Infor has announced the general availability of Learning Optimisation. The solution forms part of the Infor Talent Management Suite. The new software was named as one of the five top “Awesome New Technologies for HR” at the HR Technology conference in Chicago.
Data Science in ERP
Infor is steadily growing the influence of its Data Science Labs in its ERP solutions. This latest piece of software sees data science applied to personalised learning. The solution forms part of the wider Talent management suite and focuses on identifying a learning path for employees. It uses individuals current experience and knowledge coupled with their future focus. It then identifies where a shortfall in skills sets remains. Finally, it make recommendations to managers for their team. These recommendations might include books, courses or personalised coaching.
The solution is merely one part of the whole software suite that focuses in hiring, retaining and growing the best talent. Charles Cagle, senior vice president, HCM Development, Strategy, & Operations, Infor commented: “Indiscriminate learning can decrease performance, and limit employee growth and potential.
“Infor understands that employees, at any level, need personalized learning to become top performers, and by providing managers with insights and tools to capitalize on employees’ behavioural strengths and characteristics, can help them directly impact success and influence business goals. By harnessing the power of data science, managers can move from making personnel decisions based on gut feel to decisions informed by data-driven insights, thereby helping to optimize talent to create an educated, engaged, and agile workforce.”
The changing workforce
There is unfortunately very little details about the science and its application within Infor. This raises a number of questions. What criteria are used to calculate the chosen training path? How many variables are used to determine the best outcome? There is also no mention of how it will integrate or work with existing training needs analysis (TNA) programs.
This software will be attractive to many companies looking to improve their training programs, but does it go far enough? It would have been useful to know what data the data science uses to extract its recommendations from. If the data source is only that found within the company it might limit the benefit of this functionality to larger customers.
Workers no longer stay with a single employer throughout their entire working life. Instead, the workforce has become more transient. This has led to a number of calls for training and education to be more portable. As a result learning paths may need to incorporate a degree of personalised learning unrelated to their current or even future role within the company. This Infor solution selects training personalised to the individual and their role within the company. By giving employees more training in their role it is hoped that it will also reduce the risk of them leaving the company.
Infor is leveraging its two centres of excellence with every release it seems. Its Hook and Loop design agency seems to have a tight control of the UI that are delivered by Infor. Additionally, the Data Science Labs is expected to improve the intelligence of the Infor software. Consequently It is surprising though that they have not yet released an AI solution, unlike their competitors.
One of the aims of this new solution, according to Infor is to reduce employee attrition. This is not the most important benefit that solution gives to both individuals and companies. Organisations often talk about continuous improvement, either in manufacturing or business processes. There is no reason that this should not apply to the individuals within organisations.
If the Talent Optimisation achieves that goal then it is not only the individual that benefits. The company will also benefits from the wider education that the employee now has and increased morale. Companies often underestimate the value of training to their bottom line. It has historically been hard to quantify its benefit because they don’t collect the right data to establish an ROI. Companies are able to calculate either the knowledge gained or the morale boost to their employees.