Future Skills
Getting fit for the future

Navigating Change: the Importance of Future Skills

Strategic skills development for companies and individuals in a dynamic working world

What skills does a company need in order to remain successful and improve its ability to respond effectively in a constantly changing world? If we could answer this question with a definitive list, the discussion surrounding “future skills” would be very short.


But, alas, it’s not that simple. There is no universally definitive answer. We can, at most speak only in approximate terms. And therein lies the challenge.

The world of work is in constant flux, shaped by technological advances, changing expectations and ever-new business models. Faced with this highly dynamic and uncertain environment, companies need to get future-ready to ensure they remain successful. And central to this are future skills. These are skills that employees and teams require in order to remain actively in control in a constantly changing world. Our experts advise companies and organisations on how to approach this complex topic.

Uwe Hofschröer

Uwe Hofschröer, Head of Learning Strategy Consulting at imc

Uwe Hofschröer and his team advise companies at the strategic level on learning objectives, learning formats, and learning content. “There are two layers of uncertainty on this subject,” he says. “Firstly, future skills are, by definition, dynamic. They relate to something that won’t become relevant until some point in the future. And secondly, they describe ‘supra-disciplinary skills’ that don’t relate to any current tasks or challenges affecting employees right now. But that’s not a reason not to engage with the subject.”

Self-directed learning and self-organised learning processes

Companies must take care not to confine their focus on future skills purely to the strategic level. They must follow the matter through to the individual level,
because skills are something developed by and in individual employees. Hence, the focus is on the individual’s ability to successfully navigate change. And that’s something that can be acquired only through overcoming real challenges.


Setting employees “future skills” as a learning task and providing them resources is not enough.
This is especially so since “future skills” transcend subject expertise. They are about enabling employees to navigate new, previously unknown challenges with confidence. They include communication skills, teamwork, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. They also involve leadership in uncertain situations and the ability to engage successfully with new technologies.
To ensure employees can navigate future challenges in a self-directed manner, the learning process itself should instill self-organised learning as a core value.


Self-organised learning processes do, however, require a clear framework and must be aligned with the company’s strategy, objectives, and challenges. As Hofschröer explains: “In our experience, dealing effectively with the uncertainties surrounding future skills requires an interplay between the ‘company’ level and the ‘individual’ level.” In his view, there are three core aspects to this:

Defining goals and visions based on the company’s own corporate strategy, on market analyses, and on the specific environment in which the company operates. The key is not to treat future skills as a one-off, top-down project but to give employees an active role.

Reflection and operationalisation: Teams and leadership personnel have a key role to play in the development of future skills. Why? Because they are in a position to articulate the challenges in their work clearly and in detail. How? By organising learning processes to deal with their specific challenges. The company can support them with workshops on learning potential, coaching programmes, or training in methodologies like action mapping.

Building up capacity and integrating future skills into learning offerings: A one-off, standardised solution won’t do, because skills are acquired by individuals and are therefore highly dynamic. The company therefore needs to enable skill development in an integrated manner – in various learning environments and at different levels. This allows employees to develop skills in a way that matches their specific needs and learning situations.

Learning strategies and awareness campaigns as key components

The starting point should be a comprehensive awareness campaign. The aim here is to communicate the importance of future skills and strengthen the strategic framework for their development. It’s vital to get the team leaders on board here. It’s important to recruit them as multipliers and give them the tools they need to foster future skills in their teams.


At the learning strategy level, companies can define targeted formats and methods that integrate future skills into existing and new learning programmes. The formats and methods should foster self-organised learning, data literacy, creative problem solving, and social cooperation. This can, for example, be achieved in product training courses and onboarding programmes by using group work and projects.


The results are blended learning scenarios that promote self-directed learning and employee collaboration. This involves providing clear guidelines and structures to increase the likelihood of success.

Having a long-term perspective is key

It’s crucial not to treat future skills as a one-off matter. Future skills are an ongoing process that must be embraced at both the company and the individual level. “Set it up right, and you’ll create a self-perpetuating cycle of learning,” Hofschröer says. Surveys, monitoring, and focus group interviews are the tools of choice here.


