Your essential weekly guide to Data Science and Analytics – September Part I

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Data Science and Analytics are being applied across industries, varying in their scope and magnitude based on the purpose of the application. Even as we witness these technologies solving bigger problems, there are still some challenges faced while building these solutions. We explore some of those challenges in this week’s digest.  

SEBI Bets on Data Analytics, New Generation Tech to Address Market Challenges

Continuing its efforts to bolster supervision and identify non-compliance, regulator Sebi plans to deploy data analytics and new generation technologies to deal with various challenges in the market. Technology solutions are being built to achieve the objective of identifying non-compliance and assisting in investigations.

Figleaves Deploys AVORA Augmented Analytics for Granular Insights and Reporting

AVORA provides an end-to-end augmented analytics platform, utilising Machine Learning with smart altering to deliver easy to use, in-depth data analysis. By eliminating the limitations of existing analytics, reducing data preparation and discovery time by 50-80%, and accelerating time to insight to just a matter of seconds rather than days, AVORA creates game-changing organizational intelligence.

New Tools of Data Science Used to Capture Single Molecules in Action

Single-molecule fluorescence techniques have revolutionized our understanding of the dynamics of many critical molecular processes, but signals are inherently noisy and experiments require long acquisition times. This work leverages new tools from data science in order to make every photon detected count and refine our picture of molecular motion.

Challenges in Analytics Sector: The Industry Perspective

Analytics industry has witnessed significant growth over the years but is still prone to a lot of challenges in terms of talent, reaching the right consumers, cumulating data points, among others. 3 Key Challenges That Analytics Industry Still Faces Today are: 

Translating data to business impact | Multiple sources of data | Data quality

To read more about Data Science, Analytics, and their career prospects, check this space. Upskill in Data Science domain with Great Learning’s PG program in Data Science and Engineering.

Keep Calm and Let the Business Analyst Handle it

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A Day in the Life of a Business Analyst

Business Analytics has emerged as a much sought after skill set. Professionals with business analytics expertise can work in different analytical profiles in companies to help them grow – but what exactly do they do? This article breaks down the essentials of a BA profile by looking into a typical day in the life of a business analyst. 

Equipped with strong analytical skills and a sound knowledge of the market, business analysts take care of a range of tasks to help companies meet their business goals. While collecting and interpreting data is core to a business analytics profile, stakeholder communication, meeting management and report collating are equally important. Aspiring business analytics professionals can refer to this detailed account of a day in an analyst’s life to understand the requirements and set their expectations. 

For a business analyst, a typical day starts by pinning up tasks on a storyboard to plan and prioritise them. As with most other roles, business analysts also have team meetings to discuss pain-points, pending tasks, obstacles and priorities. After having the tasks planned out, the workflow looks somewhat like this:

Prioritization & Business Context: Analysts typically like to plan their day and week meticulously in advance. Iteration planning meetings (IPM) are an excellent way to interact with the whole team and stay updated on all the ongoing projects. This iterative method ensures that objectives and plans are clearly explained. IPM also helps the team to understand the business context of any particular project and prioritize accordingly.  

Investigate Goals and Issues: An important part of an analysts job is to identify the problem. Research, interviews, analytical observations are few of the ways in which analysts investigate the situation to recognise the issues. Analysts look at past data, and try to make projections based on inferences.

Analysing Information:  It is after collecting data points concerning the issue at hand, that analysts finally get down to the analysing part. Data sets are thoroughly examined for recurring patterns and anomalies. Analytic reports are then shared internally for teams to understand the problem areas. These reports break down series of data sets into comprehensible explanations so that they are easily interpreted by the leadership team to help them arrive at business decisions unanimously.

Documenting Information: It is important to record all the analytical findings since they can act as future reference points. Analysts spend a considerable part of their day collecting and documenting all the analytical results, inferences and new developments. Considering documentation techniques are specific for each report, analysts also spend time looking into different documentation methods to choose the best option for any given report. 

Backlog Grooming:  This is an ongoing task for analysts- analysing and distributing the backlog. Resource optimization is crucial for any business and analysts aid that by efficient backlog management. Analysts go through the task lists and plan resource allocation according to priority.

Meetings and Communication: A major part of an analyst’s day is spent in active communication- internally with the team or externally with stakeholders. Business communication is not limited to just speaking, but it also means non-verbal communication in the form of emails and presentations to make sure that information is properly relayed, agreed to and acted upon.

Client Interaction: Client feedback is an integral part of any business plan. The best way to ensure that you are proceeding in the right direct and your business goals are met is by getting direct feedback from the clients. Feedback sessions can be used to evaluate the progress of the projects and analyse its success. Incorporating feedback in the project proceedings will lead to more satisfactory results and improve project success rates.

