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eLearning is simply the use of electronic devices to deliver educational or training content. Today’s classrooms and training rooms embrace smart devices, and there are countless applications that make eLearning increasingly engaging and effective. Pharmaceutical sales training uses eLearning due to the efficiency and flexibility of this learning medium. Benefits of eLearning abound, and they include cost effectiveness, time savings, anytime/anywhere flexibility, and easy tracking of progress.

In 2013, the eLearning market in North America was worth nearly $24 billion, and this is expected to increase to over $27 billion by 2016. The rate of growth for cloud-based platforms alone is an impressive 9%. Clearly, eLearning has plenty to offer, and pharmaceutical sales training via eLearning is no exception.

How Does Big Data Figure Into It?

Gartner VP Doug Laney defines big data as “data that’s an order of magnitude greater than data you’re accustomed to.” And big data has become an increasingly important topic in the world of eLearning because of what it can do in this environment. Big data can be created by learners as they use eLearning platforms.

Suppose one of your pharmaceutical reps is completing a pharmaceutical sales training module about your company policies. His or her progress, quiz results, and other data produced by the eLearning module can be collected, along with that of other reps, and this data can be collected, processed, analyzed, and ultimately used to improve the eLearning module. Those who develop eLearning materials and apps can use big data to figure out how reps in training acquire information, their pace of knowledge acquisition, and any problems that may exist in the materials.

Using Big Data to Make eLearning Better

With big data, eLearning developers can determine which learning tools are most effective. For example, they can discover whether a text-based problem solving activity works more or less effectively than, say, a reality-based scenario presentation. As another example, if an entire group of reps takes a long time finishing a pharmaceutical sales training module, data can indicate whether the module needs to be fine-tuned to make the module more manageable.

Another great thing about big data and eLearning is that data comes in almost immediately, as trainees use the tools, so there is minimal waiting around before learning more about the effectiveness of a pharmaceutical sales training module. Patterns of learning become evident more quickly, and trainers and developers can act promptly if necessary to ensure the best training results.

Big Data, eLearning, and the Future of Pharmaceutical Sales Training

Big data has the capability of revolutionizing e-Learning, which itself is a revolutionary change. It should allow developers to customize pharmaceutical sales training so that reps get the most effective and engaging eLearning experience. Big data offers much better feedback than even the best online surveys, and will allow eLearning developers to design pharmaceutical sales training tools that are more perfectly tailored to their needs.