Archive for March, 2015

March 17th 2015

Wise Practitioner – Workforce Predictive Analytics Interview Series: John Callery at AOL

By: Greta Roberts, Conference Chair, Predictive Analytics World for Workforce

In anticipation of his upcoming Predictive Analytics World for Workforce conference John_Callerypresentation, How AOL is Using Predictive Analytics as a Strategic HR Solution, we interviewed John Callery, Director of People Analytics at AOL, Inc. View the Q-and-A below to see how John Callery has incorporated predictive analytics into the workforce of AOL, Inc. Also, glimpse what’s in store for the new PAW Workforce conference.

Q: In your work with predictive analytics, what specific areas of the workforce are you focused on?

A: We're not focusing on a narrow area when we use predictive analytics. Our goal is to use data and predictive methods to improve all aspects of interactions with our workforce. 

Q: Do you primarily work inside of HR – or inside of the Line of Business?  If Line of Business – which one(s):  

A: AOL's People Analytics team is part of the Human Resources organization, but works closely with our business units and finance organizations. 

Q: What workforce outcomes do your models predict?  

A: We use predictive models for as many questions as we can, and use the insights to drive better outcomes in all areas.  

Q: What is one specific way in which predictive analytics actively drives decisions?  

A: Predictive analytics allows leadership to anticipate changes, conduct better planning and be proactive about intervening when a different outcome is desired.  

Q: Can you describe a successful result, such as the predictive lift of one of your models or the ROI of a predictive analytics initiative?  

A: As we grow our analytical capabilities, the most important result has been providing better visibility into what is happening within our workforce. By understanding and explaining what is and will be happening within our teams, our HR and business leaders have been able to focus more on implementing their vision for the organization rather than reacting to issues and changes after they happen.  

Q: What is an example of surprising discoveries you have unearthed in your data?  

A: One of my most surprising and satisfying discoveries hasn't been in the data itself, but in how quickly an organization can make improvements by using the available data to drive discussions and decisions.    

Q: What area of the workforce do you think has seen (or will see) the greatest advances or ROI from the use of predictive analytics?  

A: Productivity and employee satisfaction will see the largest improvements from the use of predictive analytics. By better understanding and supporting employees, organizations will be able to develop more successful products and services and lead to significant gains for the workforce and the company as a whole.   

Q: Why do you think Business Leaders, HR Leaders and Analytics professionals should attend Predictive Analytics World for Workforce?   

A: Every organization faces different challenges at different points in their lifecycles, and it's important to learn from what others are doing in this new and growing space. Events like Predictive Analytics World for Workforce bring us together to share ideas and build relationships that can lead to great things at our individual organizations and across the field of People Analytics.  

Q: Do you feel any urgency you want to pass along to your fellow HR and Business Executives to implement predictive analytics to help solve employee challenges?  Why?  

A: In the race for attracting, developing and retaining top talent, predictive analytics provides a significant leg up on the competition. Anyone not building these capabilities within their organization will soon be left behind in the marketplace.  

Q: What is one misunderstanding that people have about using predictive analytics to solve employee challenges?  

A: When I'm at industry events, I often get questions that suggest that predictive analytics is a magic bullet for solving employee challenges. It's important to remember that predictive analytics is an important complement to good management practices, but it does not replace them.   

Q: How involved has the business unit been in the work you’ve done inside of your organization?  

A: Partnership with business leadership is a critical part of the success of our People Analytics team. We work closely with business leadership, HR and finance to ensure the best possible outcomes for our people and the company.  

Q: SNEAK PREVIEW:  Please tell us a take-away that you will provide during your Presentation at Predictive Analytics World for Workforce.  

A: You don't have to have a mature analytical function to start making improvements for your employees and your business. By simply looking at the data in new ways and asking smarter questions, it's possible to begin a transformation that will continue to grow alongside your team's analytical prowess.

Don't miss John Callery’s conference presentation, How AOL is Using Predictive Analytics as a Strategic HR Solution, at PAW Workforce, on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, from 10:00-10:45 am. Click here to register for attendance

By: Greta Roberts, CEO, Talent Analytics, Corp. @gretaroberts and Conference Chair of Predictive Analytics World for Workforce

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March 10th 2015

Wise Practitioner – Workforce Predictive Analytics Interview Series: Chad Harness at Fifth Third Bank

By: Greta Roberts, Conference Chair, Predictive Analytics World for Workforce

In anticipation of his upcoming Predictive Analytics World for Workforce conference presentation, Names and Numbers: Leveraging HR Culture to Accelerate the Adoption of Chad_HarnessWorkforce Analytics, we interviewed Chad Harness, Lead Human Capital Analytics Consultant, Fifth Third Bank. View the Q-and-A below to see how Chad Harness has incorporated predictive analytics into the workforce of Fifth Third Bank. Also, glimpse what’s in store for the new PAW Workforce conference.

