Companies that look beyond data and technology and shift toward organizational elements can extract more value from their analytics initiatives.
Workforce productivity was recently in the spotlight when Amazon used analytics to monitor productivity at the individual level1 and provided automated termination recommendations. The resulting outcry pinpointed a crucial element that was missing: input from a supervisor or colleagues. 

Analytics are often viewed as a silver bullet that will help companies identify the root causes of workforce or organizational issues. It’s not. As organizations invest significant resources to apply data and analytics to workforce productivity, they ignore the human element at their peril.

In our work with clients, we have seen strategies based solely on workforce analytics actually hinder decision-making, thereby lowering productivity. At the same time, companies can miss opportunities to use workforce analytics effectively to build resilience in the face of unexpected economic downturns, mitigate employee turnover, or identify the traits of top performers to inform hiring processes.

Finding the right blend of the human element in data and analytics starts with a comprehensive view of the workforce analytics program. Efforts to collect data on productivity using analytics, key performance indicators (KPIs), and dashboards must be matched by investments in talent and capabilities. Organizations often lack skilled employees who can harness both analytics tools and business knowledge to translate insights into actionable decisions and strategies. Executives also need to know how heavily to rely on the analytics and where the human layers—culture, mindsets, behaviors, and data interpretations—come in. Without such pieces in place, even the highest quality data and most sophisticated analytics platforms can fail to meet an organization’s needs. 

By reading this paper, you will learn: 

  • Why investments in data and technology frequently fall short 
  • How to reconcile the human element and analytics for better business results
  • What other companies have learned from workforce analytics implementations 
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