Data Masterclass output – Moving away from being Data Rich Insight Poor

Mark Abrahams, Head of Research at Aptem, joined Kerry Boffey from the Fellowship of Inspection Nominees (FIN) to host a Data masterclass for 23 organisations. The focus of the session was how to move away from being a ‘Data Rich Insight Poor’ (DRIP). Most of the participants were relying on Excel to process, analyse and present data, with some moving towards Tableau or PowerBI. The merits of these and other analytics tools were discussed.

Organisations worked through using data to support their Covid story, identifying the types of data they needed to support their statements for regulatory bodies like Ofsted. While most organisations are easily able to articulate what actions they have taken, data provides evidence of the impact of the action taken.

A core focus of the session was the learner journey and the importance of building a story around the data that is collected. Mark shared a diagram that walked organisations through the data points that are captured along the route and asked “what’s missing?” Together, organisations discussed the business questions they need to ask. The importance of triangulation was presented to ensure claims are evidenced using robust, accurate data.

Operational challenges were worked through across a range of perspectives including learners, tutors, quality and compliance and finance. Solutions using data to identify and solve organisational pain points such as identifying learners at risk, marking behaviours of tutors, patterns of tutor behaviour – both positive and negative – and past, current and future performance, were presented and worked through.

Two data exercises were undertaken by participants to test their learnings on dummy data. A discussion followed about the importance of data visualisation and which tools to use for data analysis and presentation. Tips were given on how to present data in a consumable format, which metrics were important, and how to automate to reduce manual effort and errors. The session ended with the value of benchmarking data, and the importance of using freely available tools such as the Aptem Intelligence Dashboard, to identify growth areas, opportunities and threats at an organisational level.

Feedback from this masterclass was extremely positive:

· “The training was comprehensive and clear. Detailed slides to continue to develop as an organisation from the training” Real Skills Training Ltd.

· “Very informative, firm, and good fun – if stats can ever be that!” Professor Christine White, De Montfort University.

· “Short but packed with information, interactive, networked with others. Useful with lots of take-away thoughts” Jenny Scrivens, Achieve Training.

Aptem, in partnership with FIN, runs a range of thought-leadership masterclasses throughout the year. These masterclasses are available to all Aptem customers at a discounted rate. Customers are contacted in advance of these sessions via email.

Lifetime and Aptem: Sharing the selection process

The methodology involved in Lifetime Training’s procurement of an apprenticeship delivery platform

In March 2021, following a year long procurement process, Lifetime, the largest training provider in the UK, signed up to the award-winning end-to-end platform, Aptem, to deliver its apprenticeships and Kickstart programmes.

Lifetime has built a strong reputation for delivering award-winning training programmes to 20,000 learners a year. As you would expect from a company with this reputation its approach to procuring a new system was robust, methodical and highly detailed. The process involved a year long consultation period, over 100 hours of pre-contract sessions, and a three-stage approach, as it sought to replace its proprietary systems with an ‘all in one place’ apprenticeship and vocational training delivery platform, to manage all aspects of its programmes. 

Key to this successful approach was a small group of senior level, highly knowledgeable people, on both sides of the partnership, who stayed with the project throughout.

“Right from the start it became clear that we needed a system which would both simplify and enhance the learning experience for our learners. We needed something flexible, that we could customise for our needs and maintain our unique, high-quality curriculum and training delivery model. Absolutely key to our selection was finding a company who we could create a genuine partnership with.” Mark Denton, IT and Learning Technologies Director.

Stage one: Initial engagement

The process for Lifetime was collaborative across a number of departments and they kept asking themselves ‘what are the problems we are trying to fix’. It commenced with a series of detailed deep dives into all aspects of the system, from pre-enrolment, through ILR, funding, the learner journey and more. Every area of the system was walked through in detail. All sessions were recorded and the team at Lifetime frequently went back through these recordings to confirm their understanding.

A future-proof system

A critical requirement from any system was that it met Lifetime’s aspirational development goals over the next five years. Aptem’s roadmaps closely aligned with Lifetime’s requirements. The Aptem team’s approach to problem solving was also a primary reason for selection. “Their solution to handling multiple programmes through their sub-programme solution, which went live recently, was a great example of this.” Mark Denton,  IT and Learning Technologies Director.

Stage two: The discovery phase

The discovery phase involved a set of very detailed workshops where the project team from Aptem and Lifetime walked through and understood Lifetime’s various business processes, before recommending a solution and way of working using Aptem. 