Learning analytics also has a lot to offer here. Learning management systems (LMS) are ideal as evaluation tools. They are very effective at pinpointing and closing learning gaps. And they facilitate feedback and control at the overall company level, ensuring that the defined vision is achieved.


Companies that follow this long-term, strategic approach are better equipped to manage the challenges of the constantly changing working world. Future skills are the key to having agency and responding effectively in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world. They are therefore an important focus of skills development for every organisation.


Companies today are faced with the fundamental question of how to prepare for an unpredictable future. The importance of skills that go beyond mere knowledge is growing. Skills are the sum total of real-world abilities that are acquired by mastering specific challenges. The term “future skills” addresses this by focusing on skills that enable individuals and organisations to deal effectively with change and uncertainty.


This approach is not new. It has its parallel in the long-standing discussion of overarching key competencies – skills instrumental to meeting needs at both the individual and societal level. “Future skills” is a more recent term. It picks up on this idea, focusing on the various requirements arising from current societal and technological changes. In an unpredictable and fast-changing world, the quest for skills that can unlock the future is of the utmost importance.

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Contact person

I joined the imc newsroom team in 2021. As a journalist my heart beats for content and storytelling.


I’m excited to figure out how e-learing and digitization affect the future of work. My task is to create content to talk about and I’m always looking for trends.


Privately I love to travel and eat Tapas.


Topics: E-Learning Trends, Corporate Social Responsibility, Press and Influencer Relations

Nina Wamsbach, Communications Manager, imc AG
Nina Wamsbach
Communication Manager
LMS Hot Topics Header, diary of an LMS
LMS Hot Topics
Diary of an LMS

Diary of a Learning Management System

imc Learning Suite: Six pro tips to make your life easier when working with the LMS

Ever had words with your car? Yelled at the TV? Sworn out loud as you stab angrily at your PC keyboard? Or muttered “stupid system!” – only to discover, somewhat sheepishly, that the problem lay with you, not the system? It’s OK, we’re no different. Our consultants are intimately familiar with this phenomenon, too.


That’s why we talked to our consultants about the misconceptions and obstacles that most frequently cause LMS clients grief, and how they can be overcome. And sometimes it’s good to see things through the other person’s eyes, so we’ve decided to write this from the point of view of our learning management system and share some tips for a better handling of the LMS. That’s right, you may not be aware of it, but our LMS has feelings too, and it’s only trying to help!


The following excerpt from the diary of our learning plattforn is a light-hearted take on human-system interaction, but it contains genuine and practicable expert advice that will hopefully make working life less stressful and more relaxed for all concerned – you, the system, and our consultants.

LMS Hot Topics seperator queue

Dear Diary,

8 a.m.: Dealing with a sudden mass influx of visitors

This morning, I wasn’t even fully awake and was hoping for a slow start to my day, but then I received another error message from China. It was from that important guest who checked in recently. Humans, by the way, always call guests “clients”, but “guests” sounds so much nicer to me.

Anyway, this super-important guest thinks it’s okay to check in an additional 50,000 learners without first telling us and giving my human colleagues – imc’s consultants and architecture experts – a chance to make the necessary server preparations. These preparations are quick to implement, but they’re not instantaneous. I mean, have you ever tried to find room for 50,000 guests who show up on your doorstep unannounced? We pride ourselves on being great hosts, and part of being a great host is being prepared.

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Pro tip 1:

If you know you are going to need a large volume of additional licences, please give the consultants in charge seven to ten days’ advance notice.

Note: This does not apply to completely new clients or enterprise groups. In these cases, the preparations take an average of three months, as the process is a lot more involved.

12:15 p.m.: Bugs vs. user errors: Banishing misconceptions

My personal coach, Lia, always says I need to work on my stress management – it was her recommendation to keep a diary. I like Lia. She listens and helps me manage my endearing little peculiarities – the things that humans for some reason call bugs.

