Continuity Has a Great Impact on Skills

You can never stress the importance of continuity in business enough. This is especially the case with customer relationships, where long-term customerships are preferred. 

The other hand, customers appreciate that they are treated with respect and this is reached when you know the needs and wants of your customer and the reasons behind their behaviour.  The customers need to be treated correctly regardless of the point of interaction, respect and professionalism is equally important when dealing with them either directly over the counter, or on-line.  Well qualified sales or service professionals are always in demand to treat customers in the best way.   Keeping up the skills of your frontline personnel requires first objective measurement of the skills and correct forecasting about the acceptability of the time value of the skills. 

The training of the personnel has to be continuous, because the employees need to be always qualified.  The results of the training have to be objectively measured.  You need these elements for the improvement of the results.  This way you can let your employees shine.  Those, who struggle and need help, will be thankful for the assistance and remain loyal to the company.  The old truth, that you can´t improve anything, unless you can measure it. 

The training requirements for the employees vary from business to business. In some industries, the educational background of the personnel can be rather modest and the need for work related training can be relatively high.  Here, on job learning by doing is never good enough.  When you want your personnel to be proud of what they are doing and they do not feel, that they are just filling job vacancies, you have to provide systematic training and skills transfer for them.  Additionally, these companies operate in the service businesses, where you have to provide services with a constantly good quality and the conformance of services has to be continuously according to the service agreements.  This sets high requirements for the HR department and the smooth operation of the training processes. 

The Skills Map service is designed to help in this kind of situations. With the help of the Boudin Skills Pool concept, skills targets for qualified employees can be set and easily kept.  You can easily include unique customer specific service promises into your contracts.  With the monitoring software, it is easy to keep your promises and to keep the agreed service levels.  

Additionally, individuals with designated, measured skills can be included as reserves into skills pools as back up personnel to be used in cases of emergency.The Skills Map makes a beautiful visualisation of available current skills and you can get estimates about how much of the demanded skills can be pulled from the skills pools in the future and how much additional training is needed for keeping the service promises.  The skills pools and the individual insights and views can be easily tailored into the visuals of the software to meet your customer specific demands.

Written by Kari Hartikainen, Sales, Boudin Oy

Responsibility for Training and Budget

Product managers, who have the budget responsibility for their products at the same time often have to carry the burden of keeping their own personnel, as well as the personnel of the resellers and all members of the distribution chain trained for achieving constantly better sales results.  They have to be aware of the training needs for the personnel new to the products.   At the same time, they have to keep track, that all individuals’ product skills are valid.  They have to keep track on the expiration dates on person level and at the same time they have to watch for the decay of the time values of all accomplishments up to 18 months in advance.  When substantial churn numbers have to be bridged, we all know, that they are more than happy to get assisted by intelligent software.

Managers, who have product responsibility often want to ask questions about the relationship between product skills and sales, or how some other Key Performance Indicators benefit from different product skills.  Training Insights service gives a strait forward answer to this question. You get realistic estimates about the relationships of skills correlated with different sales results.

 By extending these thoughts, you can consider what is the possibility to get for example extra sales by improving training results.  Crunched numbers might show areas, where this is feasible. You know from experience how much personnel you need for budgeted sales performance.  Wouldn’t it help to know how to pair sales volumes with skills, so that your operations are not limited by skills.  When you know, that you have enough personnel with sufficient skills and your numbers are not there, you can start searching for corrective solutions elsewhere.

Written by Antti Kurki, Sales, Boudin Oy

Sharpen The Skills

Boudin Analytics Services are designed to enables intuitive monitoring of the skills in your workforce for your Human Resources- and specially for your training professionals. The solution has parameter driven index values for easy setting and adjusting of learning targets for maintaining, developing and keeping track of the skills of your employees. 

The beautifully visualised analytics results give you tailored insights about the current status and possible development scenarios of the skills of your workforce.  You can easily drill down to get all relevant skills related information for your personnel accurate to the different levels of your monthly reporting.  You have also liberal possibilities to make comparisons of your wish of skills related data.

The system also provides you on daily basis with predictions about future training needs for the personnel broken down by different products, product groups, locations, courses, languages, dates etc. on person-based levels.  The automated monitoring system is very helpful for keeping all positions stuffed with qualified professionals all the time. This is very important when we deal with a huge number of sales- and customer service professionals.  These positions are exposed to relatively high churn numbers and it is important to keep these vacancies filled with properly trained employees.  Because you need qualified people with adequate training on continuous basis, you have to be well prepared in advance.

