See into the Future: The Crystal Ball of People Analytics, Part Two

Posted by Kathi Enderes, Zach Toof on May 21, 2020.

In part one of our blog series on people analytics, See into the Future: The Crystal Ball of People Analytics, we explored the use of leading versus lagging measures (to look beyond the past and toward future-oriented inputs and actions) and how to frame future-focused questions. Both actions allow organizations to sense future-of-work impacts such as automation, the open talent economy, and the virtual workplace. Now in part two, we’ll explore how a listening architecture can develop an ongoing and actionable approach to sensing the future.

Related links  

High-Impact People Analytics Survey
Participate and help shape the future.

People Analytics Solutions:
Market Capabilities and Differentiators
Core, common, and differentiated vendor capabilities
to help solve people analytics challenges

Human Capital Platform: Research & Sensing
Learn more

Creating a listening architecture

There are many ways to collect workforce information, from using HR information systems, enterprise / operational data, and workforce surveys to mining internal and external social media. Establishing a listening architecture can help organizations make the most out of these sources. A “listening architecture” is a structured approach to repeatedly collect information and derive meaning. There are a variety of ways to create a listening architecture, but organizations should consider four elements when designing theirs: purpose, channels, muscle, and governance.

Listening architecture considerations

Purpose: What are you listening for and why?
Asking “What is the future?” is not as insightful as asking “What capabilities and skills are most critical for our workers over the next few years?” When creating a listening architecture, partner with business stakeholders to identify the future-facing business / talent challenge you are trying to address (e.g., to get ahead of skill shortages, to partner humans with automations, to increase remote worker productivity) and define how insights gained from these challenges would be actioned.

If an organization has a poorly defined listening purpose—or jumps right into collecting data—it may struggle to identify what findings matter most and may lack leadership support for taking action. High-performing organizations are three times more likely than low-performing organizations to have both a clear vision and mission for people analytics and strong partnerships with business units and corporate functions.1

Channels: How will you collect information?
There are many options for collecting information, from active channels (e.g., surveys, interviews, focus groups) to passive channels (e.g., social media, job postings, communication metadata). On average, high-performing organizations use seven different channels, while low-performing organizations use three.1

Depending on your purpose, the information your organization needs will most likely not come from a single source—it will require accessing new information channels and / or the combination of different channels. For example, if you are trying to gain information on future skill gaps, that information is most likely not available through your HR system and may require new channels such as analyzing external job postings (i.e., to identify skill trends in the market) and comparing these insights to your workforce’s current skills (i.e., a proficiency survey or supervisor assessments).

Organizations can also consider how often they collect information so they can move beyond point-in-time measures to more frequent or continuous measures such as:

  • Pulsing: Shorter, more frequent surveys that may include sampling the workforce rather than including the full population
  • Life-cycle integration: Gathering data as it occurs—such as a new worker completing a survey posthire or real-time attrition metrics / trends updated information enters the HR system
  • Always on: Harvesting data from virtual collaboration spaces that are organized via topic-based categories so workers can share what is working well or poorly

Muscle: How will insights gained be put into action?
A listening architecture should not overlook the need to translate the information gained into insights and actions. High-performing organizations have stronger basic data literacy skills within both people analytics resources and their broader HR teams, and they are much more likely to use automated dashboards and self-service reporting tools.1 These strengths aid them in understanding and analyzing data to gain insights and in getting those insights into the hands of those who need to act on them.

As organizations consider developing their listening architecture muscles, they can start with smaller weights. High-performing organizations are more than three times as likely as low-performing organizations to test a variety of different solutions.2 They don’t have to go right into large-scale enterprisewide efforts; rather, they can start small by testing analytical methods with a few functions or groups, then scale and adapt the leading practices. 
Governance: How will listening be managed and improved?

Companies are facing the need to be agile, to quickly respond and adapt to change. A listening architecture can act as a sensing capability to continuously sense—and make sense of—what is happening inside and outside their borders.3 For this capability to operate effectively, it should be governed and continuously improved.

Governance can help the organization’s listening architecture to:

  • Define scope.
  • Create common data definitions.
  • Establish roles and responsibilities (for collecting, managing, and acting on data).
  • Monitor for data quality, security, and compliance.
  • Improve operations (e.g., utilize new technology or features, automate data collection or analyses, personalize dashboards).
  • Align to changing organizational needs (e.g., evaluating and adapting data practices to meet shifting priorities).