Q: In your work with predictive analytics, what specific areas of the workforce are you focused on? (i.e., optimizing workforce productivity, using big data to solve workforce challenges, building a workforce analytics driven culture, etc.)?

A: I originally joined Fifth Third’s Human Capital Analytics Team with the intention of building the predictive modeling capabilities of 5/3rd’s Human Capital Division. However, within my first six months, I realized that I needed to re-prioritize my efforts towards building a workforce analytics-capable culture before I could gain sufficient buy-in for achieving my original goal.

Q: Do you primarily work inside of HR – or inside of the Line of Business?  If Line of Business – which one(s):

A: Organizationally, I am aligned to HR but I primarily work with the Wholesale Line of Business.

Q: What workforce outcomes do your models predict?

A: During my tenure with 5/3rd’s HC Analytics we have implemented two models: one that predicts our expected total mortgage loan officer population as a function of interest rates and another that forecasts retirement likelihood among our commercial relationship manager and wealth management advisor populations. However, the bulk of our analytics’ work focuses on introducing and defining rigorous measures, capturing data, consulting and managing change, e.g. education, promotion and facilitation of the adoption and use of analytics in workforce planning.  

Q: What is one specific way in which predictive analytics actively drives decisions?

A: The retirement likelihood forecasts have been extremely well-received. As a result, the commercial and wealth management lines of business leaders are paying closer attention to their talent pipelines for those roles. Specifically, increased awareness of the need to develop replacement talent has led to initiatives to mitigate the key man risk inherent in these strategically important roles.

Q: Can you describe a successful result, such as the predictive lift of one of your models or the ROI of a predictive analytics initiative?

A: Not in those terms, no. One of my 2015 initiatives is to create a rigorous framework for measuring the cost and benefit of specific employee segments, beyond just sales and compensation that will provide a common way for Fifth Third to quantify acquisition and termination decisions. I also hope to return to my roots and build a few predictive models against some of Fifth Third’s high-priority workforce challenges.

Q: What is an example of surprising discoveries you have unearthed in your data?

A: One of the most surprising discoveries I’ve unearthed is that some of Fifth Third’s “poor” and “middle” Wholesale performers are also some of our most profitable employees. This suggests that, for certain categories of employee, Fifth Third’s employee valuation methodologies may not be good measures of workforce ROI, our employee performance metrics are missing some important factors of these employees’ performance or Fifth Third’s current Wholesale staffing model may be sub-optimal.

Q: What area of the workforce do you think has seen (or will see) the greatest advances or ROI from the use of predictive analytics

A: I think any area of the workforce that exhibits either high turnover, significant up-front human capital investments or both will see the greatest advances and ROI as retention rates and talent quality improve from the judicious use of insights derived via predictive analytics.

Q: Why do you think Business Leaders, HR Leaders and Analytics professionals should attend Predictive Analytics World for Workforce?

A: I think Business Leaders, HR Leaders and Analytics professionals should attend Predictive Analytics World for Workforce because the conference presents an invaluable opportunity both to connect with and to learn from the individuals and groups who are trailblazing the use of predictive analytics to tackle workforce-specific challenges.

Q: Do you feel any urgency you want to pass along to your fellow HR and Business Executives to implement predictive analytics to help solve employee challenges?  Why?

A: I feel a tremendous sense of urgency for organizations to prepare themselves to capitalize on both the ubiquity of data created by the exponentially growing “Internet of Things” and the accompanying need to generate and act upon insights that can allow them to create and sustain competitive advantage in a constantly changing landscape. The problem of achieving this transformation may be framed as a set of “employee challenges”: when every product, service and customer encounter becomes a data generating process, every employee needs to be equipped to maximize those opportunities in order for the organization to remain relevant.

Q: What is one misunderstanding people have about using predictive analytics to solve employee challenges?

A: One misunderstanding I frequently encounter is that the use of predictive analytics somehow reduces the need for expert judgment. On the contrary, increasing the use of predictive analytics introduces additional complexity into the decision making process, which requires more expert judgment to ensure favorable outcomes. At a minimum, every employee increasingly must be able to ask good questions, to differentiate and communicate only relevant information, and to recognize and act on the “right insights” at the “right time”.

Q: How involved has the business unit been in the work you’ve done inside of your organization?

A: Fifth Third has two primary lines of business: Wholesale and Retail. Leaders within both LOBs have been very involved with our work. I would say they are our most valuable partners and primary customers with respect to the work we’ve done inside our organization.  

Q: SNEAK PREVIEW:  Please tell us a take-away that you will provide during your Presentation at Predictive Analytics World for Workforce.