Data visualisation is the graphical representation of information and data. By using intuitive chairs and graphs along with heat maps always showing the data with the granularity of the subtotals of the monthly reporting. The visualisation tools provide an easy and accessible way to see and understand trends, outliers, and patterns in data.  The stochastic analysis gives mainly answers to what – type of questions and the HR – marketing – and sales professionals need to act according to the messages of the gained results.

Today, visualization of data is a key property of analytics to make sense of the millions of data points generated on monthly basis about the product skills development in a company. It helps personnel to see insights on skills by curating data into a form easier to understand, highlighting current scores, seeing the trends and spotting outliers. You can’t stress enough the importance of proper visualisation when planning how to bring the status and the all the different key components of skills development to the forefront of your daily reporting.

Tailored visualisations meeting the needs of individual customers telling those stories that they need to listen to.  This is achieved by removing the noise from the otherwise cluttered data and highlighting the information which is useful for all the involved parties.  However, it’s not simply as easy as just dressing up a graph to make it look better or creating flashy infographics. Effective data visualization is a delicate balancing act between form and function.  

The graphs should be clear and fresh for encouraging the readers of the reports to catch notice of the important issues and act when this is needed.  Graphs have to make powerful points alive for conveying the right messages to the right persons for correct actions.  These persons need to focus for uncovering all the difficult why questions.  The data and the visuals need to work together, and only in close cooperation with the users of the analytics we can create the right analytics visuals to tell the stories intended just for them.

Training Insights service is designed in a way that with a few glances you can understand standing with skills. The visuals are business driven which means that they are product specific ones, and follow the same reporting structures that product financials. The products of your company define which skills your personnel needs for selling their products optimally. The level of product specific skills can be illustrated in many ways. With the help of heat maps and traffic lights it is easy to drill down to the importance of individual skills parameters for sales results on sales outlet, country-, territory-, or sales channel levels on continuous basis. 

It is necessary to be able to forecast the suitability and quality of training materials, and of the training. The quality of the used training content is often not an objective issue.  Many different individuals with their own agendas make daily decisions, what training courses should be used for providing wanted skills for the personnel.  For some functions in the company, like in sales or customer service, the quality of training content can be measured by linking the measured training results with relevant Key Performance Indicators.

Finding a solution for the effect of training and training materials on their functional causality has been quite challenging for a long time.  We use stochastic analytics for analysing the relationships between wanted outcomes and the used training materials. The suitability of the content for its use is tested with a small number of test persons and usable results are at hand immediately after the test population has concluded their tests.  The results are reliable regardless of the distribution of the test scores and there is no need for adding more test objects for reception of a significant result.  Normally, when you look at sales training, you have to wait for some time for the preliminary sales results to appear into the reports.  Now, when analysing the test results with the Content Master service, you can have as immediate report for the test scores for example that the use of the tested learning material for the training of your sales force will increase the sales of a certain product by for example 5% with 85% probability. This makes a   comparison of the quality of different training contents unequivocal and fast. These analytics tools can be effectively used in the content design process to find a compelling training content very fast. 

Written by Kari Hartikainen, Sales, Boudin Oy

Learning Scores for Understanding Skills, Knowledge and the Ability to Predict the Future

Sophisticated use of data analytics marks the moment when the ”Information Society” finally fulfills the promise implied by its name.  According to Wikipedia, there is however currently no universally accepted concept of what exactly can be defined as an information society and what shall not be included in the term. Most theoreticians agree however, that a transformation, that formed most of today’s net principles and currently as is changing the way societies work fundamentally, can be seen as started somewhere between the 1970s, the early 1990s transformations of the Eastern Europe and the 2000s period.

Professor Frank Webster, PhD, author of the book, ”Theories of the Information Society”, has listed five major types of information that can be used to define information society. These are:   

– Technological Information

– Economic Information

– Occupational Information 

– Spatial Information

– Cultural Information

Professor Webster states, that the character of information has transformed the way that we live today and how we conduct ourselves centers around theoretical knowledge and information.  The data takes centre stage. All those digital bits, that we have gathered, can now be harnessed in novel ways to serve new purposes and unlock state-of-the-art forms of value.  But this requires an open-minded way of thinking and will challenge our companies, institutions and us.  The only predictable thing that is certain is the fact that the amount of data to be handled and the needed power and data storage to process it all will continue to grow in sync.  