Accelerating the listening architecture

Taking these listening architecture considerations into account can help organizations sense the future, but creating the right listening channels, analyzing complex data, and scaling practices is a journey. The good news is that the growing field of people analytics solution providers can help make this journey easier.
More than 75 percent of surveyed people analytics solution providers offer capabilities on data management and reporting.3 Solution providers can also help in putting these insights into action: 88 percent offer results interpretation. Many also have advanced capabilities.4

  • 47 percent offer sentiment analyses (identifying worker feelings / emotions through text analysis)
  • 44 percent offer natural language processing (breaking up sentences to identify key words, parts of speech, or phrases)
  • 41 percent offer network analyses (visualizing the relationships between workers)

The future doesn’t need to come as a surprise. Through a strong listening architecture that is empowered by people analytics technologies, organizations can sense trends and monitor scenarios to plan for whatever the future may bring.

What does the future hold for people analytics?

Organizations can better sense and navigate the future through an effective listening architecture, but what about the key questions surrounding people analytics itself? For example:

  • What are organizations focused on solving?
  • How are data skills changing?
  • How is people data being governed and ethically used?
  • What leading technologies and cutting-edge methodologies are helping organizations to realize impacts?

The future of work is here, and it’s more analytical than ever.
Take our High-Impact People Analytics survey (intended for leaders or individual contributors involved with people-related analytics) to receive an instant snapshot of how your organization compares with others and to be invited to a free webinar on key findings.

Click here to take the 25-minute survey.

Or copy and paste this link into your browser:

Kathi Enderes, PhD, is a vice president and the talent and workforce research leader at Deloitte Consulting LLP.

Zach Toof is a manager and people analytics research leader at Deloitte Consulting LLP.
1 High-Impact People Analytics study, Deloitte Consulting LLP, 2017.
2 High-Impact People Analytics study, Deloitte Consulting LLP, 2017.
3 Six Top Findings for Designing Tomorrow’s Companies Today, Deloitte Consulting LLP / David Mallon and Timothy Davis, 2019.
4 People Analytics Solutions: Market Capabilities and Differentiators, Deloitte Consulting LLP / Kathi Enderes, PhD, and Matthew Shannon, 2019.

Harnessing Technology to Unlock the Power of Communities of Practice (COPs)

Posted by Raviv Elyashiv, Marion Burgheimer, Matan Rotmanon, May 20, 2020.

Communities of practice (CoPs) are groups of people who share knowledge on a specific subject, and they have always been a great way for organizations to share knowledge with and among colleagues. The COVID-19 crisis has shifted the way people work and forced many to work almost exclusively in virtual, remote workspaces, which has resulted in people becoming physically isolated from colleagues. As a result, the crisis has reinforced the strength of CoPs as a critical means of knowledge management within organizations.

Continue reading “Harnessing Technology to Unlock the Power of Communities of Practice (COPs)”

Views of Health care Supply Chain’s Response to COVID-19

A Three-Part Series: Part 2

Serious businesswoman working late at computer in office

Posted by Jeff PetryPaul Kreder, Paul Atkins, Harika Nandikanti, Dane Jeong, on May 15, 2020.

Views of Health care Supply Chain’s Response to COVID-19

A Three-Part Series

Part 2: What went right?
COVID-19 has disrupted and challenged health care supply chain in unprecedented ways. In our first blog of this series, we explored the multiple factors that contributed to health care supply chain’s general inability to adapt and respond effectively to this crisis. Despite the complexity of this challenge, there are some areas in which the collective response excelled. This blog will focus on three areas in which much of health care supply chain thrived: (1) rapidly responding to these challenges with innovative technology, (2) new devices and techniques to expand the utilization / increase the conservation of existing products, and (3) increased collaboration in the private and public sectors.

Continue reading “Views of Health care Supply Chain’s Response to COVID-19”

Views of Health care Supply Chain’s Response to COVID-19

A Three-Part Series

Serious businesswoman working late at computer in office

Posted by Jeff PetryPaul Kreder, Paul Atkins, Harika Nandikanti, Dane Jeong, on May 13, 2020.

