with other business software in order to see the bigger picture of your LMS investment? Are you employees better skilled, more productive, staying with the company and moving the business forward?

All these questions can be answered with the right reporting from an LMS that ‘plays nice’ with all your other business systems.

It’s also important for reports to be in an easy to read format.

Some users struggle to read long numeric reports. Visualizing data will make it easier for many members of your team to understand and interpret learning results.

Compliance can have a huge impact on staff billing hours when reports take too long to create. And, reports that can’t demonstrate compliance with regulations can also mean additional fines.

With that said, an LMS that provides good reports will give a very clear window on processes, efficiency and costs which will make your job easier.

So what reporting features should I be looking for in an LMS?

Each business has unique reporting needs, but there are specific features that make a CFOs job easier:

  • Integration. Learning data and performance data often reside in different systems, making it difficult to make comparisons. With integration capabilities, there will be an increased range and depth of reports available.
  • Detailed Data. For financial purposes, the more granular the data the better. This helps you make educated business decisions such as creating an annual budget for L&D.
  • Automation. Automation helps streamline processes which will have a positive impact on staff billing hours. It will also offer efficiency to learning processes.
  • Dashboard Summary. Dashboards that present information in a visually pleasing way help to better understand the analytics from data pulled.
  • Customization. An LMS should be able to be customized so that it can pull the data you specifically need.

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

The Selection Process

Of all the features of an LMS, reporting is probably one of the most important for the CFO.

In fact, a recent survey by Chief Financial Officer Magazine, states that this year executives have the highest expectations of their technology investments when it comes to positive impacts in the areas of process efficiency, cost reduction, reporting accuracy and data/analytics availability.

To get a full idea of the types of reporting needed, it’s important for everybody in your LMS selection team to have their input.

Be sure to write up a list of use cases that you can disclose to any potential LMS provider. Then, during the demo, ask to have the LMS provider show you how a report is created.

Ask yourself questions and write notes about things such as,

  • How easy or difficult is it to create a report?
  • Who will be pulling reports? The LMS administrator, manager, chief financial officer?
  • How easy is it to share a report?
  • What does the report look like? Is it easy to understand or difficult to digest?
  • What if reporting needs change? Is it possible to still pull the information I need with some customization? Will this cost an additional amount?

Great reporting in an LMS is essential - especially for the chief financial officer. Assessing the risks of adopting new technologies is a tough job, but an LMS that can provide reporting that successfully fills in the blanks will lessen that burden. In fact, it might even show a profound and insightful link between learning programs and the positive success of your business!


If you’re currently using SharePoint and want an LMS with robust reporting features, ShareKnowledge might be a good option for your business. To learn more about our unique advantage point to corporate training, please fill out the form and we’ll be in contact soon.

Key Consideration:
Technology, Selection

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