Identifying ways to improve the business by applying analytics can be a tricky business. If you are like most enterprise organizations the number of business problems that would be good candidates for workforce analytics are endless. That is why it is critical to get some input and consensus from leaders as to which problems would be timely to focus on. If you take the time to sit down with leaders to find out what the top three business problems facing the organization are, it can translate into momentum and increased buy-in with analytics. Here are some ways to get your analytics initiative off the ground.
An area of concern that is mission critical to the business, a business objective that leaders are focused on, or an obvious performance deficit can all be good places to start. Some of these can be quite obvious and you may be able to identify without going to senior leadership, but it is best to have the conversations to increase motivation around your analysis. Having these initial conversations can also dissuade those who may question why you are focusing on particular problems that don’t happen to be on their list. It is also very important to keep clear lines of communication updating your progress with analytics. The more you can incorporate input into what you are doing the more momentum you can build. You may not always have the opportunity to get an interview with senior leadership but you can usually pick up on what the main business objectives are by being a good listener.
As business leaders begin to identify important or critical business objectives they often formulate possible solutions. You may hear a hypothesis, a gut feeling, or an “if we only had” type statement. These can all be worthy of analysis. If you can come back with data that supports or even refutes a hypothesis, or solves the “if we only had” statement, it can turn into an instant success. A post analysis interview can also be very effective to build momentum. If you overhear a senior person postulating a theory and then go to them privately with data that expands and quantifies their theory, you can get a quick win, and even better establish an alliance.
Once you have established value with the analytics that you are providing it is time for more communication. When the organization begins to wake up to the power of analytics it is critical to communicate realistic expectations. For instance, if management determines that analytics is key to unlocking a strategic business opportunity there may be a certain lack of patience for that analysis to materialize. There can also be some difficult conversations if the data does not support the intuition of experienced experts. Remember that analysis is still just one voice at the table and is meant to support what the business is trying to achieve. If you stay focused and aligned with key business objectives you will soon have your analytics initiative flying.
Vemo is a leader in workforce planning and analytics subscription software and predictive analytics consulting services. Vemo differentiates itself in the market by its expertise, innovation and customer-oriented approach.
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