IBM and Skillsoft have joined forces to build a powerful new big data engine as part of a multi-phase joint development effort.
Skillsoft has revealed new capabilities as the current phase of the program has produced algorithms to predict optimal engagement times, a content recommendation engine and a visualization framework to provide the foundation of a next-generation adaptive learning solution.
Skillsoft partnered with IBM to mine its rich customer base's usage data and co-invent new customer experience analytics which are expected to make their way into the Skillsoft offerings.
The initial results of this work will be presented to attendees next week at the 2014 Global Skillsoft Perspectives learning industry event.
Skillsoft senior vice president, emerging business, John Ambrose, said he was excited by the early capabilities being developed with IBM.
"We're building a powerful new big data engine that will enable us to optimize learning experiences and uncover new learning patterns that can be applied immediately so that the system is continually improving," he said.
"This is the perfect application of big data -- harness it and apply it to improve individual and organizational performance."
It is hoped the solution will facilitate higher engagement and better outcomes for individual learners through a customized, seamless program that melds their preferences with the successful experiences of users with similar learning objectives.
IBM Research, manager of consumer modelling, Anshul Sheopuri, said the objective of the collaboration with Skillsoft was to significantly improve user engagement by creating personalised learning recommendations that are delivered at times preferred by the user, and delivered visually to communicate the rationale behind the recommendations.
"We plan to pilot these big data technologies with select Skillsoft customers and measure usage outcomes, prior to deployment," he said.
In 2013, Gartner reported that 64 per cent of organizations invested or planned to invest in big data technology.
Skillsoft and IBM are now nearing the completion of the initial technology co-development and demonstration phase of this effort and will be soon moving into pilot phase where the algorithms will be applied in real-world environments.