Reporting from the LMS can come from a variety of places. There are reports that a trainer can run themselves from a course that they have access to and there are a number of reports that they may use on a regular basis to perform their daily work. We seek to provide all the reports that a trainer, coordinator, or consultant will need for daily repetitive tasks in a simple format in a custom report via the reports tab. We also provide scheduled reports to individuals and groups as well as custom reporting that requires significant development as it may require us to combine multiple report sources and pull data from non-related sources.
We want to make sure that these reports are always available and customized to the individual(s) that needs them so we will often add filters to them or arrange columns to them to serve that need. If multiple people groups are using one reports we will consult wit that group before making significant changes. If there is not agreement we will split the report to make the customizations available to all within reason.
Any report that is accessible from the report that currently can be scheduled. Reports that are accessed from courses and other places like logs or other places cannot be scheduled. Many of the custom reports that we create for you will be able to be scheduled is we create a custom report source. Some reports that we create though may be developed outside of the LMS and will be delivered via another method. All details of the scheduled report will need to be discussed before implementation:
- Time of delivery
- Frequency of delivery
- What report(s)
All reports are custom reports unless you are getting the report yourself from the course and have access to build the report yourself (this should be analysts only). A custom report needs to communicated as early in the process as possible. If you are building a course or gathering requirements for a course or a section of training you should also be asking your customer, SME, client what they will expect in the way of reporting. Some simple questions to start with are:
- What information do you need to know from this course regarding completion and/or participation?
- It’s best for them to use simple language and not give specifics we do not want a list of data points.
- Who needs to know this information?
- Who are the stakeholders who will be seeing this data.
- Will there be more than one audience for this data
- Does each audience need all this data or can we provide simple reports for different audiences.
- Why do they need this information?
- Are they using the data for checking up on learners?
- Are they verifying existing information they are getting somewhere else?
- Do they need to report this to a third party?
- Is it for internal or external use?
These questions assist us in building our data properly. We have a lot of data that we can gather the appropriate data first time and organize it in a way that will best prepare you to hand to your clients. This also keeps the back and fourth between you and the clients to a minimum. Many times reports will be simple enough that a simple completion report will suffice but we may need to ask a few follow-up questions based on the type of data to ensure that we are getting all the proper information to the client. We have a more comprehensive understanding of the data and will give you a list of questions to ask but if these initial questions were not answered we will have to start there before we can move forward.
Reports in the LMS are based off of something called a report source. These report sources contain a limited set of data points they have access to for columns and filters that they can pull from. This is because some data does not play well together and is not meant to be combined and will cause completely inaccurate results. So we cannot for instance in a single report source gather a column reporting how many sessions have been taught by a specific facilitator, how many people attended those sessions and how many course completions were in the course that contained that seminar. That would be combining seminar report, an event report, and a course completion report.
Sometimes combining data is possible, and other times it will be impossible in the same report and we will have to make multiple reports and comparisons will need to be made between the sheets or an analyst will need to be used to assist interpret the data. We do not know your service area as well as you and we will not be able to validate the data as well as you can so we will often send you samples to make sure we are getting valid data because combining sources can often return odd results. Duplicates can emerge or records can go missing completely at times.
When we work with you to compile a report we will follow a process to guide us so that there is as little confusion and as quick of a process as possible.
- Gather requirements
- The first list of above questions should lead the way.
- Sign-off by all stakeholders on requirements
- delivery schedule and deadline suggested
- Scope time for project
- Some reports may be simple some may take development time.
- Sample data delivered
- Review of data to confirm its value and accuracy
- Return with comments
- Refine report and deliver reports
- Scheduling reports to stakeholders
- Handoff of reports and any supporting documents to customer and client.