ATD Blog

Using the Right Reporting Architecture: Three Ways to Tell Your Training ROI Story

Monday, February 1, 2021

You know your training team is the catalyst to employee retention, change management strategies, and your organization’s flexibility and agility, but demonstrating such information in reports can be difficult. Whether by creating training initiatives that reduce support ticket times, by aiding talent retention, or by offering partner training to build a more sustainable partner stream of revenue, it is vital to tell your training ROI story and show how and where training is making an impact.

Providing sightlines between your training initiatives and bottom-line business objectives can be frustrating and time-consuming, especially when you’re working with multiple systems and disconnected, contradictory spreadsheets to decipher your training ROI. However, there are some strategies you can use to analyze the effectiveness of your training, and effectively craft the ROI story for your key stakeholders.

It all begins with making the shift to a business intelligence approach to your training data.

Using a business intelligence mindset for enterprise training will support your team in showcasing the ways in which your program is impacting change and growth within your organization.

1. Engineering Your Data to Reveal Impact With Business Intelligence

Business intelligence is a journey. First, you establish an outcomes-based data architecture, create reliable data-gathering and data integrity systems, and lean into the analysis of the metrics you capture. Without solid data architecture and integrity-assured data collection, analysis and insights are likely based more on hypothesis, tradition, or perception rather than data-affirmed indicators.

A lot of the learner metrics captured are frozen in time relative to learner activity, which may or may not be related to downstream business outcomes. When training data is engineered to reveal impact, with EdTech and other HR core business function data integrated, the power of training can be related to the problems and challenges your organization is trying to solve.


2. What Problems and Challenges Are You Trying to Solve?

When considering the business and challenges you’re trying to affect, it’s important to think about them beyond the immediate context of training and learner-centric challenges. Through training, you’re driving your organization forward, and key training initiatives play a significant role in supporting the success of your business. Telling this story well affirms the direction of your organization while also providing feedback on the effectiveness of your training program.

This story begins with tying the key performance indicators of your organization to the questions you’re trying to answer. For example, is your organization trying to:

  • Reduce errors on your manufacturing line?
  • Affect customer churn?
  • Increase employee engagement and reduce the time it takes to properly onboard an employee?
  • Reach new markets or verticals?

With a business intelligence perspective, when your organization tries to reduce errors on your manufacturing line, you won’t just report on who completed training but also on the date the training was completed relative to errors reported. Business intelligence equips you with the operational application of your metrics in relevant ways that affirm and underscore the strategic value of learning as well as its direct benefits and costs.


3. Let the Numbers Tell Your ROI Story

Constructing a metrics-driven narrative is crucial to the long-term success of any learning and development function as well as to the success of the business overall. So, when you’re able to back storytelling up with quantitative and qualitative data, stories that are chock full of metrics and social proof that help to color your narrative, you’ll be able to demonstrate why the numbers matter to stakeholders in your organization.

H1: How to Tell Your Training ROI Story
H2: Review the Fundamentals of a Business Intelligence Mindset With this E-Book

Historically, it’s been difficult to demonstrate the value of training with measurable results that are directly connected to key business objectives. That’s not the case anymore, with the right tools on hand. Using training management software, teams can accurately and easily connect the dots between the investment of training and the return to the business, illustrating their effect on the organization.

To get started with business intelligence for training, download the e-book.

About the Author

Ross Sellers is the content team lead for Administrate, a cloud-based, configurable, and comprehensive training management platform that empowers training teams to grow beyond their LMS.

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