ROI was difficult to predict on anything I ever worked on. I never even thought about it on a personal brand. I always looked for “unforeseen benefits” after the project was complete.
I had to badger my boss for a month to let me do one project. It reduced the work of one person with a PhD about 9 days per month to produce one report. I added one line to the report while building the software. It highlighted a problem that, when fixed the day that the first report went out, increased the company’s profits by approximately two million dollars. For me, this scenario was fairly normal.
I usually found my own projects in every company that I worked for.