A: You don’t need predictive analytics to see that the skill set necessary for the competent practice of analytics – mathematics, computer science, and business acumen – represent a rare combination that is difficult (and expensive) to obtain but increasingly essential to achieving and sustaining competitive advantage. My presentation will demonstrate proven, cost-effective ways for any organization to begin building, deploying and leveraging that skill-set in its workforce.

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Don't miss Chad Harness’ conference presentation, Names and Numbers: Leveraging HR Culture to Accelerate the Adoption of Workforce Analytics, at PAW Workforce, on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, from 4:15-5:00 pm. Click here to register for attendance

By: Greta Roberts, CEO, Talent Analytics, Corp. @gretaroberts and Conference Chair of Predictive Analytics World for Workforce

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March 3rd 2015

Wise Practitioner – Workforce Predictive Analytics Interview Series: Patrick Coolen of ABN-AMRO Bank

By: Greta Roberts, Conference Chair, Predictive Analytics World for Workforce 2015

In anticipation of his upcoming Predictive Analytics World for Workforce conference presentation, ABN-AMRO’s 2-year Journey with HR Predictive Analytics, we interviewed Patrick Coolen, Manager HR Analytics at ABN-AMRO Bank.  View the Q-and-A below to see how Patrick Coolen has incorporated predictive analytics into the workforce of ABN-AMRO Bank.  Also, glimpse what’s in store for the new PAW Workforce conference.

Q: In your work with predictive analytics, what specific areas of the workforce are you focused on?

A: Our mission is moving HR towards fact-based decision making. Fact-based decision making that also supports HR itself but primarily our business. For this we conduct different research projects that aim to optimize e.g. workforce productivity, business productivity or client satisfaction. We also invest in training our HR staff so that they can identify the opportunities HR analytics is offering.

Q: Do you primarily work inside of HR – or inside of the Line of Business?  If Line of Business – which one(s):

A: Our analytical team reports within HR. But 80% of our research is focused on a real business opportunity or problem. Therefore we intensively work together with senior business management and their subject matter experts. Some examples of lines of business we do research for are: retail, large corporates, IT, private banking and transaction banking.

Q: What workforce outcomes do your models predict?

A: In most cases we run models predicting client satisfaction or financial outcomes like revenue, profit or target realization and in some cases we also predict the quality of our products or engagement.

Q: What is one specific way in which predictive analytics actively drives decisions?

A: Predictive analytics can help our organization to focus on what really matters. Do we believe all types of leadership are important or can we determine which one is more effective in a certain context? Also predictive analytics can help us evaluate the impact of HR interventions like our leadership program. Both examples allow us to improve decision making. 

Q: Can you describe a successful result, such as the predictive lift of one of your models or the ROI of a predictive analytics initiative?

A: In one of our research projects we managed to predict products sold in a business unit based on HR data including engagement survey data. The research results were made actionable and are input for the strategic people plan of the business unit involved.

Q: What area of the workforce do you think has seen (or will see) the greatest advances or ROI from the use of predictive analytics?

A: I do not think predictive analytics is more beneficial for a specific area of the workforce. We already saw some good results in multiple lines of business. However the line of business that has the ‘best’ business data can expect to receive the best results from analytics. The ‘best’ data can mean

  • financial data on employee level instead of on department level or
  • the availability of historical data or
  • the availability of high frequency process data on human behaviour like call handling data

Q: Why do you think Business Leaders, HR Leaders and Analytics professionals should attend Predictive Analytics World for Workforce?

A: Because they are all a piece of the puzzle. Predictive analytics is not only about data scientists. The different areas of expertise have to work closely together to make predictive analytics successful.

Q: What is one misunderstanding people have about using predictive analytics to solve employee challenges?

A: Many organizations do not know how to start or set up predictive HR analytics. One misunderstanding is that you need large investments in technology or skills. Start small and learn fast. If you have a relevant dataset you can start with analytics today. Depending on your own maturity in terms of statistics and/ or machine learning ask a vendor to help you with the basics. 

Q: How involved has the business unit been in the work you’ve done inside of your organization?

A: In all our research that is focused on predicting business outcomes the business itself is intensively involved. This is true for all our lines of business.

Q: SNEAK PREVIEW:  Please tell us a take-away that you will provide during your Presentation at Predictive Analytics World for Workforce.

A: I will talk about the 10 golden rules of HR analytics (see also LinkedIn under my profile). I will address our lessons learned while setting up analytics and conducting research. Then we will present a case study of one of our real research projects. This will be presented together with Luk Smeyers (iNostix).

Don't miss Patrick Coolen’s conference presentation, ABN-AMRO’s 2-year Journey with HR Predictive Analytics at PAW Workforce, on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, from 11:15-11:45 am. Click here to register for attendance

By: Greta Roberts, CEO, Talent Analytics, Corp. @gretaroberts and Conference Chair of Predictive Analytics World for Workforce

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