The team remained consistent throughout this period, so the learnings gained over the previous months were not lost. This was particularly important as the stakeholder group broadened out. “The discovery phase was very much about our team at Aptem understanding Lifetime’s business processes and how their existing systems work, so that we could ensure that our system not only replicated but went a stage further,” explains Shaun Elliott, Product Director at Aptem. “This phased implementation allowed us to make recommendations to Lifetime about how to get the most out of the product, to fulfil their organisational requirements and objectives.”

A great example of this was the immediate requirement for Lifetime to use the system to support Kickstart in quarter one 2021. Aptem already has an inbuilt product to support the major employability contracts including Kickstart, so Lifetime was able to access it and start delivering Kickstart placements for young people.

A phased implementation

During this phase, a group of Lifetime learners commenced their programmes using Aptem. This implementation was supported by a dedicated Project Manager at Aptem alongside the Implementation Consultant.

Aptem received great feedback from Lifetime’s coaches and their learners during this discovery phase.

“Great system, learners have liked it. It’s easy and quick to use. It flows well and is easy to navigate.” Sharath, Coach.

“Easy to use, user friendly, and makes coaches lives easier.” Kirsty, Coach.

“I like the fact that our view is the same as the learners and you can see how long they spend on activities.” Tom, Coach.

Stage three: Roll out

Lifetime has now entered a phased roll out plan for the majority of their learners that is due to complete by the end of 2021,. Using a ‘train the trainer’ approach, supported by bespoke documentation, dedicated trainers at Lifetime are disseminating information about Aptem through the business.

Key to this partnership has been the collaborative approach throughout the procurement process. “This has been a consultative approach. Aptem really sought to understand our business, our processes, our products, and provide a solution that works for us both now and in the future. We have been delighted by the feedback received from learners and tutors during the phased implementation. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with Aptem for many years.” Carl Cornish, Chief Operating Officer.

MWS Technology, Aptem: British Data Awards Winner 2021

MWS Technology has been named winner at the British Data Awards 2021 in the ‘SME of the Year’ category.

Our entry centred on our long-standing contribution to SaaS innovation around skills and employability, citing the evolution of MyWorkSearch into Aptem Employ and our transformation of the EdTech learning delivery space for apprenticeships and skills. We highlighted our resilient performance during the pandemic, growing customers, staff and billable learners and relaunching our employability platform to help tackle unemployment and under-employment.

Richard Alberg, CEO of MWS Technology, said:

“We are delighted to have been declared SME of the Year by the British Data Awards judges. Our achievement is testament to all the hard work our staff have done from the founding of MWS Technology Ltd to now.

“I am particularly proud of how we have survived and thrived throughout the pandemic, offering training providers and the employability sector a platform that enables them to deliver programmes online and remotely. This has not been without its challenges, but one thing we can say for sure is that MWS Technology will always be looking to problem-solve, improve and innovate for the benefit of its customers.”

The British Data Awards is an annual campaign that celebrates the organisations and people that are deeply passionate about data, and helps to uncovers data success stories. Organisations taking part this year include FTSE 100 giants, tech unicorns, innovative start-ups, large public sector bodies, agile not-for-profits, and everything in between.

Jason Johnson, Co-Founder of Predatech and British Data Awards judge said:

“I’d like to extend my congratulations to all our 2021 winners. With 149 entries received this year, being named a winner is a great achievement, and all organisations should feel immensely proud. I’m really excited to see what the next 12 months holds for our winners.”

Every region of the UK is represented among the British Data Awards 2021 finalists, although organisations based in London make up 35% of the winners and runner-ups. 13% are based in the South West, while the South East, Yorkshire and the Humber and Scotland are each home to a further 10% of the winners and runner-ups. 

The 2021 judges included: Neil Carden, COO of Forth Point, Jason Johnson, Co-Founder of Predatech, Mahana Mansfield, Data Science Director at Deliveroo, Tej Parikh, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, Harriet Rees, Head of Data Science at Starling Bank and Dr Jo Watts, CEO and Founder of Effini.

The British Data Awards are run by Predatech, a cyber security company that helps organisations to protect their businesses, their customers, as well as their data.  

Aptem product feature: Sub-programmes

Learners are unique and their requirements for learning journeys vary, which is why flexible, personalised approaches to learner programme delivery are essential in ensuring successful learning experiences for all.

Within any programme, there are elements of a learning plan that will be applicable to all learners, some to a subset of learners, and then some that apply to individual learners.