Views of Health care Supply Chain’s Response to COVID-19

A Three-Part Series

Part 1: A fragmented supply chain – what happened?
One of the biggest challenges health care systems are facing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis is a shortage of PPE and other necessary supplies, drugs, and equipment. As the pandemic continues to spread, and certain inefficiencies of the PPE and critical medical supplies markets continue to persist; it is important to take a step back and observe how the present situation has come about. Supply chain is the sequence of processes involved in the production and distribution of a finished good and any break or bend in the chain can fragment it. Health care supply chain is often reactive to market shocks and cannot easily adapt to change. This factor, combined with surges in demand for essential items and medical supplies, along with numerous factors outside of supply chain, can help explain key issues with the immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continue reading “Views of Health care Supply Chain’s Response to COVID-19”

5 Ways to Enable a Human-Centered, Virtual Workplace

Posted by Kathi Enderes, Nehal Nangia on May 8, 2020.

When unexpected disruptions make business-as-usual impractical, it’s time to define the new normal and make it work for you. Whether it’s as a response to changing workforce expectations, the need to keep workers and society safe, or to support collaboration across teams spanning different geographic locations, many organizations today are looking at workplace flexibility in a new light. New ways of working often warrant new strategies, capabilities, behaviors, and mindsets to be successful. Here are five ways in which organizations can enable their people to work and collaborate effectively in a remote / virtual environment.


Continue reading “5 Ways to Enable a Human-Centered, Virtual Workplace”

CARES Act: An opportunity for both student debtholders and employers

Posted by Peter DeBellis, Robert Davis on May 7, 2020.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act—passed in late March—provides a sweeping $2.2 trillion emergency relief bill for businesses and individuals affected by the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.1

Among the headlines, the bill offers up to $1,200 immediate cash payments to most individuals earning less than $75,000 (or $2,400 for couples filing jointly and earning less than $198,000), plus an additional $500 per child. The bill also expands unemployment benefits to include independent contractors, gig workers, and the self-employed while increasing the duration of unemployment benefits. Additionally, the bill provides $500 billion to the Treasury Department’s Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF) for distressed industries and authorizes the Federal Reserve to provide approximately $4 trillion in direct aid to various industries and local governments.2

Continue reading “CARES Act: An opportunity for both student debtholders and employers”

Adapting Your Cybersecurity Organization for the Future: Insights for the Modern CISO

Posted by Elaine Loo and John Gelinne on May 6, 2020.

computerAs the world becomes increasingly interconnected, cyber is getting bigger, and it’s moving in multiple dimensions across multiple disciplines—beyond an organization’s walls and IT environments and into the products it creates, the factories where it makes them, the spaces where its employees conceive them, and where its customers use them. Cyber is at the center of digital transformation.

Continue reading “Adapting Your Cybersecurity Organization for the Future: Insights for the Modern CISO”

The rise of the Adaptable Organization: Measuring and Building Organizational Resilience to Recover and Thrive in Uncertain Times

Posted by Tiffany McDowellMaya Bodan, and India Mullady on May 1, 2020

COVID-19 has created a massive shift in the way works get done. As companies flex in this time of extreme disruption and uncertainty, the actions taken will alter business as usual. Companies that are not adaptable or able to react quickly risk falling short during this critical time for their employees and communities. If leaders cannot pivot effectively, organizations further risk being able to recover and thrive as companies collectively enter the “new normal.”

Continue reading “The rise of the Adaptable Organization: Measuring and Building Organizational Resilience to Recover and Thrive in Uncertain Times”

How can leadership development solutions help leaders thrive in uncertain times?

Posted by Bill Latshaw, Matthew Shannon on April 30, 2020.

During times of crisis, long-term planning for future leadership development may seem like a distant thought; however, developing a leadership strategy is still crucial, even while prioritizing immediate needs for business survival. As organizations move through the three stages of crisis management1 —respond, recover, thrive—some will seek out HR technology solutions to help embed and distribute leadership development opportunities into their workers’ milieus. These organizations will find that a wide distribution of leadership growth and continuous learning are twice as effective at anticipating future change and responding to it efficiently.2

Continue reading “How can leadership development solutions help leaders thrive in uncertain times?”