How to Bring Workforce Data into the BI Equation

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Read more about author Matthew Finlayson.

In the current economic environment, employee productivity, efficiency, and well-being have become even more critical to organizational success, mandating that leaders spend more time understanding and deriving insights from employees’ digital footprints and data. But too often, businesses make strategic decisions without factoring in workforce data. This can result in costly mistakes such as unnecessary layoffs, over-hiring, technology bloat, inadequate training, failed transformations, and more.

While companies typically possess a wealth of valuable workforce data, they often default to categorizing employee data solely as HR data, missing its potential to inform strategic business decisions when integrated with other business intelligence (BI) data. 

This represents a significant new opportunity for IT leaders. By bringing workforce data into the BI equation, IT leaders can help the C-suite better navigate organizational and economic challenges and improve team effectiveness.

Working with Workforce Data 

Workforce data surfaces insights into how employees work, how employees use technology, and how they adopt processes across an organization. These insights can reveal points of friction or bottlenecks, inform coaching conversations, and benchmark results against established baselines.

Workforce analytics can also help employees and teams understand when to make adjustments or replicate high-performance behaviors. That might mean attending fewer meetings, trimming down the tech stack, using fewer collaboration tools, or carving out more time for focus and deep work.

Combining workforce insights with BI data can be even more powerful by correlating employee productivity data with business outcome data, such as customer satisfaction, case resolution quality, sales opportunities closed, claims and payments processed, and more. 

Powerful Integrations for Improved Team Performance

Knowing which tools and activities translate to better productivity and results can help organizations replicate and scale high-performance practices. For IT professionals, the power of integrating workforce data with BI lies in optimizing resource allocation and maximizing productivity and efficiency across teams. 

Take the relationship between customer service agent performance, customer satisfaction (CSAT) ratings, and productivity. By identifying agents with high CSAT ratings but low ticket volumes, IT professionals can help team leaders address potential efficiency challenges and reduce the risk of low employee engagement or burnout. 

Similarly, agents with high efficiency but low CSAT ratings may benefit from coaching to improve customer interactions. This approach of studying inputs and outputs can be applied to various work functions and roles to identify overutilization, underutilization, and where resources are needed most. 

BI Best Practices 

To maximize the potential of your BI and workforce data initiatives and optimize the analysis of workforce inputs versus outputs for better resource allocation, consider these best practices:

  • ​​Work with organization leaders to understand how teams are evaluated, develop key performance metrics, and determine other important outputs.
  • Ensure that employee work identity is unified with computer usage, technology adoption, and productivity tools. This will offer a holistic view of how activities like online collaboration and meetings impact productivity, helping to identify areas for improvement. 
  • Integrate workforce data with external sources like Zendesk, Salesforce, Service Now, and Jira to help leaders understand the cause-and-effect relationships that impact their businesses. 
  • Consider integrating additional HR tools, surveys, and trainings that reflect employee habits, sentiment, and engagement. 
  • Work with a vendor that simplifies integrating workforce analytics data into your data warehouse for a seamless connection between your analytics hub and internal systems. Vendors can also provide templates tailored to specific BI systems, in order to make reporting easier.

By capturing the complete picture rather than isolated snapshots, IT can help business leaders factor workforce intelligence into the equation, avoid costly mistakes, improve team performance, and achieve sustainable growth in the marketplace.