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How to Leverage xAPI to Drive Business Decisions

By: Bob Paulsen on January 2, 2018


With new learning systems and technologies coming out each year, it is interesting to see how businesses are using these systems to their advantage. And with every new technology or software, there are challenges that go with it. How can companies use all the information they are gathering in the most effective way? What we do know is that data is driving business more than ever before, and xAPI fits right into that system.

Using xAPI to Boost a Business

The reason why xAPI or experience API has become such a critical component of learning management systems is because of what it offers. By leveraging a system that uses experience API, a business can obtain direct evidence of whether training or learning investments are paying off. They can see the impact of these investments on individual employees, teams and the company as a whole.

Another way this data helps is when businesses can use learning tools and experiences with the intention of maximizing the return on investment. It is also much easier to identify those learning experiences that are not delivering the required results, or cost too much compared to the ROI.

Getting Out of the Pivot Table Purgatory

Ask anyone who has worked on the analysis of learning in the past, and they will speak about the spreadsheet and how they can end up in the pivot table purgatory. What does that mean? The pivot table purgatory refers to working with multiple data sets that are all in different formats, and were owned by different employees within the organization.

Those data sets do have a story to tell, but they are so disjointed and separated that it is almost impossible to draw any conclusions from what that data is presenting. In contrast, the experience API ensures that everything is interconnected. Not only is a modern LMS a centralized way of presenting training courses and education to employees, but xAPI is recording and analyzing the experiences of each employee, no matter when they get the training or what device they are using.

Ability to Identify Pros and Cons Quickly

The beauty of xAPI is how it allows analysts and content managers to easily see what is working and what is not. It becomes almost instantaneous to see what topics are not being taught enough, what learning is producing the best results, which employees are responding the best to training, and whether some employees need more help to get the education they need.

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