IT Tip from Deb: What Data Would You Like?

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Amazon with my Data.  They sent me a fascinating report of the music that I listened to over the past year – to include the artists, songs and albums I’d purchased.  I was surprised by some of the data and was actually motivated to expand my music selection into other music genres that appeared to be quite low on my “report card”.  In other words, my personalized Amazon data gave me a very useful feedback perspective to help me shape my future music selections.

It also allowed me to see that other customers who liked my same music were purchasing the artists’ newest releases.  This prompted me to expand my existing music collection by purchasing the new releases while taking advantage of Amazon’s special price offer and with ease to the Shopping cart!

On January 27, I attended a Microsoft Power BI Lunch & Learn at Broadview Networks and I was surprised to see so many of our customers in attendance.  I guess everyone is looking for how to best capture Big Data analytics from a value perspective these days!

What I learned is there is a need for “analytical” skills from the end-user level and Microsoft Power BI allows for this.  There are at least two things required in dealing with big data.  The first is to “find and query” the data.  The second, to interpret your findings.

So, tell me what would a Learning Data Snapshot look like? Imagine a process that would give each learner a snapshot of the data surrounding their learning activities.  I would love to see how I spent my learning time by media mix, for example:  % of learning time using video, text, structured e-Learning and e-learning abandonment, social collaboration, classroom, etc.  I would love to see data on my patterns of completion or non-completion of learning resources.  And, my list begins to grow.

In the past 2 years, we have seen the growth of Big Data and we have seen organizations increasingly gather Bigger Data Sets on learning.  However, we have not seen the growth, yet, of Learning Snapshots, that provide feedback, trending and analysis for a learner of their own learning approaches/behaviors – and even comparison with peers.

Microsoft’s Power BI tools will work best when there is a mutual sense of value.  I love getting an annual summary from American Express of my spending, including trends that provide feedback on expenditures.

So, what would YOUR Learning Snapshot look like? What are a few of the data sets that you would love to see on a future Learner Data Snapshot?

If you could take a couple of minutes and send me a sentence or two with your ideas to  We will be working on this topic and offering business intelligence learning events over the next few months and will gladly share a summary of responses with the learning community.

For details for how Microsoft Power BI can help you, please call me or your Account Manager at 204.984.9897.

Yours in learning,
Deb Perreault
Training Consultant

IT Pro Tip

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