article Improving ROI with E-Learning Innovation
The average business is juggling an increasing number of SaaS products with an increasing yearly cost. The landscape is varied and dynamic. The typical mid-sized company saw 39% of their SaaS stack change last year (1). How do business leaders ensure strong ROI on SaaS spending and reduce product churn?
Business Intelligence is a large slice of this pie. According to Dresner’s 2019 BI Market Study, spending is growing year over year, with most companies planning to invest more in 2020 than 2019. Companies have seen an increase in access to reliable data with a single source of truth but a decrease in users’ confidence in their ability to act on insight. The most common measures of failure for business intelligence are lack of usage (71%), limited adoption (65.9%), user feedback (50.6%), and cost ROI (26.4%). This suggests that users aren’t consistently able to leverage BI tools to gain insight, contributing to tools ‘failing’ at a company.
Training needs to be prioritized as a vital component of a healthy SaaS ecosystem. No longer atrophying in an HR office for onboarding, today’s e-learning tools should be a daily stop for employees eager to grow. Excellent training content will be the driver for usage, adoption, penetration, ROI, and the overall success of a BI tool. Innovation in e-learning leads the way for leaders to create content users will want to consume to continually level up in a tool. The key is to spark curiosity and ensure a seamless transfer of skills into daily workflows.
When employees have continual engagement with a tool and consistently use it to do their job, ROI improves. The following three e-learning concepts represent a shift in corporate training to give users a compelling experience.
1. LEARNING EXPERIENCE PLATFORMS (LXP)
An LXP combines many existing technologies to create a holistic learning platform with different sizes, formats, and delivery methods for content. Users can explore beyond set tracks, engage on their own time in their preferred way, and level up at any stage. Developers can create vibrant communities by integrating user created content and forums for social engagement.
LXPs foster engagement and interactivity with on-demand content, sophisticated recommendations, and paths to discover and engage with new material. This is in contrast to a Learning Management System (LMS), which focuses primarily on storing, delivering, and tracking e-learning content. Typically the LMS is heavily administered, with users assigned to complete certain courses. An LXP is to an LMS what Netflix is to cable — a platform for exploring and discovering new content rather than being prescribed it an a set order. Users can find the most popular content for users like them, fill gaps in their skillset based on previous courses, or follow content channels and learning paths to reach their goals.
Integrating seamlessly with an LXP, microlearning is bite-sized content that focuses on achieving a single, tangible objective. In the age of Youtube tutorials, we are accustomed to finding out how to do what we need to do fast. Microlearning is engaging, on-demand, and direct. Users benefit from a richly varied learning experience that delivers the ‘how-to’ quickly. Microlearning assets can leverage the right modality to match learning objectives, making them more efficient than their long-form counterparts.
Microlearning gives users access to the most relevant content when they need it. Content is tagged to create strong metadata, enabling learners to find what they need easily. This experience empowers users to forge their own path and continue to seek out training.
3. EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
Learning by doing is crucial to developing the skills employees need to do their jobs better. Often, reading a documentation article or watching a video only teaches how to solve a specific problem in one way, leaving them stuck when they face more complex situations in the future. Experiential learning demands that users practice solving challenging problems in a real-world context. This arms learners with a wealth of implicit skills beyond technical functions that make them creative problem-solvers.
E-learning is the ideal format for developing experiential learning for software products. Challenges, practice problems, skills tests, self-assessments, and use cases lead users to apply lessons to their work and reflect on their experience. Hosting this practice in the target software gives learners deep exposure to the tool and practice answering real business questions.
It’s time to move beyond training that employees dread and create learning experiences that are empowering. Your employees will thank you and you’ll see the benefit of increased ROI on your SaaS investments. This is increasingly vital as BI and analytics democratizes, and success in these areas depends on active engagement from business stakeholders.
1. 2019 Annual SaaS Trends Report. https://www.blissfully.com/saas-trends/2019-annual/
2. Dresner Wisdom of Crowds Report. Download here: https://looker.com/learn/dresner-wisdom-of-crowds-report