How to Harness the Power of Big Data for People Analytics

Improve your organizational behaviour and performance analysis

Most companies invest time and resources analysing data. Your team knows which products and services are selling well, the expenses that are tracking above budget, and profitability by item, department, or salesperson.  Results of monthly or quarterly data analyses lead management to make decisions that help the organisation achieve growth goals.

What if you had access to granular, fact-based information about individual team members’ daily (or hourly) behaviours and actions? The possibilities for improving performance and productivity are numerous:

  • Analysis of behavioural data could identify the tasks creating challenges for your staff.
  • You could gain insight into times of day when employees would benefit most from a break.
  • Movement metrics could inform process design for completing work safely and efficiently.

Analytical tools are now available to extract insights from detailed data about your teams. In addition, with software designed to aggregate big data before performance analysis, you can often access the intelligence you need to make improvements without compromising employee privacy.

What is the right source of Big Data for organisational behaviour and performance analysis?

Almost everyone is digitally connected today through technologies like smartphones, smartwatches, social media platforms, and emails.  Identifying, collecting, and monitoring the right data to meet your objectives is essential for purposeful behavioural analyses. Start with clearly defined areas that you want to measure and improve. Then, determine the types of data available to give you the insights you need for your performance analysis.

For example, if you’re providing fleet management services, you could use big data for profiling driver performance, pulling information from sources such as:

  • In-car sensor data to track speed, sudden braking, and time on the road as metrics for driving skills.
  • On-line rating data from customers to measure satisfaction with drivers.

Analysis can help you select the most skilled drivers who meet customer expectations for service and safety and minimise wear-and-tear on vehicles.  With a data-driven plan, you could realise sales increases while saving money on fleet repairs and insurance expenses.

In sectors with known stressors like security, smartwatch data can provide details about heart rate, body temperature, and activity. Analysis of appropriate metrics can help you assess performance. If security guard data during the night watch show minimal movement and slower heart rates, you may want to confirm that teams are making rounds as expected.

Big data analysis also has application within healthcare or sports medicine, where patient sensors can deliver data about underperforming areas of a body in motion. Supporting software applications could help physicians or therapists determine the most appropriate treatment for regaining or improving mobility or strength.

Creating ethical and legal standards for people analytics

Using big data for behaviour or performance analysis comes with responsibility. To build trust among your employees and customers about your intentions, be sure to clearly explain the data you collect and how and why you use it.

  • Collaborate with a data analysis partner and your legal team to ensure your data collection activities comply with the EU’s GDPR guidelines.  Failing to adhere to privacy laws carries steep financial penalties.

Ethics (the considerations between what your company is bound legally to do and what it should do) also affect the use of profiling for organisational behaviour analysis or performance analysis. Avoiding misunderstandings is possible with:

  • clear policies that outline the information collected and how you use it
  • consistent collection and use of data across teams or customers
  • processes about data use and consequences for non-compliance

For more information about how you can use data to improve your team performance or support your business goals, contact SmartSet International.  We offer specific, personalised, innovative solutions and management strategies for increasing organisational efficiencies, productivity, and profitability.

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