Bugs! Such an unkind word to use, given that everyone has their little quirks and tics. And to be perfectly honest, many of so-called bugs are not actually my fault, they’re user errors. There is always potential for user error, which is why my human colleagues and experts – wonderful people like Andreas and Christian – are there to help. They are excellent human-machine interpreters and are only too happy to clear up these sorts of little misunderstandings and misconceptions.

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Pro tip2, for system administrators

Please do the user training sessions with our consultants and refer to the relevant training documentation. It will save a lot of time, boost productivity and reduce stress. That’s a promise!

1:00 p.m.: How gamification boosts motivation and enhances learning outcomes

It’s so pleasing to see that my new functions are being accepted and used by more and more guests. And to think that only a couple of years ago, they still had to log in separately to every system I’m connected to. Such a chore and a bore! But now, thanks to single sign-on authentication, it’s all so much simpler, and they can now access the entire learning ecosystem with a single click.

A lot has happened on the gamification front too. Being able to collect badges after completing courses is extremely motivating and makes learning much more fun. Up until quite recently, gamification tended to be frowned upon, especially in the more staid German companies. They’re supposed to be learning, not playing! Well, I disagree, because I can combine learning and play.

Successful learning comes from motivation, which is why I wholeheartedly recommend my skill management feature. With skill management, I can facilitate employee development by highlighting the skills employees already possess, and those they are yet to acquire.

The employer can then compare this information with the skill requirements in job profiles to identify which candidates still need development in specific areas, and which ones are suitable for the role because they already have the required skill set. This can be applied to all selection scenarios, from promotions to filling vacancies. I firmly believe that not using this feature is a wasted opportunity, particularly for guests who have a lot of office-based employees.

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Pro tip 3

Don’t be afraid to move with the times! E-learning is so yesterday. Today, it’s all about creating unique learning experiences. Whether it’s small hacks, the use of gamification, or skill management, your employees will not only love it, they will become more productive.

imc LMS Hot Topics Netflix learning

3:30 p.m.: Using Netflix-like features to create unique learning experiences

Time for a coffee break, time to share a little secret: I will soon be getting some amazing new functions. And the best thing about it is that people are comparing me with Netflix – finally, a function that’s instantly recognizable for every user! Very clever of my developers to have come up with this: my new ability to recognize when different items of learning content deal with related topics. I can now recommend new courses or learning videos based on these similarities.

I can’t wait to see how this function is received once the first guests start trying it out. Who ever said learning systems are unsexy?


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Pro tip 4

You should definitely check out the new channel function. Channels not only look great, they transform learning into a real experience.

3:45 p.m.: Courses and learning paths made easy

That’s my caffeine fix sorted. Time to move on to the next real challenge – in the form of a new guest from Australia. This guest creates three new courses, then complains that there’s no easy overview of who has done the courses or completed the tests.

But that’s another major misconception, unfortunately, because the solution he needs is already there: learning paths. Let me explain. First of all, there’s learning content. That can be any kind of training, whether face-to-face or digital. If I combine multiple items of content, then that’s a course. I can then combine multiple courses to create a learning path. If I want to, I can then also define various course prerequisites.


The idea of prerequisites is that the learner can’t progress to a higher-level course until they have passed the courses below it. You can even create placeholders – course templates – for individual courses in the learning path if, say, the course dates have not yet been finalized. Guests can then book the relevant courses in the learning path once the dates have been finalized, and the courses created. With this set-up, the administrator will always have total transparency regarding how far along the learning path the individual learners are, and can see full details of the courses.

LMS Hot Topics courses vs. learning path
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Pro tip 5

Learning paths need to be well thought out because they are intended for longer-term development programmes. In that sense, they are like semester schedules at universities. The latter comprise various lectures or courses, and by the end of the semester, students need to have attended all the lectures in order to pass.

So, it’s important to think carefully in advance about the purpose for which an item of learning content, a course or learning path is being created. Once you have created a learning path, it’s not that easy to make changes. If you are unsure, it’s best to double check with our consultants.

5:00 p.m.: Smart decisions with learning analytics

What a day! But the end is in sight. Meanwhile, there’s something I really want to get off my chest: I’m a precision system, and I can show humans exactly what they want to – or are allowed to – see, but only if they correctly specify what they want via my user interface.

