When budgets and time are tight it’s the ideal time to invest in training

When budgets and time are both limited it can be hard to justify investing in training, particularly training for things you’re already using. However, investing time and money in exchange for the right training generally pays for itself (both financially and in terms of time saved) through attendees gaining additional skills which allow for more efficient and accurate work.  

At Smart Vision we know how true this is because we have been providing SPSS Statistics licences, training and support to NHS Trusts around the UK for over a decade. We see time and again that even the most experienced SPSS Statistics users can learn new short cuts and more efficient working methods which can equate to significant time savings when using SPSS software frequently.  

We offer a range of training options designed to help everyone from SPSS ‘newbies’ who want to learn their way around the software, to those with decades of SPSS experience who want to make sure they’re using all the latest features. We offer self-directed, bite sized training that users can work through at their own pace, as well as bespoke one-to-one or group training with a live trainer tailored specifically to the requirements of your organisation.  

In this blog post I’d like to explore the true costs and benefits of different types of SPSS training a little more.  

Much of Smart Vision’s SPSS training is free to our clients  

Typically, the greatest barrier to training is the cost. Smart Vision offers free access to our training courses to anyone who has a software licence with us. These courses are available for non-clients to buy from our website at a cost but if you have a licence with us then we will register you for free access. Have a look at the courses which are available here: https://www.sv-europe.com/courses/  

If you are a client of ours and are not already benefiting from free access to these courses then just email us at info@sv-europe.com and we can get you registered. And even if you do not have an SPSS Statistics software licence via Smart Vision, please do get in touch with us via info@sv-europe.com anyway as we will always look for ways we can reduce the cost of training access for NHS employees so that financial cost isn’t a barrier to professional development.

Investing time in training will save you time overall

Many years ago I remember being on a training course about working more efficiently. At the time I had an old laptop which took 25 minutes to start every day. I had tolerated this for months on the basis that I just didn’t have the time to get it looked at by IT. The presenter of this training course told the ‘sharpening the saw’ analogy which is Habit 7 in Dr. Stephen R. Covey’s book ‘The 7 habits of highly effective people’. The story is about a passer-by encountering someone in the woods working hard to cut down a tree. When they complain of exhaustion at how long the job is taking, the bystander asks them if they have thought to stop for a few minutes to sharpen their saw. ‘I’m too busy to sharpen my saw’ was the reply.  

As the training course concluded I realised that I had fallen into the trap of not sharpening my saw and immediately emailed IT. I went without my laptop for 4 hours while it was repaired and I stopped losing 25 minutes of every working day. It taught me a lesson that I have tried to consistently apply to my life since – sometimes taking some time to change how things are done can be hugely advantageous.  

With this in mind, we speak to many NHS employees who use SPSS software. Some are brand new to SPSS whilst others have been using it for a career-spanning decades. In either case, it is typical that a training course can help them find ways to work more efficiently and can quickly help them win back the time they spend on training.

Fewer opportunities for incidental skills transfer

As I write this blog, I find myself thinking about all the times colleagues have looked over my shoulder as I work at my computer and pointed out how much easier my life could be if I used various shortcut functions. I am usually grateful to discover that I could be working more effectively and will quickly find myself wondering how I ever got by without my newfound short cut.  

This serendipitous transfer of knowledge can only occur for as long as colleagues have differing levels of experience in using software and is also only easily possible when employees are working in the same physical location. Now that working habits have become increasingly home based, we have to be more proactive in professional skill development, and formal training courses can be extremely valuable in this regard.  

So whatever your level of experience, whether you are relatively new to SPSS Statistics or an experienced user keen to be getting more out of the software, please do get in touch with us to see how our training courses might help you work faster and achieve more with your software.

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