Thomas Hervouet-Kasmi Digital Learning Manager IPAG Business School
Analytics only matter if you analyze what matters. Putting too much focus on the purely technical aspects of extracting and reporting data can sometimes mean that you lose sight of the most critical group of people in the process: your stakeholders. You can give your stakeholders access to all the analytics in the world, but if they’re not the analytics your stakeholders actually need or they don’t see the value in using Learning Analytics at all, that data’s not going to do anyone much good. So how do you make sure your organization keeps its focus on providing high-value analysis in partnership with your stakeholders? IPAG Business School and Digital Learning Manager Thomas Hervouet-Kasmi tackled this challenge.

IPAG Business School delivers a globally focused, top-tier education that gives students the tools they need to become multi-skilled, adaptable, and responsible managers. Founded in 1965, IPAG Business School is recognized as being of general interest (EESPIG Label), member of CGE (Conférence des Grandes Écoles), UGEI (Union des Grandes Écoles Indépendantes), and AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). In addition to its campuses in Paris (France) and Nice (France), IPAG Business School has 153 partner universities in 38 countries including deep partnerships with universities in Kunming (China), Abidjan (Ivory Coast), and Los Angeles (California) as well as its online program IPAG online.

IPAG Business School is committed to its core values of excellence, flexibility, open-mindedness, and commitment to social responsibility and ethics, giving its 3,500 students a truly world-class education. With one of the most efficient research laboratories in economics and finance in France, IPAG has been included in the Shanghai ranking since 2016. Holder of the BSIS (Business School Impact System) label and member of the United Nations PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education), IPAG Business School promotes ethical management, based on values ​​of excellence, openness, and commitment.

We were so excited to have Thomas Hervouet-Kasmi, IPAG Business School’s Digital Learning Manager, give a presentation at IntelliCon 2021, IntelliBoard’s first user conference, on IPAG Business School’s four-step path to success with stakeholder-centered Learning Analytics. With over 20 years of experience in the learning and digitalization field, Thomas Hervouet-Kasmi has a breadth and depth of experience in designing and delivering innovative digital and technology learning solutions. Career highlights include serving as Digital Learning Director with French Moodle Partner EDUNAO.

IPAG Business School uses the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS) with the IntelliBoard analytics and reporting plug-in to provide high-value analysis to their stakeholders. Firmly rooted in IPAG’s commitment to perfecting its programs, IPAG approaches Learning Analytics as a stakeholder-centered four-step process: identifying stakeholders, identifying your data and how it needs to be extracted and delivered, choosing the right reporting system, and providing high-value analysis to stakeholders.

Step One: Identify Your Stakeholders

Thomas Hervouet-Kasmi stresses that identifying your stakeholders is the first and most crucial step on the path to success. At heart, Learning Analytics is a very human-centered endeavor. If key stakeholders don’t understand what Learning Analytics are or believe in their value, or they don’t feel like they can come to you to articulate their needs, then none of the data you produce will be genuinely actionable.

“You should not consider this kind of project as a technical one. You have to identify your stakeholders to discuss with them, to make them comfortable to express their needs. The most important thing is to provide reports in a way that makes sense for the people who use it in actionable ways… There is no supervising or decision [making] without information. The most difficult thing is to deal with the elephant in the room. I mean, that data still intimidates. And for some people, it could be difficult to understand the value of Learning Analytics or more basically what it is.”

Thomas Hervouet-Kasmi and his team have identified three key groups of stakeholders at IPAG Business School: the executive committee, academic departments, and teachers. Each group has distinct needs.

  1. The Executive Committee: This group is comprised of senior-level executives and board officers. Since they’re concerned with how the school is faring, they need data that gives a global overview of the organization.
  2. Academic Departments: Department leaders need an overview of their specific courses in order to understand how their students and teachers are faring and make timely, efficient decisions on the departmental level.
  3. Teachers: Educators need to monitor their students to understand what’s happening in their courses in real-time and adapt as needed, and look back on previous courses so they can design new course iterations that are even better.

Once you’ve developed relationships with your stakeholders and worked in partnership with them to determine their data needs, you can move on to figuring out how you’re going to meet those needs. Thomas Hervouet-Kasmi stresses not to rush through step one before proceeding to step two.

Step Two: Identify Your Data and How It Needs to Be Delivered

Don’t make life harder than it needs to be by starting from scratch on this step! Your LMS already contains an enormous amount of data. All you need to do is think strategically about extracting, compiling, and distributing it. Thomas Hervouet-Kasmi identifies three critical areas of consideration:

  1. Extraction: First things first: what data, precisely, do each group of stakeholders need? Where is that data stored? How and when will the IT department extract it?
  2. Report Production: Once you’ve got the right data, it’s time to think about compiling it. What does each group of stakeholders need in each report? What reporting format would be ideal for each group’s needs? Do you have the capability to build out these reports? If not, how will you create that capability or develop a workaround? Who is going to be responsible for creating these reports?
  3. Distribution: Now that you’ve got the right data in the right format, you’ve got to get it to the right people. Who needs to receive each type of report? How often do they need to be sent? When? Who’s in charge of sending the reports?

While Learning Analytics projects should be stakeholder-centered endeavors, it’s essential to keep an eye on the technical side of things at this point in the path.

