I am not an analytics person. In fact, I barely passed statistics in college. But the world is awash with data. From optimizing supply chains to understanding customer sentiment; from tracking the spread of contagious disease to predicting churn – data and algorithms have given us incredible leverage in business and in life. Although the field of business analytics was born in the 1950s, it was only in the last decade that we saw an exponential increase in our ability to capture data, analyze it, derive insights, and take timely action. Always-on data and predictive intelligence are transforming how we view the world and how decisions are made.
The modern organization has changed, too. We are faced with a new economic reality where many skill sets are becoming obsolete and software is eating the world. We now have globally distributed workforces and a digital culture that is always on. Millennials are no longer newcomers to the workforce – they have already become the majority. HR leaders, managers, and organizational psychologists alike are struggling to understand the nature of today’s workplace while it changes under their feet.
Do you know what drives your employees?
What makes them happier and more productive at work?
What about Millennials?
Or employees in remote locations?
Do the investments you make in your employees actually affect their performance?
Who are your top performers?
How can you empower and motivate other employees to excel?
Talent management teams continue to struggle to answer these questions and to develop their organizations because they lack the proper tools. The typical HR data warehouse is archaic and doesn’t have a sophisticated interface and HR is usually left piecing data together to get a full perspective of its organization. Old methods are neither scalable nor actionable; they are intrusive, slow, and now, mostly irrelevant. Annual surveys are always a year too late. Binders filled with paper reports cannot give you the answers that interactive visualizations and smart predictive insights can. Timely course-correction is not an option when you are stuck with data that is not up-to-date.
For years, researchers and firms like Gallup and Deloitte have reported the link between employee engagement and company performance. Some of the world’s most successful companies – including Google, Procter & Gamble, Harrah’s, Progressive, Starbucks, and even the soccer team AC Milan – are investing heavily in people analytics to help power organizational change with great results. These analytics help organizations make more informed, strategic decisions about their people. Best Buy, for example, found that every 0.1% increase in employee engagement was worth $100,000 annually at a single store. This led the company to hold employee engagement surveys on a quarterly basis as compared to annually.
Talent management teams need easy-to-use tools that put data at their fingertips, allowing them to make informed decisions based on meaningful insights. In the same way companies analyze customer data and behavior, organizational behavior and change should be guided by data that links attitudinal employee feedback with KPIs, and marries it with demographics and historical data to create insights that cut across function, culture, engagement, and outcomes.
Key capabilities of modern people analytics systems are:
- Predictive intelligence — that allows anyone from HR leaders to line managers to gather real-time feedback and understand their organization.
- Intuitive user interfaces — that provide the ability to create custom dashboards making analyzing and interpreting data easy for everyone.
- Interactive visualizations — like heat maps that make it a breeze to quickly spot organizational trends, patterns, and outliers, and with just one click, drill down into the details or view diagnostic insights.
It’s about time we revolutionized our people analytics, giving talent management the tools to have a real impact on engagement, and ultimately create happier, more engaged workplaces. The fact is, in today’s high-velocity world, having timely information at your fingertips can make all the difference between staying ahead of the competition and going out of business.
Post attribution: The Quantified Organization, Goutham Kurra, Head of Product & Co-Founder, Glint Inc.
Glint helps organizations measure and improve employee engagement through its innovative people analytics platform. They provide the same type of real-time, data-driven platform that can be found in almost any other business function (sales, marketing, manufacturing, service) for the most important part of any organization – its people.