What We Learned At The People Analytics Conference In Toronto

There is no way around it anymore. Technology is transforming the HR industry. If you tap into the power of data and analytics, you will not only create more economic value from your workforce, your company will have an unfair advantage during this 4th Industrial Revolution.

To save you some time, here is a quick recap followed by a detailed interview with our CTO (Félix) and one of our measurements and assessment advisor (Irène) who were at the people analytics conference.
 
What we learned was:

  • Executives in top companies want to move away from the “gut feeling” to a data-driven culture while still putting people before process.
  • Everyone wants to get beyond basic reporting and metrics.
  • Pioneering human resource leaders want to demonstrate their workforce’s impact on the success of their business.

What we asked our D-TECK team:

Q: What challenges have we discussed at this conference?

Félix: There was much talk about employee retention and that we can now identify employee engagement, all this using data.

Irène: Data Protection, the increase in productivity through Machine Learning and AI, the development of listening channels to collect data from many sources to gain access to employees, the improvement of human resource data management, and the implementation of Organizational Sentiment and Network analysis, to name a few of the topics.

Q: What is the next trend (s) or urgency (s)?

Félix: The trend seems to be the need for analytics and having the most data on our current employees. We must urgently break the HR Silo to be closer to the rest of the business. Analytics are more accessible for big companies, but what to do when we are a small player? Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is the Holy grail for them. Data and information security is also a major concern.

Irène: Being data driven will become the norm and companies that do not adapt will no longer be competitive. You have to make small changes quickly and it's OK if it's not perfect, as long as you readjust quickly while there has to be great quality in data. 

Q: Who will be the key players for this change?

Félix: Hard to say, but companies who specialize in doing SAAS (software as a service) for analytics could be important players. Microsoft is a big player in the people analytics. Also the Toronto incubator, MaRS (www.marsdd.com) is interesting.

Irène: Human resources staff and managers will have to play an important role and they will have to work closely together. 

Q: What was important or practical to remember?

Félix: Data security is important, but everyone thinks that AI is secure and difficult to access. While all of these topics seem accessible to larger companies that have the means, who is there for the smaller player?

Irène: You must have reliable data, be able to use and act on it quickly, the importance of the organizational network analysis -

Q: What should we observe in the coming times?

Félix: Employee retention, development and the traditional hiring process of new employees is changing dramatically. People were looking for job stability, salary and social benefits. Now additionally, millenials want to know the company social reason, environmental impact, workplace culture and family work harmony.

Irène: Pretty much the same answer as for your trends question :)

Q: What changes will companies go through in the near future?

Félix: Major changes are the massive arrival of information, the need for that data to be protected, while the new generation employee is mostly more volatile than the previous one.

Irène: That data will increasingly be the "driver" for decisions and that decisions need to be made more and more quickly while changes will also come faster than we think.

Q: What tool (s) or solution have been presented?

Félix: That conference talked a lot more about the coming of analytical tools. The use of Excel and outdated email software are common. Which complicates data analysis as well as the security of the data.

Irène: There were many sponsors, different dashboards were presented, Microsoft's MyAnalytics and Toronto's very own Worktango.

Q: And what data or statistic have you retained?

Félix: The HR world is not yet very far in its transformation, which is creating great opportunities, especially for the smaller companies who will take advantage of this. 92% of all the world's data has been created in the last 2 years.

Irène: Pass. Next question :)

Q: What is your opinion on what should have been said?

Félix: I found that the message around employee retention was very interesting. As we networked, security seemed to be a growing concern around the room, and the subject was not really covered by the speakers.

Irène: I think it was important to mention that data can be collected at the time of hiring and can be used throughout the employee's cycle. That hiring itself should be based on data to ensure the best fit between the candidate and the job and their performance thereafter.

This people analytics conference was clear:

It's time to expand your analytical toolbox to identify top talent, calculate the value of training programs, recruit and retain highest performers, and manage talent gaps.

Join HR leaders who embrace the emerging field of people analytics, and avoid being stuck in the old era.

About Adrian Borowski
Adrian is experienced in managing and growing teams specifically focused on bringing valuable disruption and identifying company's and markets that are ready for it. He is now responsible for leading D-TECK's marketing strategy.