There Is A Simple Way To Identify The Odds Of Success In Your LMS Data Initiative
“Conversation” by Joi Ito is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The litmus test for whether LMS data is likely to become a worthwhile effort in an organization is simple: Is it leading to new or better conversations?

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The opposite scenario, entailing a set of analytics, data, or “big data” initiatives, often expensive, that ultimately fail to generate new insight, is the capital sin of evidence-based learning. But achieving a stage when data can be clearly articulated with a learning mission is not a straightforward process. It is surprisingly common that “open-minded” organizations allow some of their staff or faculty to lead a project where LMS data plays a major role. Unfortunately, most of these organizations see these initiatives as “perks” or concessions, rather than ways to build paths of future growth. Get a few initiatives going, with no agency nor interaction between one another, and you get what is starting to be diagnosed as a “data silo.”

It is a surprisingly common problem, but a relatively easy one to solve in the scheme of data governance issues. The right LMS or platform can be, in fact, the best answer. The Fox School of Business at Temple University shares its experience, where, in short, requests involving student data were centralized by the system. With the help of artificial intelligence —namely the proprietary service, Watson, by IBM— a model benefits from different types of questions to provide more robust answers.

But while a “central cognition system” can help bridge the silos, it could be just as easy to prevent them from happening in the first place. As soon as the interest in LMS data was identified at different levels, leaders at Fox brought people together, and then it doubled down with a series of “crawl-walk-runs” and “show-and-tells” which arose more people interested among the community.

Thus conversations started to happen, and they began influencing the work at Fox.

Read this and other experiences in “Connecting data silos in higher ed” at University Business Magazine.

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