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CPL Online delivers added value for clients through its Big Data Platform

Monday, 28 September 2015

Software and e-learning specialist, CPL Online has introduced a series of added value reporting and data analysis functions for its clients as a result of its sophisticated Big Data Platform.

Clients whose training platforms have been developed and are hosted and managed by CPL Online have the ability to analyse billions of rows of data, leading to a better understanding of their workforce and the potential to benefit from cost savings to their business. 

The company which was formed in 2010 and specialises in bespoke digital services and products as well as e-learning training for the hospitality sector, switched to using the Big Data Platform in 2012. The platform, powered by HPCC Systems®, from LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, one the world’s biggest data analytics companies, has enabled CPL Online to revolutionise the way in which it processes data. Since its inception, CPL simply doesn't just track pass or fail data, but tracks every button clicked, time spent on each page of a course and the time spent on each question. CPL processes between 200 to 3,000 rows of data per individual course.  CPL is one of the first companies to be authorised partners for the open source HPCC Systems platform in the UK.  “How it works is that we build algorithms around the data which means we can process and analyse vast amounts in real time. It has allowed us to build customised software for every client and as it stands we have accumulated over half a billion rows of data with the capacity to increase over the next 20 years,” explains David Dasher, Managing Director of CPL Online, who also sits on HPCC Systems Community Advisory Board. 

By collecting a huge repository of data since its implementation, CPL now use this unique data to track user trends and spot unusual or suspicious training activity and also highlight the best performing staff.  It has also enabled CPL Online to add new features to their brand new, built-for-mobile e-learning courses, which will shortly be launched. CPL is adding new gamification features into its software in order to improve user experience. 

“For example, take a business with 3,000 employees in the hospitality sector. Each employee’s training and development is managed online via the CPL Online Learning Management System, also known as the Console. The large volume of rows of data we process means that we can identify people who have completed a course too quickly or could have been potentially aided by another person,” added Dasher. The system flags suspicious activity, which it identifies as unusual in comparison to the hundreds of thousands of legitimately completed courses, and can then withhold certificates.  

In addition, employees who have completed a course such as health and safety and legitimately passed it may be identified as suitable for re-taking the exam, when required by law, without the need to go through refresher training. It would normally cost a business with 3000 employees, based on national minimum wage, £80,000 in labour costs for all employees to complete the 70-minute refresher course.  If 40% of those employees passed the courses the first time, with a legitimate pass rate of 90% and over and were no longer required to retake the entire course but just re-sit the exam, a labour cost saving of £39,000 man hours could be made. 

Heat mapping, the process by which the platform can track mouse movements on a screen, can identify aspects of courses that appeal or are more challenging, enabling the company to amend content to ensure that their e-learning courses are the best product possible. This ability to track how a user performs and interact with courses, which even allows the playback of a user’s course experience, enables CPL to deliver an improved support service to their customers.

Processing the data, CPL Online operates a confidential scoring system for all users which is a useful aid for clients in succession planning.

“When we introduced the Big Data platform the goal was to create a system that could process vast amounts of data in order to spot trends and provide customers with useful analysis. Three years on and this is now possible with the volume of data we have,” said Dasher. “This level of sophisticated analysis will lead to significant changes in the way businesses recruit, train and promote their workforce.”

Last year there were 3.24 million logins on to CPL Online’s console system, which is powered by the Big Data Platform. This figure currently sits at 2.34 million logins for 2015 and is projected to be 4.2 million by the end of the year. Over 2.64 million messages have been sent via the console and over 14.7 million bookshelf items have been assigned.  Since 2012, over 1.6 million e-learning courses have been completed.