How to deploy SumTotal Advanced Reporting?

Are you getting ready to implement Sumtotal Advanced Reporting? Is it the first time?   


Are you just looking to enhance your reports?  

In either case, you need to decide upon many things. You should have been generating a large amount of data from your organizational learning and talent activities. Here are some insights we want to offer from our experience to enable you to drive the maximum value from the data you produce.  

The first and foremost priority in your reporting and analytics is the data governance framework. You should have a set of standards, policies, and procedures to agree upon, so this will avoid any other confusions later. We recommend you to start working on the data governance framework now, if you have not yet established it.  

SumTotal platform has well-defined data structure and permissions but you still need to put the following in place  

  • Naming conventions  

  • Reports management and delivery 

  • Server load management protocols  

This can help you not to   

  • frustrate your users when they want to find a single report from a long list of reports,   

  • clutter lists with outdated and duplicate reports, and  

  • bogging down your servers during peak load times.  

Data Governance Institute is the best source of help while you get started.   

How to deploy Advanced Reporting?

Setting up your reporting structure and permissions entirely depend on the way your organization operate its business.  While a compliance driven, command –and-control organization might restrict reporting to a small select group; an open fluid, team-based organization may allow permissions to many people. But be mindful that the more people you involve, the harder it gets to maintain the standards. 

Here's how you can start?

With a great amount of data from SumTotal and much growth in eLearning, you can track more than just course completion. You can track the time of completed activities, evaluate engagement. To make sure that your users are learning, you can use spot checks without waiting till the end of a course. 

Here are some considerations before we discuss the recommendations to develop your reports library. 

  • Showing your people one report will lead them to ask for another as they hardly know what they need till they look at the report. 

  • Your people do not think about the information they need until they need it. It’s highly recommended that you have a process so your users request the specific reports they want to be developed when they can't build them. 

Apart from measuring learning, you can also track costs to evaluate ROI of your training. And you have many other options to integrate operational data to measure the impact of learning on your business. 

The process of deploying SumTotal Advanced Reporting 

Knowing what you have is the first step in deployment. SumTotal LMS gives you basic reports that can support most of your daily reporting needs. Get started to use the existing reports to develop any new reports you need. 

  • Evaluate the requirement of your users once you have a good grip on the reports that are available. Few of your users may need more granular information while few may just require summaries in crosstab reports and charts. 

  • Understand the needs of your user groups. Roles may also have similar needs but it requires to work with people in each role to know what information they need and how they will be using it. 

  • Use scheduling function to provide for those that need regular recurring reports.  

  • Test all your custom reports to make sure they report the accurate information, correctly calculating custom fields and conforming to your security settings. 

  • Set up a standard process to request new reports and revise the old reports. 

Advanced Analytics 

The decision makers in your organization will need more than just reports. New business models demand leaders to have instant access to information. You can have customizable real-time dashboards to guide your leaders' decision making. But these dashboards will need an advanced analytics engine. 

While you have many options to deploy analytics, you should carefully consider the costs, capabilities and advantages before you select one for your organization. 

  • Use SumTotal's integration tools to send data to your analytics platform, data mart, or data warehouse, if you already have analytics in place. 

  • You can start with SumTotal analytics - a solution which is built on industry's most advanced business intelligence solution, if you do not have any analytics platform. 

  • there are many Third-party analytics platforms, enterprise class solutions like Oracle and SAP. You have many options to choose from highly rated Tableau, SAS, and Qlik to low-cost open-source solutions like Pentaho and TIBCO. 

  • A tight budget scenario can go forward with a custom executive dashboard on your SumTotal news page using the Jaspersoft tool in SumTotal or an open-source platform.  

One of the best ways to build an agile organization is to effectively optimize your learning and talent information.  

And we hope these recommendations and tips help you towards a successful analytics deployment.  

Chasma Place, is an independent source for solutions that will help you keep pace with changes in the way your people work without ripping and replacing your existing systems.