LMS / LRS / Central Reporting System?

Hi there - we're starting to investigate options for our learning systems ... yes I said systems with an S.

We currently have a 10yr rotation where we must go to tender to acquire a new LMS product based on a competitive bid process. Since we need to keep data, this means that we need to do a huge migration process from one system to another and the last one took upwards of 3 yrs.

Since an LMS is really a way to deliver and track content trainings, are there any systems out there that would allow us to keep the DB from an old system and pull the data in to do the data analysis?

Essentially we'd like to shut down the old LMS but keep its database in read only mode, and then deploy the new LMS, and have a solution that is outside of the LMS (LRS maybe?) that would pull data from both DBs and give a report card for the student that way (I say report card, but essentially be able to pull data from both DBs and give a report on what the user is looking for).

I was reading that Learning Record Stores are only xAPI based, so would I use something like a COGNOS Business Intelligence (BI) solution to pull the data in and make the student's report card that way by pulling data from all systems?

I am open to ideas and just wondering if someone can point me down a worm hole to start investigating further.

Discussion (5)

If your LMS keeps any custom data, that obviously would not be supported by the new one unless you paid for (or otherwise got) customizations.

BINGO - this is our problem.

These customizations are the thorn in my side. We currently use it as a certification and tracking mechanism for specific jobs/tasks based on your learnings/trainings which is what I am trying to get away from because an LMS at it's core is a training delivery and tracking mechanism, not a certification tracking tool.

Ideally, I'd like to get back to basics and out of this perpetual problem. Use the LMS to deliver elearning, tracking training delivery, and provide basic canned reports on training tracking and use a different system for certification tracking, etc. Unsure what that tool would be but was hoping a someone would be in a near situation that could point me down a route to start investigating... Budget season is upon us and we need to start carving out cash...

I have little experience with this, but it's my impression that a competent database developer could translate an export from one LMS to be imported into a different one in a straightforward way. The fields, by the definition of SCORM and AICC, would have to match up. If your LMS keeps any custom data, that obviously would not be supported by the new one unless you paid for (or otherwise got) customizations.

In the end, behind the scenes 95% of a typical LMS is just a GUI for SQL queries. My buddy Lee (a SQL guru) could write those queries off the top of his head. I'm sure you could find someone almost as good as Lee to work on the project.

My own employer has an external vendor handle certifications for certain job roles. We used to do exactly what you describe--export reports from the LMS and have the vendor import the data into the certification-tracking system.

Do you know what system/vendor that is? I just need a place to start, if not I will have to go into a an RFI (Request for Information) blind.

Industrial Training Services (ITS), who specialize in the utility industry.