This year was my first year at PAFOW East - the mind child of the incredible Al Adamsen and David Green. It’s been absolutely mind-blowing to see the field of People Analytics grow so quickly. Personally, I felt a “home coming” for the 2nd time in my professional career. The first time, was as a PhD student when I stumbled upon tech entrepreneurship. I was doing some field research on “creativity under pressure” with a bunch of startup founders. I felt this feeling of “finding your tribe” for the first time. Today I felt it again: I entered people data nerd land and I was as happy as a child in the candy store. I will never forget as a consultant when I worked with a partner that did not understand the difference between r (Pearson correlation coefficient) and Rsq (Determination coefficient), even though related, they are definitely conceptually a very different thing. Getting carried away, my 10 take aways from the PAFOW East 2018 are:
- Team Design is a thing! Alignment between Job & Role design, team design and organisational design, is key to successfully structuring your organisations work. Read more about team design here.
- “Every business problem has its algorithm” Good place to start to find out which one you might need is to follow Cassie Kozyrkov (Chief Decision Engineer @Google Cloud) or talk to us :)
- Every successful people analytics initiative starts with a business problem, not the other way around. Even though people analytics is a diagnostics field, it’s a much better approach to focus on “patients that feel the pain” instead of trying to hunt behind people and point out unhealthy behaviour. Pragmatism and stakeholder management is key.
- Most focus is still on “continuously measuring” organisational health KPIs. At the same time a gap still exists: There is a lack of systematic & scalable change management solutions.
- Automated data collection about how you work is the new hot topic. It’s already happening, but still in its infancy. People continue to use surveys and the market rewards them: check out the acquisition of Glint by LinkedIn!
- People analytics is not HR. No-one is really HR in the future. We are employee experience specialists, talent & leadership analysts, organisational designers, and developers, and so on.
- Data literacy is a thing and pioneering companies (like ABNAmro - thanks Patrick Coolen for the insights) take it very seriously. They are finding engaging ways to train their HR teams.
- Structure is important in your people analytics efforts: Some problems are better solved in-house, but many of the people analytics challenges should be solved with partners that specialise in particular areas (see Emsi for talent economics or Bunch for team collaboration & company culture data).
- GDPR is not a thing - or is it? We are all GDPR compliant. Everything else is unclear, not even Facebook knows, and they kinda have to.
- We gotta do it together! I was mind blown by the support and offers to help and collaborate during PAFOW East. First, Al who fit us into the program literally 1 week before the conference to Chris Butler at OneModel to Bruce Evans at Emsi and the amazing founders of Worklytics (shoutout to Philip). It is very clear: The future of work is bright and collaborative.
It’s a wrap. Thanks to all the amazing speakers and I hope to see you all again at the next people data nerd fest in 2019!
High Five from New York.