HR Technology Trends and Topics: Talent Analytics’ Perspective

This fall at the HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas, two HR Technology thought leaders, Jason Averbook, CEO, Knowledge Infusion and Naomi Bloom, Managing Partner, Bloom & Wallace will square off about the biggest issues faced by HR technology practitioners. We at Talent Analytics, Corp have answered the same questions that will be discussed at the debate.

HRTech Conference: If SaaS delivery prevails over on-premise software, what should practitioners be thinking about their last generation installed systems?

Talent Analytics:

  • There is little doubt. SaaS delivery will prevail over time, sooner rather than later.
  • During this transition, however, newer SaaS technologies can often easily add value (and data) to existing systems. For example, existing talent management or business intelligence systems can extend their life by combining and correlating new data types i.e. data about the people executing outcomes, with traditional data gathered. Existing systems can be enhanced by outside data types for years, extending the time-to-replacement.

HRTech Conference:
Is Talent Management dying as a separate category?

Talent Analytics: Yes.

  • Talent Management software has been an HR tool which keeps most of it’s usefulness in HR. Data housed in Talent Management software provides just part of an answer.  It makes little business sense to disconnect this data and this system from all other business intelligence.  Doing so minimizes it’s value as compared to data gathered from the rest of the business.
  • Current Talent Management solutions essentially report on history or “what has happened” (lower value).  Modern Business Intelligence and Analytics efforts have moved beyond reporting to the need to “predict and prevent” (higher value).  Talent Management needs to begin providing data that will combine and correlate well with the larger initiative of predicting and preventing.  A data element that can combine and correlate with every other piece of data currently collected to forecast outcomes – is data about the people themselves – talent analytics.

HRTech Conference:
How should mobile applications be done right?

Talent Analytics:

  • Mobile applications need to accomodate the rapid assembling and disassembling of teams, groups, managers, companies and the resulting collaboration challenges.

HRTech Conference:
What are the right uses for social software?

Talent Analytics:

  • Social software needs to move beyond “finding people” to “fostering collaboration”.
  • As an example:  imagine social software helping me locate someone that can help and taking the additional step of providing easily understood guidance about the best approach / how to connect / what to avoid / what the individual or team personally cares about to reduce the amount of communication errors.

HRTech Conference:
What keeps companies from getting started with workforce analytics?

Talent Analytics:

We believe there are two reasons:

  1. Current workforce analytics measure data that “reports on history” but it’s still more difficult to use this data to answer questions about future outcomes (like most Business Intelligence initiatives).  Until workforce analytics can begin forecasting or answering “why”, ROI for workforce analytics initiatives will have limited value. Talent Analytics’ work shows that forecasting how the people doing the work will respond, also helps to forecast likely business outcomes.  This is a major step towards forecasting, predicting and preventing.
  2. Workforce analytics “sound and seem” unappealing to both Finance and HR – so they avoid owning this initiative. HR Professionals have traditionally not loved the analytics side of business and Analytics Professionals have traditionally not loved the people side of business. Workforce analytics as an initiative have had issues with finding an excited owner.  Our opinion is that workforce analytics should be owned by those who currently own business intelligence initiatives.


Posted in Tags: , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “HR Technology Trends and Topics: Talent Analytics’ Perspective”

  1. Bill Kutik Says:

    August 16th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Good questions and interesting answers. Not necessarily the ones we’ll be using in the Great Debate but good to add to the general pool of knowledge.

  2. Bob Hatcher Says:

    August 17th, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Your answer to the social media question is part of a much larger trend. Too often, software applications, whether cloud based or on-premises focus on the past, i.e. what we’ve done. The trend now is to try to use those apps to look at what must be done in the future, i.e. planning.

    Take for example. This is considered state-of-the-art but as a standalone application it does nothing but provide me a place to record what’s been done. Add-on products in the knowledge management space for example allow me to ask questions like “show me all the proposals and email correspondence for deals we’ve won with insurance companies in Connecticut.

    Talent Analytics is similar. Taking it out of the HR department and into real life management issues will become the norm. To take the SFDC example one step further, I can see Advisor, for example being used within SFDC to allow a sales manager to ask “which one of my reps is best suited to open a new territory”, or, “which one of my reps is best to call on Google and which one is best to call on Citibank.”

    Seen this way, it’s obvious that talent ANALYTICS is much different from talent MANAGEMENT.

    Best regards,


Leave a Reply