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Area9 Learning Helps Hitachi Decrease Training Time, Increase Proficiency

BOSTON, May 23, 2016 – Area9 Learning’s adaptive learning methods help Hitachi Data Systems achieve a 50% decrease in training time for its sales teams, and uncover and remediate critical knowledge gaps.

Last year, global IT solutions company Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) deployed an innovative micro-adaptive e-learning approach from Boston & Copenhagen based innovation company Area9 Learning. Since putting Area9’s adaptive learning solution into place, HDS has been able to provide sales and presales staff with a more effective and efficient approach to corporate training.

Unlike traditional linear methods of e-learning which suffer from a “one size fits none” approach and lack accurate measures of proficiency, Area9 Learning’s philosophy is different.

The adaptive platform uses a “teaching-by-asking” model to personalize the learning experience in real-time. As individuals answer content-related questions and give each response a confidence rating, the system analyses the responses and customizes the path through the content, delivering material most applicable to each learner’s needs. The result of Area9 Learning’s adaptive approach is that users reach target proficiency in much less time, and gain an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.

“Much of our sales training is mandatory, with courses typically 45 minutes to an hour in length,” says Terri Casady, senior director, Academy, at Hitachi Data Systems. “With the micro-adaptive approach, we can see that sales staff achieve our target proficiency in 20 to 30 minutes or less, freeing up thousands of hours of productive time to spend with our customers.”

Just as importantly, the adaptive program was able to identify users’ individual knowledge gaps and adjust accordingly. The adaptive approach allowed users to focus on material they didn’t already know while skipping items they did.

“Each of us have different strengths and weaknesses, and a good adaptive engine should adapt to our makeup to help us focus more on our weak areas,” says Dr. Ulrik Christensen, Chairman of the Board for Area9 Learning.

Casady notes how the employees reacted to the micro-adaptive approach: “It is madness to require people to take training on things they already know,” she says. “The problem is that every person’s needs are unique.  Our salesforce quickly realized that unlike our old approach, the micro-adaptive system was adjusting to their specific needs. They love it!”

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