The same principle also applies to authorisations. It makes total sense that sales consultants who only sell, say, drilling machines should not need access to user guides for gardening tools. But to give effect to that, you actually need to specify it in the roles and rights concept. That way, the group defined as “sales consultants for drilling machines” will only be able to view user manuals for drilling machines.


Also, my creators are constantly talking about learning analytics and how it can be used to create really cool dashboards. That’s another new functionality that I’m very proud of. Learning analytics enables you to “measure the business outcome of the learning process,” as my big boss and Head of Product Management here at imc, Wolfram Jost, would say. In other words, learning analytics lets humans track whether they are getting a good return on their investment in learning. Definitely a key technology to keep an eye on!


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Pro tip 6

To get the right answers, you have to ask the right questions, so, if you would like to make purposeful use of learning analytics, it’s worth talking to a data expert or asking our consultants about targeted training courses.

6:00 p.m.: Performance review and new developments on the horizon

Well, it’s nearly time to finish up for the day, and I’ve got a really nice evening planned. The product management team will be coming by shortly, and I’ll be paying really close attention to what they say, because it’s about my future. I love my product managers because they’re always checking me over closely to spot untapped potential and find ways of making me even better than my competitors. Time to grab some data snacks, sit back and relax. I can’t wait to find out what updates they’ve got in mind for me.


Ok, Diary, talk to you again tomorrow!

featured image LMS hot topics learning ecosystem

Learning Ecosytem: A universe of Learning

If you want to use a learning ecosystem successfully in corporate learning, the technical requirements must be right. Time to shed light on what systems have to fulfil in order to be able to meaningfully map a genuine learning ecosystem.

lms hot topics: e-learning glossary

The Ultimate eLearning Jargon Glossary

LMS, LXP, SCORM, WBT, EPSS, NGLE, CBT, ITS!? Lost in a world of elearning terms and abbreviations? No worries, we can help. In this A to Z, we shed some light on the subject and have compiled a list of the most important terms and abbreviations in the field of e-learning in 2022.

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More about our LMS

If you would like to learn more about imc's Learning Management, check here for more information.

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Contact person

I have been working in the Marketing & Communication Team at imc since March 2019.

Communication, creative content and social media are my passion. "KISS - Keep it short and simple" is my credo.


To explain complex content in an understandable way and thus make the topic of e-Learning accessible to everyone is an exciting challenge every day.


Privately I love to read, play poker and travel a lot.

I am always happy to receive feedback or suggestions.

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Nadine Kreutz
Communication Manager
imc around the world hero ch
imc around the world
Rethinking Corporate Learning - what to expect in 2021

Corporate Learning 2021:
Looking to the future – right now

2020 was an exceptional year – shaped by a global pandemic, it will undoubtedly remain in our collective memory for a very long time to come.


We have talked a great deal about what this crisis means for digitalisation. Is it a driver or an inhibitor? Where are the hidden champions? Do we have an appetite for digital fast food, or do we hunger for slow food?


Of course, not every company was prepared to grab the bull by the horns, but digitalisation has been shown to ensure a company's survival while opening up new possibilities as well. In addition to new markets, business models and target groups, professional development has certainly taken on a key role this year.


These are exciting times for Learning and Development Professionals, as in-person training sessions, which had generally been the norm up until the crisis, now present new challenges for organisations. It's time to rethink professional development! We are experiencing an unforeseen demand for online formats and learning platforms, as well as a need to create hybrid formats; for example, social learning has suddenly transcended the limits of likes and comments.


In this series of articles, however, we will not be looking back but rather setting our sights on the future. While imc experts from around the world share their experiences from last year in a four-part special feature, they are primarily looking forward to new topics, trends and opportunities.


This special feature is meant to provide encouragement as well as ideas and impulses for the coming year. Nick Spielkamp, Head of Marketing and Sales at imc Switzerland will kick the series off with Part 1.

