PAW Workforce interviews Ben Waber
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4 years ago
Wise Practitioner – Predictive Workforce Analytics Interview Series: Ben Waber of Humanyze


In anticipation of his upcoming Predictive Analytics World for Workforce conference presentation, Using Wearables and Big Data to Reinvent Management, we interviewed Ben Waber, CEO at Humanyze.  View

Ben Waber imagethe Q-and-A below to see how Ben has incorporated predictive analytics into the workforce of Humanyze. Also, glimpse what’s in store for the new PAW Workforce conference.

Q: How is a specific line of business / business unit using your predictive decisions?  How is your product deployed into operations?

A: Global services divisions use our technology to create and test new workplaces.  Using a combination of wearables and digital data analytics, we identify what behaviors lead to higher performance and how new workplace designs will impact those behaviors.  Our customers then use our technology to A/B test these changes before rolling them out to the entire organization.

Q: If HR were 100% ready and the data were available, what would your boldest data science creations do?

A: Automate org charts, compensation, and hiring while putting HR in charge of setting up A/B tests to shape these systems.

Q: When do you think businesses will be ready for “black box” workforce predictive methods, such as Random Forests or Neural Networks?

A: These methods are another input to decision making, and with limited understanding they will be of limited usefulness.  As People Analytics divisions become the norm over the next 10 years, we’ll see more advanced methods become more common.

Q: Do you have suggestions for data scientists trying to explain the complexity of their work, to those solving workforce challenges?

A: If your explanation wouldn’t make sense to a random person on the street, you need to simplify.

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

A: Predicting what org charts will positively impact performance and retention.

Q: How does business culture, including HR, need to evolve to accept the full promise of predictive workforce?

A: Today companies make decisions about their people after an executive reads an article about what a cool company like Google does.  We need to move from that model to one closer to marketing: have a good idea, validate and predict with current data, test.

Q:  Do you have specific business results you can report?

A: We have used people analytics to improve loan sales in a major multinational bank by over 10%, over a billion euros in additional revenue a year.

Don’t miss Ben’s conference presentation, Using Wearables and Big Data to Reinvent Management, at PAW Workforce, on Monday, April 4, 2016 from 3:05-3:25 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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