Most people have considered data analytics principally as a technological matter focused on the hard- and the software used for processing the data. With increasing quantities of data, it has become increasingly important to decide, what insights you want to gain when trying to separate the wanted signals from the surrounding noise.  We also believe that more emphasis needs to be shifted to issues, like what needs to be done when the data has spoken.

Instead of being obsessed about the accuracy, exactitude, cleanliness, and rigorousness of the data, we can today face the data from a more liberal angle and give some slack.  We shouldn’t however accept any data that is outright wrong or false, but some messiness may become acceptable in return for capturing a far more comprehensive set of data and getting new intelligence about issues residing below the surface.  In fact, in some cases big and messy data sets can even be beneficial, since when we tried to extract knowledge by using just a small, exact portion of the data, we ended up failing to capture the breadth of detail where so much knowledge lies.

Use your competences.

The main idea in many cases is, that it may be more advantageous to focus on clarifying what information is hiding inside of the data instead of trying to solving the why -issue.  There might be multiple causes for certain phenomena when solving skills related problems. As an elegant way for finding insights form the data we approach it considering in our analysis its group-related statistic characters.  They describe the stochastic relationships within groups, but never allow explicit conclusions to be made about individuals of the population or about the causality of single incidents.  This doesn’t however reduce the empirical relevance of the insights.

Because correlations can be found far faster and cheaper than causation, they are often preferable.  But for many everyday needs, knowing what is not good enough.  Stochastic data correlations can however point the way toward promising areas in which to explore causal relationships.  You need to know, where to dig deeper for answers for the question: Why?

Of course, causality is nice when you can get it.  The problem with real life multi factor causality is, that it is often hard to expose causality, and when we think we have found it we are often deluding ourselves.  Wishful thinking can possibly lead you to wrong avenues of research.   A fundamental reason for that is, that when we have more data available and since more aspects of the world are being datafied and collected, there is a danger for us to go astray.

Much of the value of data will come from its secondary uses, its option value, not simply its primary use, as we we’re accustomed to think about it.  As a result, for most types of data, it seems sensible to collect as much as one can and hold it as long as it adds value, and let others analyse it if and when they are better suited to extract its value.

Sometimes important assets will not just be plainly visible pieces of information.  The bulk of data created by people’s interactions with skills and learning is a source which a clever company can use to improve existing analytic services and even launch entirely new ones.  Because we are now able to predict how different course scores may influence the future of our sales or the efficiency of our services, this will allow us to take remedial steps to prevent problems or to improve outcomes.  We will detect students and performances which will start to slip before the expiry dates of the courses.  We can support those, who have problems, and those who struggle.  Successful supportive action will improve the performance of the individuals and be beneficial for the company. 

Nothing is preordained, because we can always respond and react to the information we receive.  Calculated predictions are not set in stone – they are only likely outcomes, and that means that if we want to change them we can do so.  When we are able to see problems arise in the horizon, we are able to rapidly take corrective actions.    Because we can never have perfect information, our predictions are inherently fallible.  This doesn’t mean they are wrong, only that they are always incomplete.  It doesn’t negate the insights that big data otters, but puts learning analytics in place – as a tool that doesn’t offer ultimate answers, just good enough ones to help us for now with our everyday business challenges until better methods and hence better answers come along.

Written by Kari Hartikainen, Sales, Boudin Oy

When Skills Matter – Keep Them Updated

Today you can evaluate the skills of your personnel objectively by using a math-infused method that looks at the different product related skills using a new approach based on a new set of metrics.

Each product in the company’s selection requires that the personnel has successfully passed several product specific training courses.  Tracking the validity of course results is complicated, because often several individual courses need to be accomplished, before sufficient product skills are present.  The time value of these courses is limited, because they have a predefined validity period.  We have to calculate for each course score their present time values because the learned substance today is less actual, than it was at the time of its complement and some details of the learnings have been forgotten.  

Several course results and their residual values are interdependent but the impacts of the skills on KPIs are independent.  When you Include all these necessary elements into your calculations, this can easily lead to huge number of data points to be actively monitored.

