Yet Analytics Blog

Mike Anthony By Mike Anthony • November 26, 2018

Not If but When, Not Why but How: L&D Leaders are xAPI Ready at DevLearn

At this year’s DevLearn, the Yet Analytics team had the opportunity to speak with hundreds of L&D leaders currently working to bring the latest innovations in data, analytics, and learning technologies to their teams. In this post, Yet’s VP of Enterprise Sales Mike Anthony shares his insight into those conversations.  

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From a business standpoint, there is nothing better than an energized conference event full of attendees who are seeking knowledge and perspective to help them to create better business outcomes. DevLearn did not disappoint.

I found the energy from Learning & Development professionals surrounding xAPI and it’s many benefits to creating more advanced distributed learning environments very apparent. Speaking with so many learning professionals over the conference (and losing my voice by the end of each day) — at the booth, on the xAPI Central stage, or in the many xAPI sessions — all you had to do was ask a few questions and it became very clear at many levels it is not IF but WHEN…not WHY but HOW when it comes to implementing a modernized learning technology solution.

People gushed — yes, I said that — with excitement. Here’s a few conversation highlights direct from the expo floor:

  • I’m collecting information for my manager on xAPI learning tech solutions for my company. We need to unify data from multiple LMSs and other learning activity. We know we want more insight into our learners’ activity.
  • My company is evaluating a new LMS as a part of our overall learning stack, and we know we’ll have more than one. We’re already working with multiple LMS and CMS systems. We know want to use an xAPI LRS for better measurement and reporting of activity across our whole ecosystem.
  • We are making significant changes to our learning technology for next year and we need an xAPI LRS to grow and align with all our needed levels of reporting.
  • I know this is what our organization needs, but it seems very complex. I’ve learned a lot, but I’m still not sure where our organization should start.

In many cases, I heard that most people already know “when” it is appropriate to move towards technology that can unify different learning data platforms for their company. For many, getting started is simply a question of investment planning. The “when” depends on having the appropriate resources to make the investment — whether that be the budget, the appropriate staff, the time, or the strategy.  And from what I heard, in many cases this is already taking place and most people already know that that time is now.

The bigger discussion centered around the “how”:

“How do I take something like this on?”  

“It seems so very complicated and daunting. How do we make it more approachable?”

“How do I get the buy-in needed and communicate this to other stakeholders?”

“The impact can be huge! How do we get this off the ground and demonstrate value quickly?”

In all the xAPI sessions I was a part of, I saw many people lean in hard when others were sharing the story of how they started a pilot program. Someone even shouted — “Pass her a microphone, we need to hear this!” It was great to see first-hand the sharing of best practices from people who have made xAPI a reality in their organizations.

This is where we comes full circle from my opening comment — as it relates to business outcomes for your client it always starts with developing a solid plan. And believe me, from a sales standpoint, there is nothing more important than building positive relationships based on listening and understanding your clients business challenges — then building a plan that clearly identifies steps that will help you exceed their expectations.

The great news is, there are many xAPI resources out there to help you get started building out the proper steps for your organization’s learning data transformation. Find everything from strategy guides to worksheets, ebooks, podcasts and professional groups (the xAPI Learning Cohort rocks!), all showcasing leading best practices to take you from data assessment to pilot program to modern learning ecosystem.

Build the plan and plan to build — happy building DevLearn!

Ready for more? Sign up for our winter webinar — Why xAPI? A Business Leader’s Getting Started Guide! 

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