Trendwatch: Big data and gamified learning

Big data is a buzzword, that has entered the frame of enterprise applications in the last number of years. It is in recent months that it is also entering the realm of learning technology. Saying that very few learning technology providers are able to provide the service just yet.

The places where you have likely been exposed to big data are Netflix, which recommends best content for you based on what you have viewed before and Amazon, who add the information of other buyers of the same products have also looked at. Now imagine your corporate learning system providing the same feedback. Suggestions based on the courses your took before and then what your colleagues then went on to learn about. Let’s not stop there though, linking it to HR and other enterprise applications would then allow you to make further suggestions, based on the projects you work on and the competencies required for those, your personal interests and your managers and peer feedback.

Now how does gamified learning enter the picture here? Well in gamification we track all events and some are actively encouraged, others discouraged, typically with a business outcome in mind. Each tracking event is a data entry point, where analysis can take place. It requires typically a bit of data cleansing to have a real user picture and trends analysis over time and over a number of users. The more users are active, the better the data and its potential analysis.

So when you are working in the field of learning and development, having knowledge of data analysis will become a required skill for people int the team. Looking at it from a wider enterprise viewpoint, a data analysis team or robots which are programmed translate human commands into algorithms that can search for data trends and habits users are showing with their use of enterprise applications.

Currently what I find when working with HR and L&D teams is that either no data is gathered nor analysed, just merely providing a service, which you hope is hitting the mark and somewhat effective. Or on the other side data is being gathered and the analysis of it is not made, used nor acted upon. Effectively what big data can bring to the table is predictability about your people. From whether they are likely to stay or are actively looking to leave, whether they will grow and turn out to be your next high potential leader, whether they are a good fit in a team or project or not, whether the course you just wrote will be hitting the mark or not etc.

Possibilities to use the data are amazing. I personally find it very interesting to watch data flows about my business. I do what I can to find ways around it and in every case data will tell me if my efforts are successful or not. We have found a few ways of being able to provide some of these seemingly futuristic elements to business customers and we hope to see more of the same coming our way.

If you like posts like these, you may love our Technologies Update specifically for HR & L&D professionals