Learning & Development

The Top 10 Essential LMS Reporting Features

Data-driven solutions can help your organization overcome barriers to learner success, ensure compliance, and make more informed decisions.

No matter the specifics of your learning programs, it is not likely that an out-of-the-box LMS report will provide all the data that you’d like to track. Out-of-the-box reports will provide some of the information you need, but how do you get the rest? Is there an intuitive process to modify what is already there? What can you create, and how difficult is that view to build? What are your options for sharing and automation?

When evaluating LMS reporting tools, consider these ten essential features:

  1. Modifications to Out-of-the-Box Reports & Ad Hoc Reports: To what extent can I easily modify and save out-of-the-box reports and dashboards? Can I create readable ad hoc reports that don’t require a degree in statistics to understand how to use them?
  2. Custom Fields & Filters: Can I apply filters based upon data that is important to my specific business and learning needs? Can I create custom fields? Can I use filters on custom fields?
  3. xAPI Capabilities: xAPI provides many capabilities beyond SCORM. From a technical standpoint, it leverages a modern technology stack. This makes it is easier to launch and track content including eLearning launched from a website outside of the LMS. This gives you the ability to leverage information that can inform you of what is going on in virtually any aspect of learning as well as feed information back into learning, based on previous experiences of the individual who experienced that same type of learning.
  4. Data Field Connectivity: Which data fields are exposed to the reporting tool? To what extent can they be manipulated and modified?
  5. Formula-Based Data Columns: Raw numbers don’t always tell a story in isolation. Can I create data columns from a formula based on existing columns without having to export to Excel?
  6. Progressions Over Time: Can I show differences in a particular measure over time, without having to know SQL?
  7. Shareable Dashboard Visualizations: Can I create custom visualizations and put them in a dashboard for easy viewing? Can I share them with others for their own dashboards?
  8. Scheduled Report Deliveries: Can I automate? Can the report I just created show up in my inbox every Monday morning?
  9. Permission-Based Report Access: How can I share my report with others? Can I control how much a given individual sees? Can I share the structure with line managers, but be certain they see only their direct reports?
  10. Brand Compliant Reporting: If I need a formal look and feel, formatted with logos, callouts and our special company font, where can I create it? Do I need to be a designer to do it?

There are as many specific reporting needs as there are learning programs, and these needs grow more complex every day, so you’ll need a reporting engine that is easily customizable. With xAPI  you now can leverage big data and analytical capabilities to modernize your LMS and give your learners a customized learning experience.

With a simple interface that doesn’t require specialized skills or training to use, your Reports Administrator should be able to modify out-of-the-box reports and/or create new ones from scratch. A reporting platform should make focusing on the specific data to answer his or her questions effortless.

These reports must be easy to save, format, automate, and share.  Both the data captured in a report and the way in which that report is presented should be fully within the administrator’s control, giving the organization exactly the data it needs. Selecting a solution that will meet your needs can be overwhelming and confusing – we are here to help.

Download Meridian’s informative guide The 7 Steps in Selecting an LMS to better understand what to expect from a learning management system.


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