Introductions

Belgium calling

Belgium calling

by Bert De Coutere -
Number of replies: 5
I've been meaning to get familiar with business intelligence and analytics applied to learning and development, but there were always reasons to postpone that. So I'm glad this course triggers a starting point on my journey to discover the good, bad and ugly of the topic. Why the interest? It aligns very much with my employer's (IBM) vision (and that of others in the industry). We at IBM call it 'smarter planet'. It basically says that in a world that is totally instrumented with IT devices, and that is interconnecting all these sources of data, there are more intelligent ways available now to "make the world a better place" (excuse me the marketing language.) I do believe analytics has the potential to become one of the next big things in learning and development.

If my Microsoft Certified System Engineer, book writing (homo competens), and web 2.0 interests are any indication, I'll be sucking in lots of information from all sources I can get in the first time, before I start to make up my mind and contribute to the conversation. I've written it before: I'm a chicken. I pick up a lot of points, before I can 'lay my egg'.

My own interests and learning points are:

* NOT the tools. If I want that, I just talk to our software guys. I've got access to all the information and experts on Cognos and associated business intelligence tools. But the tools come after I've figured out what good they would bring to the table, let us not get things upside down.
* WHAT scenarios are there for analytics to make corporate learning better? I've seen some samples already, and I can imagine better (proactive) matching of learning needs with content and experts, better personalized learning processes, and better evidence gathering of learning impact. But I really want to start dreaming of what is possible with this.
* I'm also concerned about privacy issues (don't be evil), security, and the fact that most people can't handle the truth, as revealed by data.

(above is taken from my blog on homocompetens.blogspot.com)
In reply to Bert De Coutere

Re: Belgium calling

by Angela van Barneveld -

BERT!

I am also an IBMer - usually located in Ottawa, Canada! This is wonderful! Hope we can connect. Seems we both have to shed our chicked personas and jump right in. I am currently with the Business Analytics brand - technical product certification.

Angela

In reply to Angela van Barneveld

Re: Belgium calling

by Bert De Coutere -
Hi Angela, isn't the world small?
I'm working for IBM Learning Development, so more on the learning side of this multidisciplinary topic.
(BTW, you last name sounds like it originates from this part of the world).

B
In reply to Bert De Coutere

Re: Belgium calling

by George Siemens -
Hi Bert - glad you raised the important consideration of "not tools". This course will include some discussion of different tools for language/social network/conceptual/information structure analysis. However, using those tools is secondary to deciding which questions we need to have answered. Are we concerned about learner dropout? Do we want to plan interventions? Are we tracking which resources are most often used and how their use impact learners/employee performance (by whatever metric)? Are we trying to understand how information flows across silos in an institution? etc.

At one level, analytics are no different from research methodology: we first need to know what we want answered before we select a methodology or develop a research strategy. A key distinction with analytics, however, is that once we have bucket loads of learner data, most questions collapse to queries...i.e. the data serves as multiple analysis points, rather than traditional research methods where data is intended to answer a few primary questions.

In terms of IBM - I'm looking forward to hearing more from you and Angela. IBM is heavily invested in analytics from conversations I've had with colleagues working in the organization.
In reply to George Siemens

Re: Belgium calling

by Bert De Coutere -
Hi George, thanks for your clarifications.
It's not that I'm not interested in tools at all, but as you indicate, they come after the question what you want to find out (and what you want to do with it, 'action analytics', right?) . I always find it very funny when on conferences you hear people say 'the tools don't matter, it's what you do with them', and then the Q&A goes exclusively on tools...

I've seen some things passing on projects and approaches for analytics in education from IBM, I'll look them up again.
In reply to Bert De Coutere

Re: Belgium calling

by Inge Ignatia de Waard -
hi Bert, great to see you in the course as well. A quick response, my mind refuses to wake up this morning will go for a walk to kick-start it.