Assessments are a key strategic tool. They can help L&D departments prioritize their training spend, as well as align and personalize the training they provide. They are essential to tracking the progress of the learners and the impact of learning in the workplace.

But, too often, the reality is far from this.

The People Down the Hall

A year or so back, I was facilitating a focus group of around 20 HR and learning professionals in the offices of a well-known global bank. We were there to review the data we had gathered from an organizational survey run by the Kaplan Insights team.

All was going well until I asked what other assessments they were using and whether I could get access to population-level data that we could use to triangulate our findings and match them to the behavioral change they wanted to bring about.

A reasonable request, you might think, but I felt like Caesar crossing the Rubicon when one of the team answered me through gritted teeth, “Has anyone told you about the people down the hall?”

Multiple Suppliers, Miscellaneous Reports, Multifarious Data Points

In the ensuing discussion, which quickly got rather heated, a number of facts emerged:

  • There was a team (which few elsewhere in the business knew about) across the hall working on assessments.
  • There was little understanding of what these various psychometric tests and other assessments offered the business.
  • There was little follow-up, with the depth of understanding limited to, “I’m a blue” or, “I’m an ISFJ.”
  • Learning and assessments were not connected systematically—some units used them on programs, and some did not.
  • Anyone who had been in the business for a few years had taken a handful of tests, but the recording was poor, making it hard to track.
  • None of the data from these tests was portable and usable elsewhere.

To compound matters, even if someone wanted to overhaul this activity, there were multiple long-standing agreements with several specialist suppliers.

Looking back, I can appreciate why tempers rose in the room. This sort of fragmented, uncontrolled use of resources reflects badly on colleagues in HR and L&D, making them an easy target for criticism.

Data You Can Use

Of course, their intentions were well-meaning; they wanted role-relevant, contextualized assessments that reflected the working environment and provided actionable data to better target resources. However, a Harvard study that put the global training spend in 2016 at a massive $359 billion found that, in many cases, “The purpose, timing, and content of the training are flawed.”

Clients in this situation were top-of-mind when we conceived Kaplan Performance Academy. What if, we thought, you could source all the major psychometrics and personality inventories from one supplier? Even better, what if you could draw the relevant data from each and produce consolidated reports?

And that’s just what we’ve done. As well as hosting our own unique assessments, Kaplan Performance Academy is the ultimate one-stop shop. It offers our clients that strategic assessment toolkit I referred to above.

In addition to the benefits of having data that allows us to tailor learning and ensure it goes to those who need it when they need it, there are economies of scale and savings to be made on reduced transaction costs.


Ready to see how you can meet your organization’s learning and development needs? Learn more about the unique digital learning environment of Kaplan Performance Academy.