A statement from Nick Spielkamp
Nick Spielkamp

Nick Spielkamp, imc

In the upcoming year, digital training initiatives in Switzerland will focus strongly on actual business output. The current crisis will continue to be a driver for digital learning in 2021, but the effect of all training measures on the enabling of employees will be monitored even more closely, so that training budgets can be used accordingly.

So I see a strong shift from a pure training focus to a strong performance focus. In order to be able to substantiate the effects on the optimization of work results, the consolidation of training and business data in the form of Learning Analytics analyses will play a central role in the coming year.


Learning Analytics data not only provides evidence of the effectiveness of training measures, but also allows for targeted intervention in training to further optimize it and ultimately make employees better at what they do.

In addition to the continuous sharpening of digital training measures in terms of business output, I see a strong decentralization of the design and production of digital training content in the coming year. The Corona crisis has further reinforced the trend that more and more learning content must be digitized in the shortest possible time.


This cannot be achieved by the professional learning and development departments in the companies alone, which is why the technical experts themselves are increasingly assuming responsibility at this point.


However, these know-how carriers must be enabled accordingly in order to create didactically and visually high-quality training courses for various output formats at a reasonable cost. This is exactly where new types of rapid authoring solutions will play an important role, supporting the subject matter experts with artificial intelligence in the efficient production of digital learning content.

Your Contact


I’ve been a member of the imc crew since February 2019. My multi-faceted tasks always keep me on the go. In addition to my work on corporate brand, marketing and communication strategies and employer branding, I also delve into the operational side.


I have a passion for networks and communities. That is why I represent the brand ambassador programme in the editorial team. I am also actively involved in the SCHULEWIRTSCHAFT (School-Business) network.


Privately, my big passions are travelling, Disney and interior design.

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Kerstin Steffen
Director Brand Strategy
Learning Connect Event
What to consider in 2021
Learning Connect Event APAC

Learning and connection for the future

What companies should consider in 2021 – part 1

How can organisations and employees survive the accelerating of the digital transformation? This is a global challenge that all industries are facing nowadays and which they can only handle by focusing on learning and training. Especially the last months has opened the eyes of CEO's, CHRO's and Heads of Learning to an even more significant opportunity for reskilling and retraining. Therefore, it’s essential to use the right platform to launch into future growth and to ensure staff retention.


These were the most important themes of imc Learning Connect industry event which was organised by imc Asia and took place virtually on 24 September 2020. We summarised the key facts of the event and which topics Learning and Development professionals, learning enthusiasts and digitalisation fans should have on their watch list for the upcoming year in two series of articles. This is the first of the series.

Sketchnote learning connect event

Sketchnote by Felix Macfarlane, imc

Redesigning employee experience

Christian Wachter, CEO of imc, opened the event and shared an outlook on the upcoming sessions. Among others, he talked about the importance for organisations to improve their learning strategy by utilising learning analytics dashboard. He also pointed out how to redesign employee experience to encourage lifelong learning and introduced imc’s new authoring tool called blish!. He closed his presentation with the hint, that technology is only a tool to transform organisations digitally; nevertheless, the input is much more critical to ensure effective utilisation.

Learning analytics and business outcome

In the maximise Learning Outcomes Session, imc board member Dr. Wolfram Jost discussed the importance of measuring the result of Learning and Development and how these will impact the business performance. With a learning analytics dashboard, organisations can see the link between the learning program and business key performance indicators.

Proving this connection can be a great support in convincing the management:  When learning and development leaders could show the impact of their program, management shall be more convinced to invest in reskilling and retraining.

Digital transformation – but how?

How can digital learning support companies on their process of digital transformation? That was the topic of Lawrence Loh, Country Manager of imc Singapore. He pointed out that digital literacy, access and participation are essential to optimise organisations digital competency, as all these points influence future skills, business transformation and innovation as well as job profiles. Transferred to organisations, this means they have to prepare for the acceleration of digital led trends in order to optimise organisations digital competency.


Digital enterprise organisations will need to combine their processes, technology and people in the path towards digital transformation. To speed up this process will only be possible with digital learning and therefore a Learning Management System with a good user interface and user experience will enhance the learners' potential.

