Why BI? Because every choice should be informed; every action measurable. Because we recognize that every business is unique, and every business comes with their own set of specific reporting needs. Though they may be niche, no one can argue their validity and importance in the context of your e-learning strategy.
Absorb LMS’ Business Intelligence Service aims to satisfy those needs as well as to greatly augment the capabilities of existing reporting elements in the Absorb admin interface.
Interested? Contact your Account Manager or submit a support ticket.
Full Service Business Intelligence
- Access to an Absorb Business Intelligence expert with extensive knowledge of Absorb LMS and its data structure, who will work with you to develop interactive dashboards and reports, custom-built specifically for your organization.
- Content will be directly accessible from the Absorb LMS admin interface (or set up to export/email out in a variety of file formats).
- Re-visualize new and existing LMS data in a variety of interesting ways.
- Virtually no limits to the way your LMS data can be sliced and diced as per your specifications.
- Your level of involvement in the process is completely up to you: we can do the legwork to help you realize your high-level reporting goals or we can work with your input on every aspect of both data extraction and content design.
Content Sample Library
- Absorb LMS will provide an ever growing library of dashboards and reports, exclusive to Business Intelligence subscribers, at no extra charge.
- The library allows users to sample this new system, showcasing the latest and greatest in reporting and design options available through the full-service option before scoping out their own custom content.
Product Demo & Pre-Scoping
We've put together the following demo video to showcase some of the functionality available through the service.
Your Account Manager would be happy to organize a discussion about your high-level reporting needs and how this service will satisfy them - please reach out to them if you are interested.
Initial setup of Business Intelligence will be performed by Absorb LMS. In addition to simply enabling the feature for your portal, this setup requires a migration of all LMS data to a specialized production database suited for BI reporting.
This task is scheduled after-hours in regular maintenance intervals and will incur a minor LMS service interruption as we copy your data to its new location.
Scoping & Development
Formal scoping of your custom content can begin prior to, following, or in parallel with the setup documented above. Initial ideas will have likely already been discussed during the pre-scoping meeting, but the scoping phase will be used to firm up on specific details related to the data and design of your custom content.
During development of the content, further clarification on specifics may be requested by the developer. Upon completion of the content a review call can be scheduled to showcase its functionality and discuss any further tweaks that may be desired. With your final approval on the content it will be deployed to your portal for production use.
Support & Maintenance
Full Service Support
Given the highly customized nature of the content developed for you, all inquiries following the initial development/deployment of your custom dashboards/reports will be handled directly by our Business Intelligence team, and the relationship established in the initial weeks of development will be maintained moving forward.
While most modifications to custom client content can be scheduled any time, issues requiring changes to core LMS functionality will be subject to our regular Absorb 5 patch/release schedule (currently occurring Sundays at 8pm MST). Any extra-ordinary Absorb 5 / Business Intelligence maintenance will be announced on the Absorb LMS Help Desk.
How many reports can I have built?
There is no limit to the number of reports that can be built, only to the number of development hours allocated to building them. The 20 hours of developer time included as part of initial setup could be used creating a handful of dashboards, each containing a large number of individual reporting visualizations, or alternatively you may opt for a larger quantity of flat reports. The amount of content rendered by your 20 hours will be largely dependent on the request’s data & design complexity.
How are the reports distributed?
Admins will be able to work with custom-built reports and dashboards directly in the admin interface much like they would with any of Absorb’s vanilla reports. This will provide the most interactive experience, chock-full of filtering options, click actions, zooms and pans, drill-down on chart elements, additional context on hover, etc.
Alternatively, report exports can be scheduled to be delivered to admins in a variety of formats (.csv, .xlsx, .jpg, .pdf, .pptx) in specific intervals. This option will allow you to deliver reports as attachment files to anyone with an email address, regardless of their association with your LMS.
What are the minimum system requirements to view the reports?
There are no special system requirements to be able to view the reports beyond those defined for Absorb LMS. We just ask that admins maintain the most recent versions of their browser to ensure optimal performance.
Can my data be filtered for low-level admins?
All user-based reports can be built to mimic Absorb LMS’ user management functionality offering row-level security to ensure that a low-level admin with oversight over a small handful of users can only see data for the users relevant to them. This includes both data filtering (i.e. hide “user123” from a table) as well as data refinement (i.e. counts, sums, averages, etc. in your visualizations will be greater for system admins than low-level ones).
Please note: user management functionality is only applicable when admins view the content in the admin interface. If your primary distribution is by email, the files attached will be based on the user management restrictions for the admin that originally scheduled the report.
Which of my admins will have access to the reports?
We have introduced a new “Business Intelligence Viewer” role that can be assigned to admins (either on its own or in addition to existing roles) to grant them access to your BI content. This role also includes read-only access to most areas of the LMS.
Users with the default “System Admin” role will be able to view content and will also be able to configure the active (visible) and inactive reports in their portal settings.
Can we hide specific reports from certain users?
Dashboards/reports can be made active or inactive (hidden) by system admins in the portal settings, but all active dashboards will be visible to all admins with the “Business Intelligence Viewer” role (described above). With that being said, the actual data in those reports can be filtered to only show data relevant to the viewer as documented above.
Will my reporting be in real-time?
Data in your Business Intelligence dashboards/reports will not be real-time. We have elected to build all of this content off of a secondary reporting database that is synced from your production data in regular intervals (i.e. every 24 hours). Our primary reasoning to isolate your reporting data in this manner was to allow for highly complex logic to be built into your reports without having any adverse impact on the primary LMS functionality utilized by your learners/admins.
What languages are supported?
Custom content can be built in any language (with your assistance on translation). However, this language is static; content will not dynamically change with the admin’s language selection in the admin panel.
Can I perform time-relative reporting?
The Business Intelligence platform features a rich suite of time-relative filtering options, allowing you to filter and refine your data by intervals such as “Last 30 Days”, “Year to Date”, “Current Week”, or even custom intervals defined by you. These will all be relative to the date the report is generated.
I have Absorb configured with custom SMTP for my outbound email messages. Can I email reports from this same custom address?
Unfortunately, the Business Intelligence system is not compatible with custom SMTP addresses. All scheduled reports will be delivered from the address firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does Absorb LMS ensure the security of my data?
Absorb Software has an established Information Security Policy that can be provided upon request.
Direct Database Access
Have your own in-house development/business intelligence team? Absorb LMS also offers a separate database access package that will grant you remote, read-only access to a SQL Server reporting database containing all of your LMS data in its raw format. Similar to the Business Intelligence offering documented above, it should be noted here that to ensure the performance of your learner and admin environments, this access will be to a database that is backed up nightly with your production data, rather than real-time access to the production data itself.
Compared to the full-service Business Intelligence Reporting option documented above, Direct Database Access is much more technical in nature. We will provide documentation and up to 10 hours of consultation on the Absorb database model, but an understanding of the SQL language and relational database structures will be required to extract meaningful data for your organization.
Much of the setup to gain access to your reporting database will be similar to the setup for Business Intelligence. We'll need to migrate your production data to its own single-client database suitable for this access. The benefits of this extend beyond just database access; you should see an across-the-board improvement to the performance of Absorb’s vanilla reports as well. This will incur minimal LMS downtime but can be scheduled at your convenience with a member of the Absorb team.
If interested in either the Business Intelligence or Direct Database Access service, please contact your Account Manager or submit a support ticket.