17 May 2021

Kenny McCormack

Senior Solutions Architect

Both Moodle and Totara reports give you access to a wealth of valuable data about your learners – but how do you get the information you need?

When it comes to building meaningful reports for corporate or educational oversight, the biggest issue is usually finding a way to collect the data you want.

So, we have very good news for you: we’ve never known that to be an issue with Moodle or Totara reports. Whatever the statistics you need and regardless of why you need them, the chances are that your LMS will be capturing the relevant data for you.

To date, any time one of our customers has wanted to create a report on a particular aspect of usage of their Moodle or Totara site, the data needed has already been collected and is sitting patiently awaiting extraction from the LMS.

With that in mind, when you’re thinking about getting the data you need from Moodle or Totara, the question shifts slightly from ‘what data do we have?’ to ‘what data do we need?’.

The sheer weight of analytics relating to your courses, your learners and other aspects of your LMS could become overwhelming if you let it.

Rather than dumping enormous quantities on administrators, managers and other stakeholders, we’d urge you to consider a more targeted approach to reporting.

Here are our tips – based on more than 15 years’ experience – for getting the data you need from Moodle or Totara reports.

Patience

Don’t expect to have all of your Moodle or Totara reports perfected on day 1. Take the time to use the site for a while and build an understanding of what data you need and when you will need it. As we’ve said, all the data you need will be in there and you can backdate reports that you do need.

Letting everyone settle in to using the site and then building a clearer picture of what is needed is far more time-saving and cost-effective than jumping straight in with an array of reports and automation that ultimately proves to be unnecessary.

 

Restraint

Less is more. Just because you can create a report doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. The more reports you create and the more data you export, the harder it becomes to keep track of the things that are most important. Question each report and its strategic value before creating it.

 

Engagement

Talk to other stakeholders who will be using the data from the reports to find out how it will be used, what they actually need and how often they need it. For example, something that a department head only looks at quarterly probably doesn’t merit a weekly report.

Encourage other stakeholders to adopt the same levels of patience and restraint we’ve suggested above. Help them to be able to see the wood from the trees by limiting reports to what is practical and useful to them.

Need to chat about Moodle or Totara reports?

If you’ve got questions about reporting or any other aspect of Moodle or Totara platforms, feel free to fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.

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