megaphone with listen
PHOTO: Tim Pierce

Big data and business intelligence are nothing new.

Our digital workplaces produce more data now than ever before. Every time an employee performs a task or an action, it tells us something. Thanks to the ever-advancing capabilities of AI, analytics and visualization tools, we’re also in our strongest position yet to actually do something with all that information. And it’s time we started listening.

We’re talking about more than just demographical data — the basics like age, gender, job title. Now we’re generating in-depth people analytics that give real insights into how our employees are behaving, feeling, performing.

Taking a Page From the Consumer Market

If there’s anything to take from the consumer market, it’s the business value in detangling and analyzing all this information. Happy, engaged employees deliver those all-important business KPIs: productivity, innovation, retention. What’s more, our brands are now built from the inside out. There’s a direct line from the employee experience of work, to the experience we give our customers. Staff engagement equals profit.

Understanding and using the knowledge buried in our digital workplaces helps us make more informed management decisions. We can pick up red flags when a member of staff is gearing up to leave, for example, see which teams are failing to collaborate, or when productivity or our eNPS score dips. IBM AI can predict with 95% accuracy which staff are ready to quit, which has saved them an estimated $300 million in retention costs so far. This is powerful stuff.

Related Article: The Essential Glue for Your Digital Workplace

What Innovation Means in the Digital Workplace Sector

The challenge is, data takes time — and volume — to gain meaning. For most organizations, the best we can hope for are lagging indicators that come too late for leaders to make any meaningful change. Usage analytics, for example, or anecdotal feedback and pulse surveys, tell us what’s happening after the fact. Trends and red flags are easy to miss.

It’s up to digital workplace software providers — and intranet partners in particular — to drive and answer the need for leading workforce behavior analytics: offering detailed insights and trends, based on big data, that will empower leaders to make data-driven decisions. As more platforms are introduced to our digital workplaces, the opportunity to read multiple inputs and get our data working for us presents even more potential ROI for business.

Innovation in the sector, then, isn’t about introducing shiny new features or functionality. It’s about maximizing the value of what we already have. Improved connectivity and use of intelligence will arm us with knowledge about what’s happening in our workplaces. And knowledge, as we know, is power. We’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible.

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