Creating transparency with learning data fuels tech skill development

To remain competitive, companies are having to upskill employees at a faster rate than ever before. Creating data transparency is critical to this motion for rapid tech skills development. Transparent data that tells a story fosters trust, accountability and healthy, two-way communication. However, when data is disparate, or you don’t have enough to see the whole picture, decisions become difficult and trust breaks down—and progress toward key objectives sputters to a stop.

Liberty Mutual found a way to provide data transparency (leading to more meaningful conversations re:tech skill development) by creating software programs specific to its needs. These programs allow individuals and leaders to view metrics and data, and have more robust conversations around specific information.

To see how to fuel tech skill development the Liberty Mutual way, follow these best practices, originally shared at Pluralsight LIVE 2019:

1. House L&D in the office of CIO/CTO

Building L&D programs within the office of CIO means important decisions around skills aren’t left up to people who are unfamiliar with the technology priorities of your organization. When L&D is embedded in the tech org, learning is strategically aligned to the growing (and changing) needs of the C-suite. Liberty Mutual reports tremendous success from this simple structural shift.

2. Build a culture of continuous learning through data

Embedding learning into company culture not only increases skill levels, but also creates more trust and communication, according to teams at Liberty Mutual. How does data transparency help drive this? By providing each person with the data they need to progress—while also keeping data private wherever possible to encourage psychological safety. 

Leaders at Liberty Mutual understood that their reporting wasn’t originally set up to collect the best data. So, they worked together to understand what “good” data looked like. They learned that If the data by itself doesn’t mean a whole lot, you have to build a point of reference, or create context in order for it to tell a story, so that’s what they did

Now, employees are able to build data visualizations and tell compelling stories about the learning that’s happening. At Liberty Mutual, these stories are key to inspiring learners to do even more.

3. Consider creating software that works for your company

Like most organizations, Liberty Mutual simply doesn’t have time to spend countless hours manipulating data and creating reports. To get over this roadblock, they created a dynamic and automated system to pull the right data for them. At Liberty Mutual this looks like: taking data out of an LMS system, building a query, and turning it into a new data set to create a visualization—which is then automated by a scheduled refresh.

4. Evaluate learning and skills

Once you have a software program that builds trust around data, you can focus on the metrics that actually matter. Where are your employees’ skills benchmarked? How is progress measured? What outcomes are you seeing from continuous skill building? Visibility into exactly where learners stand in an objective way is incredibly impactful. 

This process shared by Liberty Mutual—with data transparency as a central component—creates trust and enables people to have the meaningful conversations necessary to make the right upskilling decisions to fuel progress.