What’s the deal with Personas?

Do you find it beneficial to use personas during your training requirements research? Have you used personas to conduct audience interviews, or to present findings and solutions to management? Personally, I find personas to be one step too many in the research process; an application of story-telling where it is not required. I’ve also hardly ever seen actionable items come out of the creation of personas for training program analysis.

Let’s face it- personas are a presentation layer, and not the research data in itself. In today’s data driven world, do we really need to weave a story around the rich data collected from surveys and interviews? Why not be more direct and present the characteristics of the learning population, along with the learning interventions proposed to address and use these characteristics?

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