The data-driven approach has revealed dimensions in skills that always have been present in all workplaces but have been well hidden in the complexity of captured learning- and skills metrics in the databases of Human Resources.  

The simple question of: ”What is the level of personnel’s skills?” can reliably be answered only with a data driven approach. This simple sounding question becomes immediately more complex, when you drill down to multiple segments, like, what is the level of product skills in different markets, countries or sales offices.  Multiply these with different language groups, product groups and most important individual key products and you arrive at – reality. Complex reality is the space where we all live. What you need to know changes, whom you need to know changes, and so does what you need to study to prepare for professional life.

Statistical analyses force people to reconsider their instincts.  Through skills data, this becomes even more essential.  The learning specialists have to cooperate closely with their colleagues who are competent in statistics and analytics. They will find new ways of doing their work by giving free speech to the data relying on stochastic correlations without prejudgements and prejudice, confident that the aggregated data will reveal its hidden truths.

For example, the online education company Coursera uses data on what sections of learning material may have been unclear and feeds the information back to teachers so they can improve.  Other companies use analytics to define what is the effect of different course alternatives to work related outcomes, like increased sales or other KPI. 

Yet expertise is appropriate for a conventional world where one never has enough information, or the right information, and thus has to rely on intuition and experience for decision making.  In such a world, experience plays a critical role.  The long accumulation of latent knowledge – knowledge that one can’t transmit easily or learn from a book enables traditionally one to make smarter decisions.

On the other hand, when your company has lots of data at their disposal which you can tap to be used for analytics, you can make better, and more objective decisions.  Thus, those who can analyse their under-utilised data pools better, may see past the superstitions and conventional thinking not because they are smarter, but because they have the data, and they use the data.  

Dr. Erik Brynjolson, a business professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and his colleagues have evaluated productivity levels and performances at companies with different decision-making styles and have benchmarked them against competition.  They found out that data-driven decision-making gave the data-guided firms clear advantages.  When this philosophy is adopted into improvement of the personnel’s skills advantages will undoubtedly surface.

With cloud based solutions firms can today easily adjust their amount of computing horsepower and storage to fit actual demand.  Because previous fixed cost have transformed into variable ones, the advantages of scale based on technical infrastructure can be enjoyed by all of us.  What counts today is scale in data.  It is possible to hold and analyse large pools of data and it is realistic to capture ever more of it with ease.  Data holders will flourish as they gather and store more of the raw material of their business, which they can reuse to create additional value also in the field of learning analytics.

Smart and nimble small players can today with SaaS solutions enjoy and offer the benefits of so called ”scale without mass solutions”.  They can have a large virtual presence without hefty physical resources, and can diffuse innovations broadly at acceptable cost.  You just need to be able to enjoy the services based on fresh and innovative ideas and run the analytics on cloud computing platforms. 

Companies, presently using learning data for improved skills based results, have a strong incentive to keep adding and analysing more granular training data, since doing so provides greater benefits and the cost for substantially improved results is only marginal, because of following reasons:

First, they already have the infrastructure in place, in terms of storage and processing.

Second, there is a high value in combining existing datasets processed with new algorithms.

Third, using known data sources in an innovative way, simplifies life for data users.

Using data-driven learning analytics is easy and rewarding.  It gives insight in the value of your company’s learning results data.  Slice and dice the information in a way benefitting you the most.  Bring out the effects of your learning results that many in your organisation have assumed to exist, but only a few have dared to request. Taking the first of five easy steps to learning analytics is gratifying, fun and very interesting. The steps lead you to a new level of skills utilisation.

Written by Kari Hartikainen, Sales, Boudin Oy

The Way to Design Product Knowledge

You should always emphasize to your personnel, how important it is to know your product or service inside out for guaranteeing the best possible customer experience to your clients. The nature of your business describes what is vital to be included to the definition of useful product knowledge and what are the skills required for making your business shine. 

Your products and services are in the core of your operations. Performing well in following processes, like R&D, production, marketing, sales, logistics, aftersales, reporting and business controlling requires deep product knowledge of your personnel.  HR and training professionals play a key role in creation of the required skills.  Skills of the personnel and the knowledge how to use these skills are more important than you first would think. In normal businesses, product and service sales are the main sources of revenue. This is the main reason to focus in sales and marketing on good product knowledge and product related skills. 

