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How will xAPI improve my non-learning product?

You’re the vendor of a product outside of learning technologies and somebody has asked you about xAPI. Maybe they even sent you a link to this page. Chances are you have a product that generates, captures or holds data that’s of interest to somebody interested in learning and development and they want access to that data via the Experience API. xAPI is an industry-standard way of transferring and correlating data about learning, achievements and job performance.

It’s also possible that your product might consume data about learning, achievements or job performance or have the potential to do so. This might be to display the data to a user or make something happen as a result of that data.

You can read more general information about what xAPI is here.

Why should I use xAPI?

This might not be the first time that a customer has asked you to integrate your product with another system to share data. You might already have integration options such as an API that customers can develop an integration with. So why bother with an interoperability specification like xAPI?

The key reason is actually not the customer in front of you right now asking for xAPI, it’s the 2nd customer. True, you might find some advantages to using xAPI to build your integration for this first customer, such as a well considered specification, code libraries and a more satisfied customer. The real win for you will come when you tell the rest of your customers that your data is now available via the Experience API. If those customers have a Learning Record Store (LRS) then getting data out of your system could be as simple as a few configuration settings.

But my product doesn’t have anything to do with learning and development!

Are you sure? If your product helps employees to do their jobs, then it’s likely your product has an opportunity to measure job performance, which is exactly what learning and development is all about. (You might have thought it was just about boring training sessions and ‘click-next’ e-learning on various topics; well, times are changing!)

The data captured by your product about employee performance is very important to learning and development in your customer’s organization to help L&D help your users to do their jobs.

Could I use this data myself to help my users?

Yep. You can use this data yourself to see exactly how users are using your products and where they have skills gaps. This data could help to reduce support calls and improve the perception of the ease of use of your product in your customer’s organization. It could help to identify which of your awesome features your customers don’t even realize are there. Using xAPI to track your users’ interactions with your product will let you analyse those interactions and compare them to use tracking data from your documentation and any training materials you provide, helping you to identify gaps and areas for improvement.

Ready to xAPI?

We’d love to speak to you about why and how you should incorporate the Experience API in your products. Please contact us!

If you’re ready to implement xAPI and want to keep reading whilst we set up a call, you can move on to the Get Started section to explore the practicalities.

Alternatively, you can read on and explore the emerging Enterprise Learning Ecosystem.


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