"So, for me, it is very important to understand that all this [data extraction, report production, and distribution] is really a technical project… It is not finished because these areas where data are stored could change when an update of your LMS happens. So after an update, all these technical solutions went down in flames. I know that because I have the experience of this kind of stuff. [Besides], it costs an arm and a leg.”

Fortunately, the next step on the path can help minimize technical risks like this.

Step Three: Choose the Right Analytics and Reporting System for Your Organization

Do you want to build out an analytics and reporting system yourself? Or do you want to go with one that’s ready-made? For Thomas Hervouet-Kasmi and IPAG Business School, this decision was a no-brainer. They chose IntelliBoard because it’s ready to use, easy to deploy, and very budget-friendly compared to what it would cost IPAG Business School to build out an analytics and reporting system itself.

So for me, [the] IntelliBoard solution speaks itself. It's ready to use. I mean, I don't have to figure out where the data are stored. I don't have to figure out how to build the reports. Besides that, I can stay focused on distribution, to who I have to distribute all this data, to who I have to deliver high-value analysis.”

Because IntelliBoard comes ready to use, you don’t have to figure out where your data is stored or how to build reports. (Or worry about your analytics getting derailed by an LMS update.)

“We are working with one of the most important Moodle partners in France, called EDUNAO, we just have to ask them to set up the IntelliBoard plugin inside our Moodle platform, and that's it. We purchase the subscription; we can start definitely as quick as possible.”

Getting IntelliBoard up and running was a matter of simply purchasing a subscription and asking EDUNAO to install it.

The icing on the cake… is that the budget is really attractive for our business school, compared to all the technical stuff I described earlier… So for me, in terms of added value of your departments, I think the real one is to provide high-value analysis to your stakeholders.”

Using IntelliBoard allows Thomas Hervouet-Kasmi and his team to focus on the next step in the path to stakeholder-centered Learning Analytics success.

Step Four: Provide High-Value Analysis to Your Stakeholders

When deployed strategically, Learning Analytics can be a powerful tool for improving the learning environment. Thomas Hervouet-Kasmi and his team break their analyses into three levels: descriptive analysis, predictive analysis, and prescriptive analysis.

  • Descriptive Analysis: What happened and why did it happen?

“It is basic data, but this basic data can deliver a huge value for our teachers and for our academic departments. Why? Because all the needed reports are available in the IntelliBoard platform. So for me, as a Digital Learning Manager, I just have to select the right report for the right need for the right stakeholder. And that's it. I can deliver quickly high value. On this step we focus only on the data. So the attendance, so the engagement, so the success, or the results. These are basic data, but [the] IntelliBoard platform is able to collect it, to build a report, and able to distribute all this stuff to the right people.”

With IntelliBoard, Thomas Hervouet-Kasmi and his team simply have to select the right report for the right need.

  • Predictive Analysis: Once you know what’s happened, you can go a step further and look for relationships in the data to predict what is likely to happen next. Thomas Hervouet-Kasmi and his team prefer to stick to the basics.

“For my team and I, we keep it simple. We focus on simple data, like attendance, like engagement, like success, or results. And we combine them in order to explain [the] situation… We have the capacity to explain the success of our students because we succeed in building some strong relationships between basic data… For me, without any machine learning stuff, or without any advanced statistical model, you can build quickly some predictive analysis, and it can help you to deliver high value to your stakeholders.”

Even without deploying machine learning or complex statistical analysis, Learning Analytics can make robust predictions around what contributes to student success. (IntelliBoard’s upcoming rollout will make predictive analysis even easier and more comprehensive.)

  • Prescriptive Analysis: Now that Learning Analytics has given you a picture of what’s happened and what’s likely to happen next and stakeholders have a more accurate view of the learners’ paths, stakeholders can make informed decisions about what to do next.

“We have the capacity to anticipate the future, to [make] the right decisions, and to help both the executive committee, the academic departments, and the teacher to have a better view of the reality of our learners’ path….”

Thomas Hervouet-Kasmi emphasizes that it is vital to appreciate the complexity of context throughout this process. For example, concepts like student engagement might be represented by different data points for different subjects or have different meanings based on external factors.

“We discuss with teachers, sometimes with students, to understand the reality of the complexity of the situation, and with this contextual data, we can figure out how we can interpret the reports delivered by IntelliBoard.”

Equally, staying continuously engaged with stakeholders is vital to fully understand and appreciate the complete picture of what students and teachers are experiencing.

Analysis That Matters

By building a solid partnership and deep understanding of stakeholders from the beginning, Thomas Hervouet-Kasmi and his team are able to utilize IntelliBoard to get the right data to the right people at the right time. Descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive Learning Analytics are tailored to each stakeholders’ needs and deliver the high-value analysis IPAG Business School needs to continue to provide its students with a truly world-class education. Through following their four-step path to stakeholder-centered Learning Analytics success, Thomas Hervouet-Kasmi and his team analyze what matters to make their analyses truly matter.

Thank you so much for your excellent presentation at IntelliCon 2021, Thomas. We look forward to seeing what you and IPAG Business School do next and being there to support you every step of the way!

Are you interested in crafting stakeholder-centered Learning Analytics for your organization? Schedule a chat with us, take advantage of our webinars, or sign up for a free trial of IntelliBoard. We’d love to help you provide high-value analysis to your stakeholders.

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