To enable the delivery of a best-in-class learner experience, Aptem has simplified the process of managing curriculum delivery through the creation of sub-programmes. Sub-programmes provide the ability to manage learning plan content more easily, without the need for excessive administrative load. Learning plan delivery is significantly more flexible with sub-programmes, and individual elements of your learning plan can be broken out, for example, Functional Skills or optional qualifications, which eliminates the need to have multiple versions of an individual programme for the same apprenticeship. The elements of the programme that are not needed for every learner can instead exist as a sub-programme, ensuring that every learner’s need is catered for within a single fluid programme.

Tasks that may previously have been time-consuming are simplified using sub-programme functionality. Sub-programmes have multiple different use-cases but are particularly applicable in programmes that need to deliver to learners with different functional skills needs, e.g different IA results or prior learning. It is also successful when used to manage cases where all learners may have a core set of learning to complete, with some learners needing access to options outside this core offering such as different or additional qualifications. Learner programmes that include multiple different specialisms are also simplified through the use of sub-programmes.

How sub-programmes work

Learners can be enrolled on a delivery programme, and one or more sub-programmes, as needed. Take functional skills as an example. If learners require functional skills, they can be enrolled on the functional skills sub-programmes. If they are exempt, they will remain enrolled only on the core delivery programme. This process is also relevant for learners who want or need to complete an optional qualification. Enrolled learners will see a single learning plan that contains all the elements of both the delivery programme and any sub-programme as learning plan and individualised learner record (ILR) elements are seamlessly merged with the delivery programme in one view. 

Configuring the ILR template with component aims in a sub-programme means that when the learner is enrolled a single, amalgamated ILR will be generated with the main aim and any component aims from the selected sub-programmes. This saves significant time and effort on having to update them manually. Sub-programmes also enable you to add qualifications for Awarding Body registration, in a similar way to the ILR. Any qualifications from the delivery programme and selected sub-programmes will be added to be registered in the Awarding Body registration section, unless marked as exempt at enrolment.

Personalisation can enhance the effectiveness of learner programme delivery. Identifying and implementing digital technology that enables learners to follow individualised learner pathways should be a priority for all programme providers.

Lifetime signs up to Aptem to deliver integrated learning experience

Lifetime, the largest training provider in the UK, has signed up to EdTech SaaS platform Aptem to deliver apprenticeships and Kickstart programmes. The contract was signed in March 2021 and Lifetime and Aptem are working closely to onboard Lifetime’s apprenticeship programmes, alongside the successful implementation and launch of Kickstart in April 2021.

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Aptem named as a British Data Awards 2021 Finalist

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve been named a Finalist in the British Data Awards 2021.

The British Data Awards is an annual campaign that aims to uncover data success stories. Organisations taking part this year include FTSE 100 giants, tech unicorns, public sector bodies, newly launched not-for-profit organisations and everything in between.

The British Data Awards was launched to help discover and celebrate the most passionate data-led organisations, no matter their size. Some organisations named as Finalists have the potential to change the world, while others are having a much more local, but nonetheless important impact. And with some 149 entries received, competition to be named a 2021 Finalist proved to be particularly tough.

Jason Johnson, Co-Founder of Predatech and British Data Awards judge said: “We set-off on a quest to find our Finalists back in February, and it’s been quite a journey! Judging the entries has been a challenge due to the number of high quality entries, but it’s also been a great privilege. It’s reminded us of the sheer talent and ingenuity that makes the UK such a global powerhouse for all things data. All our Finalists should be very proud.”

Richard Alberg, CEO and Founder, Aptem said: “We are delighted to have been selected as one of the Finalist’s for the British Data Awards. At Aptem data underpins everything we do as an organisation. Our data strategy provides us with deeper insights about the markets we operate. This allows us to create market-leading solutions across the Apprenticeships, Employability and Skills space.” 

The 2021 judges include: Neil Carden, COO of Forth Point, Jason Johnson, Co-Founder of Predatech, Mahana Mansfield, Data Science Director at Deliveroo, Tej Parikh, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, Harriet Rees, Head of Data Science at Starling Bank and Dr Jo Watts, CEO & Founder of Effini.

The winners of the British Data Awards 2021 will be announced on Tuesday 4th May.

Aptem updates for November 2020

November sees us continue to focus on improving the platform to support virtual management and delivery whilst increasing flexibility so you can deliver your operating model in the best possible way. To that end, we are pleased to include two significant upgrades in Aptem’s November update – the introduction of Multi-Factor Authentication and the release of the Employer Console.

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Aptem updates for October 2020

We are pleased to announce that the Aptem Development Team pushed lived October’s update which included the new Aptem Employ Dashboard and a number of major enhancements to our onboarding process.

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