This week’s edition of the insiders view we will address “How do you import your employee and training history records into an LMS”
In my sales position at an LMS company, you can probably imagine that I am confronted with quite an array of LMS related topics. Everybody’s LMS needs are very specific and “unique”. At least, it seems to unique to them because it is a matter of great importance. The questions have ranged from “Does your LMS automatically sync the appropriate language based on the geographical location?” (while this is cool, no, it doesn’t, you have to choose the appropriate language) to “Does your LMS feed my dog?” I’m just kidding, that last question didn’t really happen but... you never know...
One of the more important questions that I get is related to historical/legacy data and how the LMS integration piece works. This is a big deal!
This historical data integration piece is actually an important phase when selecting your Learning Management System platform. Especially from a compliance perspective. Ultimately, the majority of businesses/agencies do want to centralize their data, compliance or not.
We have two Phases - we should consider Phase 2 prior to implementing Phase 1.
Phase 1: Three questions - The initial question that always comes up is “How in the world will I get my current training transcript records and employee data from here to there?!?!” - a very legitimate and valid point.
Well, not to worry! This is something that is very easily done. My company is not the only one that offers this data integration option and different LMS providers will provide you with different ways of accomplishing this task.
The second question is “How much time and effort will this take?” and third question is “is this difficult”? Question 2 & 3 Answers: Well, not to fear LMS - seekers! There is a simply drag and drop (or automated data feed) for future data but for historical data-you simply provide the data to the technical support team (here at Gyrus).
No matter how intuitive the LMS platform might be, we would rather make it much easier for you since you still have not become LMS SME's - we wouldn’t want to put you in that position. Therefore, this takes a negligible amount of time & effort for the companies that we work with. The ROI with this historical/legacy data option is enormous. You no longer have to take the additional time and effort to pull data from two separate systems and marry them.
Phase 2: The REAL initial question that we have to confront is - do you really need to do this?
Oftentimes, there is a desire to perform this function because various agencies need to run internal reports for whatever reason (i.e. compliance regulations). However, there is something we also have to consider. Do we really need this? There are plenty of agencies that want to “clean” their entire training process (from training content to LMS platform). In this instance, we would probably recommend taking the “fresh start” approach. I’m sure you have heard the saying “Good data in-good data out” - this is certainly applicable in this case. Just something to consider.
Are we still on the same page? Great! Now let’s move into some more juicy tidbits.
Another agenda item we should consider is the available customer support that is provided by your LMS provider. Do they take the “hand-holding” approach or do they just say “good luck”?
Also, do they have a lot of experience in the Learning Industry? You will want to make sure that they have longevity in the Industry.
Another thing to consider is: Is your LMS provider looking to go anywhere anytime soon (i.e. merger/acquisitions). You might ask why this makes a difference... Good question! The reason that this makes a difference is:
SO! In closing - when we build a business case for our LMS transition - let’s make sure that we ask all of these questions and make sure that we are crystal clear on who the company is and how they handle different scenarios. A lot of organizations don’t spend as much time analyzing the LMS Company as they do on the LMS platform. These are equally important. Your staff and management deserves this consideration.
From an insider’s perspect... Farewell for now!