Creating learning content has never been that easy

User generated learning content is the topic in imc Express, an authoring tool session by Oliver Nussbaum. Everybody can produce a learning content since people has abundance knowledge they could share within their organisations. Functional understanding of software, awareness of good design and basic didactical knowledge are the skills required to be learning content producer. imc Express will support the creation of meaningful learning content with a strong Artificial Intelligence (AI); hence everybody could publish their knowledge.


That was part one of the event highlights, you can find the second part here!

Further information

You would like to learn more? Here you can find out more about the content authoring tool imc Express.


Or watch the event recording here.



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Daniel Antman
Managing Director Australia and New Zealand
Featured Image LMS Hot Topics
LMS Hot Topics
Topic: Learning Analytics
Asking the right questions is key

The (ideal) relationship between corporate goals and learning analytics

When a company needs to cut costs, L&D departments are often the first to feel the pinch. Professional development costs money without providing a tangible benefit. That is, the lack of directly verifiable benefit is often cited. However, L&D organisers can disprove this assumption if they examine learning analytics in more depth. We are answering the most pressing questions on this topic and offer practical tips.

Infobox learning analytics

It comes as little surprise that corona has driven investment in digital training platforms and e-learning in general. Yet, this is not a new trend. Back in 2019, figures published by Fosway Group already pointed in this direction: More than 60% of the interviewed companies stated that their expenditure for learning platforms and e-learning contents had significantly increased.


Greater numbers of digital training courses and higher costs drive demand for higher quality learning content, while also intensifying the focus on the actual business outcome. What exactly are employees learning? What purpose does it serve? How does it help my company’s development? How can I determine the impact professional development has on my revenue, for example?


This is exactly where learning analytics comes into play. Here’s a quick outline of what that is all about, and how to map business outcomes in a meaningful way.

What does learning analytics mean?

The term “learning analytics” comes from the traditional IT sector. It means that data on learning and learners is analysed to arrive at decisions based on this data.

job application

Where is learning analytics applied?

Traditionally, learning analytics methods are used wherever learning data is generated. While different analysis tools are available, this is typically done directly in a company’s learning management system (LMS).

What is measured?

Typical examples would be information on the number of participants booked onto a particular course, the total e-learning hours booked in a given month, or the number of certificates issued.

However, this is all fairly basic information that offers little insight by itself, and should be linked to other reference points.

Icon representing 360 Degrees

How should learning analytics be used?

Things become really interesting when learning analytics is leveraged to look at selected data in relation to other data, and analyse it in terms of the business outcome.
An example: One region is experiencing a more pronounced increase in bookings for training courses and course completion. Yet, revenues are stagnating. Meanwhile, revenues in a comparable region shows strong growth after the same number of training hours. The analysis now needs to dig a lot deeper to draw sound conclusions from these figures.


The right questions need to be asked. For instance: How did the participants rate the courses? Did the booked courses match the learners’ skills level? Did the courses challenge too much or too little? What was the dropout rate? Did the course content cover topics relevant to employees in that region?

If the answers show a discrepancy between course content and expectations, this can be addressed directly. At this point, artificial intelligence (AI) technologies can also be integrated to develop recommendations for action.

How does the analysis with LMS dashboards work?

Learning management systems provide a variety of role-specific standard reports, which provide information on qualitative and quantitative elements of learning.

In addition, it is possible to select relevant data and use it to create customised reporting dashboards, for which automated generation on specific dates can be set up. The results can be visualised through pie, bar and line charts, as specified for each analysis.

learning analytics

Wolfram Jost, board member in charge of products at imc calls on companies to look at the relationship between business outcomes and learning content, offering the following summary: “Learning analytics must be leveraged to promote employee performance in a way that supports corporate goals and business outcomes. The value created through professional development programmes only becomes apparent when corporate figures are included in the analysis.”

His three top tips to get started with learning analytics and business outcomes are:

Photo of Wolfram Jost

Dr. Wolfram Jost, board member at imc

1. Less is more

Select data that is truly relevant, and use it as a basis for simple dashboards that provide a clear overview. Information overload leads to confusion.

