When it comes to training ROI, we all know the usual suspects, like post-program progress reports. But when you only use one type of reporting, you might be missing the fuller picture both before and after program delivery. Newer metrics and modern ways to assess the financial and strategic impact of a new training method means you know more about the outcome before it’s even put into practice – giving you the upper hand in creating successful, impactful training programs.

Big Data Application

This year’s “big thing” in training and development, big data allows you to compile what you know about your learners to create the best learner profile possible. Armed with information about when learners are most likely to log on, how they’re interacting with the module and the percentage of overall completion helps you tweak current training efforts, while planning more effective programs for the future.

If your big data numbers show that learners are completing the module, yet failing the post-program quiz, there’s clearly a disconnect between the learners and the material. Big data isn’t a perfect method of determining training ROI, however: Some of the data collected – time of day and number of launches, for example – that doesn’t really apply. To properly predict impact, it’s a matter of weeding out the need-to-know metrics from the stuff that doesn’t really matter.

Manager Input

If you’re not working with learners on a departmental level, you could be missing out on some of the timeliest and most valuable information, gathered straight from the source. Sure, an exit survey can give you a general idea of how you’re doing, but if you want to predict ROI before a program even launches, taking the time to speak with department managers can give you a better picture.

Sending out pre-delivery surveys or talking with managers about their particular department learning gaps give you the insight necessary to dial into specific needs that can easily be fulfilled with the right training. The big data from your last training program can become assessment tools sent out to managers before launching a new one, giving you better grounds for predicting success.

Remember that managers are the ones in the field and on the ground: They’re uniquely qualified to give their predictions based on specific learners and learning gaps. Furthermore, they’re better able to isolate the overall impact of a training program, such as compiling data for sales improvement after a particularly aggressive sales training strategy.

More than just a weak survey or running a few numbers, the new metrics for predicting ROI are much more personal. Taking into account the learner as an individual and calling upon seasoned managers to help creates a more accurate assessment of just how your training efforts will fare in the future.