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How Data-Informed L&D Design Unlocks Better Solution Design

Leveraging a data-informed approach has more benefits than just in your work.

As L&D pros, we constantly hear the drum beat of “We need to get better with data”.

That’s cool. But no one ever explains why we need to do it (you might say it’s obvious, but stick with me here). Let’s take a shared experience many of us can understand: Taking your driving license test.

There’s a lot of room for error and anxiety in this event. 

Yet, with a data-informed strategy we can mitigate some of this to set you up for success. It’s not always about your skills as a driver. Ever had a friend or family member who is terrible at driving and they still passed? You’ll know what I mean.

The outcome of success is determined by these factors:

  • Your skills
  • Your instructor
  • The car you take your test in
  • The day you take your test
  • The time of day you take your test
  • Your test location
  • Your driving examiner

You can’t do anything about the last point, it’s the luck of the draw. However, you can influence the rest with the help of data.

As a UK citizen (I’m sure this is similar globally) I can visit any driving instruction provider to unpack reviews of their instructors and understand the vehicles they use.

Through this data, I can select an instructor that most fits my style and a vehicle which deals with my body size (I’m tall so no small cars for me with my knees in my mouth!).

Many of these websites also contain data on your local areas’ pass rates and what affected those outcomes. Here’s an example from RED driving school near me.

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Locations removed so I avoid stalkers 😆

This data enables me to discover the places where most people pass.

This is useful information for test day. On top of this, I can visit the website of my government driving office to access nationwide statistics on pass rates filtered by location, dates and times.

This breakdown of recent UK data, of the city of Edinburgh from Collingwood Insurance, informs me that should I take my test here, I would do well to aim for a Wednesday or Friday exam.

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So, with a little bit of research and gathering data points, I’ve been able to:

  1. Select the best instructor and vehicle for me.
  2. Find out the best day to take my test.
  3. Find the locations near me with the highest pass rates.

And you would continue working to gather the rest of the data.

This package enables you to create a good environment for you to succeed. It’s not a guarantee, yet not using data would leave you in a much worse position.

How this connects with data in L&D

The car bit doesn’t, obviously.

Hopefully, you can see what I’m getting at. In this example, taking a data-informed approach to build a positive driving exam experience enables you to stack the deck in your favour. This is no different in your work as an L&D pro.

If you want a successful experience, piece of content or product, you would be wise to take a data-informed approach to your solution design.

I hope that helps, till next time.


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