By W. Boyce Byerly, PhD

Business is increasingly driven by two things: analytics and the value of human capital. Executives want a clear picture of how their people contribute value and how they can invest in programs such as training to optimize that value. Many things complicate getting a clear picture: the demographics of your performers, changes over time, trade-offs between key performance indicators, and organizational politics. How do you decrease uncertainty and improve decision making? How can you measure the values of an investment?

“Correlation, Causation, and Isolation: Proving Your Point” shows how to measure value of human performance technology investments: reaction, learning, transfer of new behaviors, business impact, and return on investment. Participants will learn about how to find data, analyze the data, and present results. Isolating and proving impact will require a thorough review of a wide variety of information, which will lead to other benefits, such as optimization of business processes and a deeper understand of the people who drive the processes. Our philosophy is that there is always a way to improve your decision-making ability with analytics. Some methods include test and control groups; estimation techniques that can involve experts, managers, trainees, or customers; statistical techniques such as regression and other models that take several factors into account; and trend line graphs. Getting a conclusion and communicating that information to others can be very different things. This workshop shows how to present results in clear and credible ways, covering different reporting techniques, obtaining and expressing financial implications of results, and tailoring the report to the audience. Data visualization will get particular emphasis; graphics are not only the best way of expressing results, but a powerful way to understand data relationships.

Participants will work not only with case study data from real projects, but will actively contribute their own experiences, with a goal of beginning projects within their own organization. The presenter uses a variety of discussion areas, team exercises, quizzes, and participation to keep attendees engaged and interested. Participants are encouraged to bring questions from their own organizations into the workshop.
A number of important special issues are explored. Different types of key performance indicators are discussed with subtopics such as emerging standards for human capital reporting, engagement data, and more sophisticated views of turnover and retention. The workshop explores role of “big data”: what defines it, a simple explanation of techniques and tools used to manage it, and when and how it applies to the management of human capital. Important background work is covered, from authors such as Fitz-Enz, Davenport, Phillips, Boudreau, Ulrich, and Cascio, and we show how their work can be usefully applied.


About the Author 
W. Boyce Byerly, PhD, is the director of Analytics at the ROI Institute and a professor in the Business School at Bellevue University. His research passions include human learning and cognition, and he has published numerous works on measurement and evaluation, including the recent book Human Capital Analytics: How to Harness the Potential of Your Organization’s Most Important Resource. He was the recent founder and chief scientist of Capital Analytics, where he led the consulting and software engineering teams. He holds a master’s in Computer Science and a doctorate in Cognitive Psychology from Duke.

To learn more about this and other knowledge building Educational Programs (, register for THE Performance Improvement Conference, April 13-16, 2014 in Indianapolis, IN (