One of the first tasks in any LMS implementation is to set up the flow of people and organizational information from existing Human Resources Information System (HRIS) or manual systems. An LMS system is usually looking for:
- People – Internal and External
- Job Type definitions
- Role definitions
Frequently during LMS implementations, you will find that the HRIS data structure or content is not suitable to be used for pushing out training or managing training activities or reporting.
To deal with this, the import of Foundation Data (Organizations, Job Types, Locations, People, Roles), extracted from the HRIS, into the LMS can require custom programming from the client’s IT staff.
What types of data problems can be solved
As a typical instance, problems arise when the using Job Titles to generate Job Types.
The breakdown of Job Titles does not meet the needs for competency management for any number of reasons, such as labels are too broad or too specific, some types are redundant or there are too many titles. They cannot easily be matched with competencies or training needs.
In this case, the ADTransform can be used to map the Job Titles into the desired Job Types.
Similar needs frequently arise during the mapping of departmental structures to organizations.
If you need to maintain Audience Types based on various information in the People information extracted from the HRIS, the ADTransform can do this by adding a custom plug-in to the ADTransform that applies the appropriate rules and creates Audience Type membership entries in the People profile that is uploaded into the LMS.
In typical new installations of software or upgrading, a lot of time can be wasted testing the Foundation Data import.
During testing of the import, failures due to data structures not being compliant to the format required by the LMS Import functions or data not being internally consistent, are frequent.
One has then to sift through dense and verbose log files to decipher the error codes, check into the import files to uncover the cause of errors, make the required modifications and run the Import again until it succeeds.
The more concise and explicit validation messages facilitates and accelerates the debugging of the validation and conversion process.
Manual Data Preparation
In the case where the foundation data is being prepared manually, it is unlikely that there will be very many transformations required but the need for validation and clear error messages becomes very important and the delay in processing new data into the LMS has a big impact on the process. Being able to quickly validate the data and fix any irregularities, can make the LMS administrator’s job much esaier.
ADTransform can handle more complex cases where data from different sources needs to be merged into a single set of output files.
For example, employee data may come from the HRIS while external consultants may only exist in Active Directory or a spreadsheet listing current active consultants.
Other Uses in an LMS context
Because of its flexible architecture, this can also be applied in other areas:
- Bulk catalog updates where the a content vendor is supplying a catalog update that needs to be transformed into a format that can be uploaded into an LMS
- History records or transcripts that are coming from an external supplier of training that need to be transformed into a format that can be uploaded into an LMS
- Creation and validation of external organizations and people from directories such as Active Directory or federated authentication services.
- Conversion from one LMS to another or another version of the same LMS.
General Data Transformation Situations
ADTransform can be applied in any case where a regular set of data files need to be transformed in some way, validated and then written out in either the same format as the input or as a new format.