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Developing Human Capital: Using Analytics to Plan and Optimize Your Learning and Development Investments by Gene Pease, Barbara Beresford, Lew Walker

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Chapter 4Planning for Success

Nobody said it was going to be easy, and nobody is right.

—George H.W. Bush

When it comes to measurement, it’s one thing to have a framework and an idea of what you want to do; it’s a far more daunting proposition to actually do it. You don’t wake up one morning and instantly have the capabilities and resources to measure. Much as any learning leader would love to have a robust data warehouse that collects real-time training data, integrates with human resources (HR) systems, and is synced with the business’s operational data, this is a pipe dream for most organizations. But measurement takes more than systems—it also takes people with the right skill sets to devise a strategy for the alignment, to develop surveys and tests, to collect data, to develop and interpret reports, and to conduct rigorous analysis when needed.

We are aware of a few organizations that have made such investments in staff and in systems. Organizations like Google, JetBlue, Harrah’s (now Caesars),1 and others are staffing their learning and HR functions not only with functional specialists but with business and analytics expertise as well. They have also invested in the systems to integrate disparate data. Every day, we hear of organizations embarking on this journey of building internal measurement competency. One client likened her journey to eating an elephant, noting that you need to deconstruct it and take it one bite at a time; otherwise, you’ll get overwhelmed by ...

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