Trained personnel is in possession of flexible product and service sales related skills.  When you want to evaluate the effect of those skills on monthly and quarterly sales figures, you need to understand the situation of your personnel’s pooled sales skills in detail. Taking a broad view, you have to know, on aggregate level the standard of their skills broken down by product group or product.  When your product managers want to know more about the impact of these skills on sales, they have to drill down to data on market-, country- and territory levels.  This analysis needs to be carried out for different product groups and main products.  Affiliated members of your sales and service teams could also be viewed through this prism.

The aggregated skills of your personnel are not static, but fluctuate constantly, because the composition of your personnel undergoes a continuous change.  This is a result of normal life. New personnel is hired, employees rotate between jobs, capable persons are promoted, seniors are pensioned and normal churn in the workforce occurs.

On top of the normal churn, the skills in the workforce undergo a constant transformation. 

The time value of the skills is in constant decline because of the following reasons:

– People forget

– Knowledgeable personnel leave the company

– New hires don’t have necessary required skills and experience.

– The courses have fixed periods of validity

– Older expiring skills, have lower value than sharp and current skills

The training courses have restricted shelf lives, and because of that the employees need to be frequently retrained within the period of validity of the courses, if they want to hold their positions as acknowledged professionals in the skills pool.  Successful companies usually specify expiration dates to the validity of their normal product related training courses, like the practice is with certain mandatory vocational courses. 

These elements need to be included in the calculations to explain the status of product skills in different product areas and geographical locations of your company not only today but also in the future.  Advanced companies train also their partners and members of the distribution chain locally and abroad.

Appropriate data management plays a major role in assuring correct training data evaluation. You need a purposefully built skills analytics system to collect and administer course data on present measured and future estimated skills.  This exercise is drilled down to different geographies and products for more precise understanding of the relationships between skills and performance.   

Each individual product requires from the personnel the accomplishment of several individual training courses.  The tracking of the validity of these courses combined with calculated time decay deductions is complex because several values are interdependent but their impacts on KPIs are independent.  Including all these elements into the calculations can easily lead to huge number of data points to be actively monitored.

New way to ensure product knowledge in sales organization.

The simple question of: ”What is the level of personnel’s skills?” can reliably be answered with a data driven approach. This simple sounding question becomes immediately more complex, when you drill down to multiple segments, like, what is the level of product skills in different markets, countries or sales offices.  Multiply these with different language groups, product groups and most important individual key products and you arrive at – reality. Complex reality, where we all live. 

We are here just basically discussing trivial issues like knowledge of your personnel’s competence levels for all products, markets and locations at all times. It is important to know the distribution of skills, the locations of best performers and the products they are working with. In all companies the top performers can usually be identified, as well as those individuals, who need support to perform according to the requirements.  But who can testify to know the level of skills among the silent majority. The detailed skills level of 60 to 80% of your personnel are usually uncharted.  Nobody knows for sure, what their skills are, but everyone thinks, that they are O.K.  What is the distribution of skills, remains a common unanswered question in the business world.

There should be no unqualified persons in your company.  Skills should be certified and all these skills orientated issues should be left on a backburner and the management should focus on improving sales revenue.

It is important to know where in your organization training is needed and when it should be completed.  To accomplish this, you have to monitor all skills in your company on a continuous basis. This requires a systematic approach to utilization of collected training and skills data, and the ability to make reliable estimates based on these for future needs.

Basically, this boils down to intelligent use of systematic use of training data with defined acceptance- and target levels for all of the important skills.  You can easily retrieve the necessary data from your HR systems to include all personnel, position and skills changes, including calculated residual time values of the skills.  The results will be included in reports which grants benefits to sales and HR management. 

Many critical questions which can now be answered. What is the sales skills situation in named countries and locations for key products?  Where do we have enough skills to meet our new product or service sales targets?  

At the end of day, we will gain an understanding about what is the effect of skills on sales for different products and markets. In other words, to find out relationship between skills and sales. This knowledge may lead to further questions like:  Where the training of personnel should be improved for gaining additional sales, or are we sure that all training results will have residual values within acceptance levels also in the future with present training actions. 

All these answers are gained by monitoring and analysing the skills within your organization on a regular basis. This way, you know exactly what effect the skills in your company have on your revenue.

