What Can You Benefit from Analyzing Skills

Present-day companies have in their hands tons of valuable information which is waiting to be used purposefully. Business days are normally too hectic for having enough time to sit in peace and have thoughts how to exploit all the gathered data in different formats. The fact, that the data is not available in a structured way is normality and It doesn’t make the situation any better for HR- and learning professionals, who might be able to make sense of the vast amount of stored data. The cloud storages and the company owned blades are also full of training scores.  The different datasets have a variable quality and are unrelated in relevance to each other.  Finding a common denominator in this data and making sense of it, are the issues we want to concentrate on in this writing. 

Employee training is done in companies according to their short and long term business needs. Endless meetings are needed for making training programs, which are designed to meet these requirements. External resources are often involved in this endeavor where content developers are needed and a serious amount of money and time has to be invested. To steer businesses efficiently requires continuous flows of reliable and valid information from all business functions. These demands make us to think again about how to access the value of all the available learning scores. How those numbers could create business benefits when properly used by the HR management together with the different business lines, especially sales.  We think, that a better utilization of existing training scores could be worthwhile. 

And the good news is, that learning data utilization is not so time consuming as people generally think. Learning scores are collected from repositories which are already existing and downloaded to be used by skills analytics software and to be related with business results. This way we have established a feed-back loop from the different training results back to the HR- and business line functions. This modest operation gives to HR- and training professionals, as well as business line management valuable analytics about the status of skills within their company. This information can easily give answers to many questions which have been too difficult in the past. The analytics provides wide possibilities for detailed what-if questions to be asked. These questions are of special interest to the business line management, because this kind of analytics give answers to many fundamental questions, which have been open and unanswered for a long time for many. Some tailor-made software for solving very complex, skills related problems exist, but they are property of renowned consulting companies and because of the high expenses involved only accessible for few wealthy companies. Certainly, HR- and training professional are aware of these developments. Below you can find some typical situations explained, where skills analytics can provide valuable results.

Product skills are needed on all levels of the company.  When digging into training score data you can find different levels and distributions of skills in every location of the company. With Boudin analytics you get product specific insights to the skills and skills distributions of your personnel with the accuracy of your financial reporting. You get an understanding where you are in conformity with the needed skills and where you are short of skills. This abundance of pin point accuracy of informativity is totally different to the typical situation you face in most companies, where you have access to some lists, which describe only the names of individuals, who have either participated in a skills training course or, in rarer cases, who has successfully passed the course and when and where this course has taken place.  

With Boudin analytics, you get much more from the training of your employees. When you have set skill level requirements for certain products or services, you have the possibility to make comparisons between the targeted level of skills and the actual level of skills on every level and in every location of the company.  You know now, where possible improvement is needed and what exactly is needed to reach the set goals in skills.  This out-come you can only get, when you set learning requirements for training courses, when you set minimum acceptance levels for passing these courses and finally, you have to start utilizing course score data by analyzing it.  The HR professionals, who work with the training issues of the personnel appreciate accurate information about where and when certain individual needs to be trained, so that the skill level requirements of the person, workplace and the location are met. By planning training this way, HR- and training professionals can be connected with the sales management and they can share their expertise for improving the sales by providing accurate skills training cost effectively.

The sales management gives high value for being assured, that the current skills situation is on par with the requirements, without any need to dig into the skills issues. The fact, that the skills insights are based on sales report structure makes the acceptance of the enhanced training analytics much easier for those, who have to take part in the financing of the analytics.  When you can find out with the analytics, that more accurate training will improve your sales by a certain percentage, you can be sure, that the sales management wants to know, that there are enough and correct skills in all business locations currently, and they want to make action plans, how to ensure correct skills also in the future.  The training needs broken down by business location or sales channel have to be planned in advance and these plans have to be executed respectively.

The last but not the least matter is getting a comprehensive understanding of the connecting link between sales and skills. This link can provide awesome benefits by explaining, how much extra sales we could generate by specific training. This is only possible after we have procedures, for measuring skills and utilizing learning scores continuously, in place, working and finetuned.  Boudin analytics visualizes marginal utility for training, so that you can see how much you should invest into your training.  In the beginning the effect of invested training €uro or Dollar is stronger and with the increased saturation of skills it declines.  You know now, where you are. You don’t need to train your staff for marginal effects and because of this, money is not wasted.  We can now know, that sales are not skills restricted. Sales management can now concentrate on other business concerns having effects on sales, and there are plenty of them.

Written by Kari Hartikainen, Sales, Boudin Oy