It is also important to pay attention to data protection requirements, and to keep asking yourself what data is necessary for a meaningful analysis.

2. Data is King

While large quantities of data (massive data) are needed to run an analysis in the first place, it only becomes truly reliable if that data is also of a high quality and reports are generated on a regular basis. Continuity and regular data updates are crucial.

Moreover, data must be presented in a form that allows the relevant stakeholders to interpret the resulting data in a meaningful way to harness its full potential.

While data should support decisions made by people and data analysis is a useful tool for decision-makers, it still needs to be scrutinized. “Dictatorship of data” - assigning data actual decision-making powers - should be avoided.

3. Trend is your friend

One-off figures or reports say little.  Relationships and developments are identified by keeping an eye on trends. In which direction is revenue trending after a new professional development initiative is launched? Will the staff turnover rate decrease after a new onboarding programme is launched?

It takes time before this kind of information can be validated in a useful way.

With these tips in hand and an experienced data analysis team by your side, you will be able to substantiate the value created through your professional development programmes in the medium and long term, and optimise them in accordance with your corporate goals.

More about Learning Analytics

In our whitepaper about Learning Analytics we discuss the challenges, KPIs and some useful tips to turn your big learning data into actionable learning strategies and measurable business success.

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We have collected tips from industry experts, and summarised the key questions and answers in our FAQ checklist.

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Around the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) are many fears, anxieties and uncertainties.

But what AI in the LMS can do and already does is mostly still unclear. We explain the most important terms and applications.

More information about the LMS

imc Learning Suite

If you would like to find our more about the Learning Management System of imc, please find all information here.


I have been working in the Marketing & Communication Team at imc since March 2019.

Communication, creative content and social media are my passion. "KISS - Keep it short and simple" is my credo.


To explain complex content in an understandable way and thus make the topic of e-Learning accessible to everyone is an exciting challenge every day.


Privately I love to read, play poker and travel a lot.

I am always happy to receive feedback or suggestions.

Photo of Nadine Kreutz
Nadine Kreutz
Communication Manager
LMS Hot Topics
Topic: AI in Corporate Learning

Artificial Intelligence:
Useful tool in Corporate Learning or a complete loss of control?

What kind of influence does artificial intelligence (AI) have on learning management systems? Where and how is it being used already? And are all employees about to be continuously monitored by machines?

These are just some of the questions that are also on L&D specialists’ minds as they consider the potential applications of AI in learning systems. And that’s more than enough reason to take on some of these questions and look at them in greater detail.

Andreas Pohl
A lot of the fears related to the subject of AI are unfounded.
Andreas Pohl
Director Reasearch & Development
imc AG

When it comes to the topic of artificial intelligence, there are a lot of misgivings. Losing sensitive data and constant employee monitoring are only two examples, and learning experts are also having to confront these questions as they develop.

However, imc software expert and AI enthusiast Andreas Pohl thinks it’s important to put things into perspective: “A lot of the fears related to the subject of AI are unfounded. Sure, there absolutely are justified concerns regarding ethical issues that need to be clarified, but when it comes to our Learning Management System (LMS), customers don’t have to worry about the possibility of an evil AI suddenly stealing their data or something like that because it’s not a thing that can actually happen.”

To provide a better understanding of what AI really can and cannot do and how it is used in our LMS, we’ll go over the most important concepts and provide concrete examples of their use.


What is machine learning?

The term is used to describe dynamic algorithms that are able to learn and improve by themselves in such a way that systems can recognize recurring patterns, develop solutions, or provide advice, for example. And the more data that is entered, the more accurate the corresponding predictions.

However, it’s absolutely imperative to define, in great detail, what data is relevant and which rules should be used to analyse data and recognize patterns. In other words, it requires for human beings to actively step in when it comes to the analysis of data and the actual decision-making process.


For more information, visit DeepAI.org.

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What is machine learning used for?

One typical example of a machine learning application is image recognition processes. If you teach a machine that a triangle always has three corners and a rectangle always has four, the program will recognize this. It’s important to point out, however, that very exact parameters need to be set up and that if an image doesn’t meet those exact parameters, it won’t be recognized sometimes.