The unique possibility to have a reliable outlook, which on a daily basis indicates your number of people trained with certified product knowledge, gives you more time to focus on other issues having effects on sales revenue. Your sales director sleeps better when he knows that the defined sales skills of a key products also in selected sales channels are on an acceptable level.  He has also more energy to focus on real sales issues, when he can be certain, that the skills are on correct levels at all locations within his company and its sales channels.

Written by Kari Hartikainen, Sales, Boudin Oy

Fruitful Cooperation Creates Best Possible Content

Boudin Analytics Content Master is a great tool to benchmark the functionality of different content versions of training courses using estimated sales results as perspectives in various markets. The simple question, ”Which version of the training course boosts your sales best?”, is a common source of headaches for numerous Product- and Human Resources Training Managers, when they make decisions what courses they should buy and why. 

When making decisions about selecting courses, there are two kinds viewpoints to be considered.  Shall we concentrate on achieving learning results, like in traditional conventions or reach out for better learning outcomes, like increased sales, or other improved Key Performance Indicators?  Predicting the latter answers is much harder and traditionally causality issues have clouded these relationships. Now Boudin Analytics has the capability and sophisticated tools that to answer both questions at the same time.

Additional questions, like which training content works best in a new language area, or are there differences in KPIs with different language versions of the course, arise soon. In global companies, an English language version is usually the starting point for localised versions, and there is nothing wrong about it. 

The English version is usually simply translated into the wanted languages and there we are, or are we? We now have one single language version of the course for example in Mandarin, but do we know, how well it fulfils the local requirements.  If we do not have any baseline for effectivity comparisons, we do not know, what effect the training has on motivating the personnel towards company goals.    

Content Master can test the impact of different contents on any KPI and can be used for benchmarking purposes. Hence, we can smoothly find the specific content version to be launched, which helps for example to increase sales in this case, or on this market with estimated probability.  You get the answers immediately without need to wait for a long time for actualised sales results. By using the application this way, you get reliable several months earlier than by using traditional methods, and there no risk of training leading to detrimental effects.  These unwanted consequences are eliminated and the Human Resources professionals have all the relevant information available for making correct training decisions. 

Good cooperation creates best possible content.

Summarised, the use of the application creates confidence during a content design project that the team is creating courses, which are fun and give the personnel skills, which are certainly goal orientated skills. You get these results rapidly.   

Usually there are members of three parties participating in a training course project. Firstly, professionals from the company’s HR training organisation, followed by e.g. a product manager representing the demands of the business owner, who work together with representatives of digital designer companies.  All these parties have different perspectives on the quality issues of the specific course and the ways and means, how the course should be implemented. 

The application gives an unbiased, objective KPI as the yard stick for the course quality to be shared by all of the participants.  The results open new horizons for fruitful discussions, when all know that they are mutually cooperating for the best possible courses.  From now on we are sure to train with the best content.

Written by Kari Hartikainen, Sales, Boudin Oy

Measurable Results with Outstanding Course Content

Boudin Analytics Content Master is a tool for communicating the efficiency of training materials with different content producers in a new way. The basic idea is to find out the financial bottom line effect of training. Content Master gives as outcome, how well company personnel will learn as result of a specific training course content. The result for the affectivity of learning is given in the form of an estimate for a potential increase in product- or service sales.  After analysing training results, you get an estimate about the probability of a sales increase.  

The training of personnel by using a specific course content can be described to lead to have an effect to increase sales by 5% with 85% probability. By testing the different offerings of several content providers for the same training course, the course offerings can be ranked by their effectivity. These results can be used as normal KPIs for the quality of training courses. The differences of learning results between courses of content providers can now be measured with an objective scale.

The application has an intuitive, efficient and user-friendly user interface for relaxed use. In order to analyse the quality of training courses, you need to test it with just a small a number of persons in order to get the results for quality ranking.  The size of the test population is fixed and you get reliable results regardless of the distribution of the test scores.  Previously the only result of a small test was a message telling you that the sample is too small for reliable test results.  Then you were forced to increase the size of the test population, but it did not guarantee a usable result.

Content Master gives you for the first time the unique opportunity to create reliable connections between the individual employee’s test scores and the financial impact of the new course on the financials of the company. This is a major game changer for HR. When using this service for testing the quality of learning materials you get usable and reliable results over sales forecasts as soon as test group scores are available. 

