How do you evaluate the ROI of research subscription services?

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Steve Ressler 6 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #157612

    Mark Sullivan

    Like many of you, our organization uses a number of fee-based subscription services to get access to research, training, and similar resources to help us with planning and strategy. With decreasing budgets, we are considering dropping a number of these memberships.

    How does your organization evaluate the ROI for these services? Number of users? downloads?

    My concern with just focusing on the numbers is that one person with one new idea could inspire a transformative change. What do other’s think? What has been your experience?

  • #157618

    Steve Ressler

    That’s a tough one – which ones do you currently get?

    We had Gartner & another one at my last job. I did find that we didn’t do a good enough job making it used within the organization – honestly I think that was more our fault than the vendors fault (people didnt even know we had it)

    I’d measure ROI in a couple ways
    -Use – are people using it (quantity) – # of users/downloads/etc
    -Qualitative – are the right people using it that could make a big impact. Either senior folks or folks that influence senior decisions – are they using and helping get those ideas to leaders to change how we do business. Like you said one idea/tip on a big project is worth the price.
    -Price point – are there other solutions that cost slightly less that are just as good

  • #157616

    Mark Sullivan

    We’ve had corporate emberships for CLC/Executive Board (General, Recruiter Roundtable, and Learning & Development Roundtable), APQC, and Aberdeen Group. Individually, we’ve sponsored memberships for World at Work, SHRM, and related organizations. All have been great resources for contemporary research and thought leadership.

    Historically, we’ve measured individual registrations and downloads, but I’ve never been comfortable that they were true indicators of value. I would be interested in metrics others may have developed that indicate whether the right people were accessing and utilizing the resource.

  • #157614

    Steve Ressler

    Interesting – what pieces do you enjoy most? Reports, events, webinars from them, etc?

    May want to ask the providers as they may have some ideas.

    Could also do some hour calculation – by using X we saved X hours of research * X/hr

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