Where in our LMS does machine learning take place?

A typical example consists of automatic recommendations similar to those used by Amazon: “You like A, so check out B.” This is the exact same principle used by the recommendation engines in learning management systems.

Basically put, a person chooses the course they want to take, and the system provides additional recommendations based on this. In fact, these recommendations can also be linked to the person’s learner profile, i.e., their position, their development goals, the courses they’ve already completed, etc.

And the more data that the underlying algorithm has, the better its recommendations will be. This is one of the classic applications of machine learning.


What is deep learning?

Deep learning is a subset of machine learning in which a machine is able to improve its abilities independently and without any human assistance. In contrast to machine learning, people do not influence deep learning results at all, and instead only make sure that the required information is available and that the relevant processes are documented.

In fact, the machine itself carries out the actual analysis and uses it to derive forecasts and/or decisions without assistance on the basis of neural networks, which are connected to each other in a manner that resembles the human brain. Ultimately, the machine is able to make decisions based on these connections.

Now, it’s important to point out that this requires an enormous amount of data, and that this type of data is not found in individual learning management systems.


For more information, visit DeepAI.org.


Icon representing Intuitive

What is deep learning used for?

One typical example of a machine learning application is image recognition processes. If you teach a machine that a triangle always has three corners and a rectangle always has four, the program will recognize this. It’s important to point out, however, that very exact parameters need to be set up and that if an image doesn’t meet those exact parameters, it won’t be recognized sometimes.

Where in our LMS does deep learning take place?

Generally speaking, using deep learning in learning management systems is still extremely difficult given the lack of sufficient data. In fact, in order to be able to analyse specific patterns and processes, learning platform vendors would have to analyse the data from various companies together, but this isn’t possible due to the fact that this data is subject to very strict data protection regulations and policies.


One concrete example of an area where deep learning algorithms could be used would be learning style recognition. With AI, this recognition could be much more efficient than it has been to date, as it would work uncoupled from manual input and tests.

In this scenario, a system would be able to automatically figure out a learner’s preferences and behavioural patterns and determine the correlation for the corresponding learning results. This means that, from a purely theoretical perspective, your LMS would be able to determine what your learning style is and recommend appropriate content for you based on that.

What is the reality?

In order for the system to be able to use the existing knowledge on how to use learning style recognition to provide appropriate recommendations, all learning contents would have to be available in various versions, that is, as text, images, video, games, or audio.

Needless to say, however, creating these individual contents would entail an enormous amount of time and money, so this approach has seldom been used to date in real-life applications. However, it’s reasonable to expect that these topics will be pretty important in the future, particularly in relation to improving learning efficiency and learning in the moment of need.


In other words, a lot of the fears that people have in relation to the topic aren’t really relevant, or at least not today. However, when it comes to the subject of learning and AI, it will admittedly be necessary to answer ethical questions regarding applications in the future.

Or as Andreas Pohl puts it: “I think we should see AI as an active tool for supporting people. Humans must always be in the foreground of everything, and every single system must provide customers with real added value, regardless of whether it uses AI or not. And at the end of the day, we can always turn any system or tool on or off.”


More about AI and how it can also be implemented in the onboarding process, you can find out in another article of LMS Hot Topics.

Onboarding slightly different

Already today, onboarding can be integrated into an existing LMS. But this is hardly ever used.

We took a little trip into the (near) future to see what a successful onboarding process could look like.

lms hot topics: stakeholder learning management system
Convincing stakeholders for an LMS

The success of introducing an LMS hinges on those responsible for the launch - and not under­estimating them. We have compiled some expert tips and a checklist to help you in convincing your stakeholders.

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I have been working in the Marketing & Communication Team at imc since March 2019.

Communication, creative content and social media are my passion. "KISS - Keep it short and simple" is my credo.


To explain complex content in an understandable way and thus make the topic of e-Learning accessible to everyone is an exciting challenge every day.


Privately I love to read, play poker and travel a lot.

I am always happy to receive feedback or suggestions.

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Nadine Kreutz
Communication Manager