There is no need to wait for sales data from the markets, which was the practice previously and this normally took up to several months to collect.  Now your training department has the results immediately available, when using analytics routinely as the tool for connecting the dots of individual test scores and their final impact on product or service sales.

You now have a common language for discussing course quality issues with your content producers. You have the possibility to test the impact of different versions of content in advance to determine, which of the alternatives could lead to potentially best possible estimated sales increase. 

Measure course content quality.

Using content which is uniquely pre-tested for its effects on your sales numbers, along with your established quality control methods for your training materials, is vitally important and an essential help when new products or services are launched in several markets. It is helpful to start this process with a rapid testing of various versions in one country, followed by fine tuning of the content for optimal results. This hopefully leads in the end to successful product launches in the various markets with rapid results.

Boudin Analytics uses advanced algorithms for estimating the performance of training course materials in generating increased sales. In principle, it compares the results for courses to be evaluated with existing, previous learning results of older courses, where the learning results and their effect in turning learning scores into sales and revenue are known.  

The application takes also into account the differences between individual companies analysing the effects of their personnel’s qualifications, impacts of the individual products or services on sales volumes.  The system takes into account differences between individual learning methods and the impact of the company culture on motivating the personnel to learn and on supporting individual employees to perform. 

Extensive use Boudin Analytics improves the accuracy of results, because the algorithms of the solution learn from the existing results. This makes benchmarking possible, easy and opens a new angle for evaluating the importance of skills of the personnel and how sales results can be improved by selective training of the workforce. The HR gets an effective learning analytics tool for their managers to use in making procurement decisions between alternative content providers. 

Now you have a mutually understandable, functional language for corporations and their content producers.  Content Master is an insurance for companies which guarantees that they are able to purchase better courses. Content producers can be confident, that their courses are according to the specifications of the customers and this helps them to make the contents with better efficiency. This inevitably leads to better economics with better products and better learning results. Content providers, who can show a proven track record of efficient courses can gain competitive advantages.Let’s make valid and reliable pretesting of course contents possible and get your personnel trained with it for achieving visible financial results.

Written by Antti Kurki, Sales, Boudin Oy

Focus on Content

Good content matters.

Training Insights service opens a new way for sales professionals to communicate with training professionals in HR, focusing solely on training content. One of the most important features of this service is the possibility to evaluate future training needs with a focus on product specific skills.  When you solve these needs in advance, there is no need to concentrate on these issues later. 

This feature gives you the possibility to put the training content on top of the work agenda. The ability to plan all product specific training requirements up to18 months ahead, improves training management in many ways. The famous quote by former US President Dwight D Eisenhower, where he states that – planning is everything – has a lot of truth.

The scope of Training Insights covers all important elements of training information like personnel skills, their locations, product related courses, course schedules, time tables etc.  Training Insights reports the values for adjustment parameters which are needed for keeping the skills of personnel at all locations up to agreed, constant standard levels.  The system gives forecasts even 18 months in advance.

The possibility to receive this valuable information easily on daily bases, frees time for HR- and training professionals to concentrate on matters related to detailed learning content issues and for providing selected training courses leading to best possible financial and other results. Further it gives answers like: ”Are the most important stores, outlets and sales channels provisioned with optimally qualified persons in the coming months and years for meeting financial targets? Are those people always trained with effective a up-to-date content. If there are additional reasons to modify training course content, like: new product launches coming, modified versions of products or services needed because of competitive issues, increased sales targets on specified markets, the effects of training on KPI:s can be forecasted for each separate case of change.  When businesses face discontinuities, the effects of different training courses can be calculated with help of small focus groups.

Now sales and HR’s training professionals can cooperate with each other focusing solely on optimising the results for training courses by selecting best contents for different needs. Two separate, business critical questions need to be answered. The first question, what kind of content gives best training results, needs to be answered by HR professionals is followed by the simple managerial question: ”Which training content produces best increased sales results?”  

Boudin Analytics Content Master gives answers to these crucial personnel skills related questions by using advanced analytics bridging the gap between training issues and sales results. Planning is everything, also in learning content design – especially effective preplanning.

Written by Antti Kurki, Sales, Boudin Oy