Business analysts act as a bridge between problems and solutions, trying to understand the former and planing the latter. However, a business analyst needs to work closely with the development teams, operations teams and the service teams to make any business project successful. A typical day in a business analyst’s life involves different kinds of tasks like extensive communication, reporting and documentation. While knowledge of analytical tools is an absolute necessity for an analyst, interpersonal communication skills coupled with strong business acumen is also required to deliver results.

What are the best Data Science and Business Analytics Courses for working professionals in India?

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The term analytics and data science have garnered a lofty prominence in the past decade mostly used interchangeably. As it stands strong today, business analytics is finding applications across functions ranging from marketing, customer relationship management, financial management, supply chain management, pricing and sales, and human resource management among others. It has also made a place for itself across industries, spanning its wings even to the most traditional ones such as Manufacturing and Pharma. 

A bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 2-3 years of work experience is mandatory to enrol for almost all business analytics or data science programs out there. It holds a great career scope for graduates in the field of engineering, business management, marketing, computer science and information technology, finance, economics, and statistics among others. 

All things said and done, there are certain challenges that professionals might face while looking out for the perfect business analytics or data science course to steer their career on the growth path:

– Lack of time and issues with balancing work and course schedules

– Financial Barriers

– Inflexibility in the course structure

– Obsolete curriculum or irrelevant modules

– Inaccessibility to the course

An institution or a course that focuses on combating these challenges and provide a comfortable, valuable, and manageable learning experience is the ideal course for professionals. At Great Learning, we strive to focus on these issues and design courses to suit the needs and resources of the aspirants.

Here is a comparative study of various Data Science and Business analytics program with Great Learning’s PG program in Business Analytics and Business Intelligence:

What are the best Data Science and Business Analytics Courses for working professionals in India?

Great Learning has been changing the lives of professionals across domains for over 5 years now. Having imparted more than 5 million hours of learning, we have touched professionals in 17 different countries, and are working towards reaching more geographies to transform careers of professionals across the globe. 

The post-graduate program in Business Analytics and Business Intelligence was the first program to be launched by Great Learning in the year 2014. Since then, there have been more than 50 batches with 5000+ professionals enrolled and successfully completed the course. The program has been ranked #1 Analytics program in India for 4 years in a row by Analytics India Magazine and has involved 300+ Industry Experts and 25+ India’s Best Data Science Faculty to impart quality skills and practical learning. Having propelled more than 2,500 career transitions, the success of the program can also be gauged by the fact that 90% of our alumni refer the course to other professionals. 

Best business analytics and business intelligence course for professionals

Our alumni have been placed with some of the top Analytics firms and reputed MNCs such as IBM, Accenture, HSBC, KPMG, LatentView, Myntra, Rakuten, RBS, Shell, Tiger Analytics, UST Global, and many more, with an average salary hike of 48%. This alone speaks a lot about the value and industry relevance of the program. Know more about Great Learning’s PG program in Business Analytics and Business Intelligence here. 

Here are a few testimonials by our PGP BABI Alumni. Read-Along:

GL puts a lot of effort to make the curriculum up to date matching world-standards Sowmya Vivek, Independent Consultant – Data Science, ML, NLP

The best part of GL is its experienced faculty – Sriram Ramanathan, Associate Director for Data Products at Scientific Games

The best takeaway is the approach with which I now perceive business problems – Pratik Anjay, Data Scientist at Walmart

The course aided my old desire to pursue finance as a career – Sahil Mattoo, Data Scientist, DXC Technologies

The guidance from the GL faculty is an important driver of my success – Priyadarshini, Analyst at LatentView

 

Book a call with us at +91 84480 92400 and our learning consultants will guide you through the program details and the specific queries that you might have.

10 Most Common Business Analyst Interview Questions

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Preparing for a Business Analyst Job Interview? Here are a few tips and the most useful and common business analyst interview questions that you might face. 

Before attending an interview for a business analyst position, one should be through about their previous experience in the projects handled and results achieved. The types of questions asked generally revolve around situational and behavioural acumen. The interviewer would judge both knowledge and listening skills from the answers one presents. 

The most common business analyst interview questions are:

 

1. How do you categorize a requirement to be a good requirement?

A good requirement is the one that clears the SMART criteria, i.e., 

Specific – A perfect description of the requirement, specific enough to be easily understandable

Measurable – The requirement’s success is measurable using a set of parameters

Attainable – Resources are present to achieve requirement success

Relevant – States the results that are realistic and achievable

Timely – The requirement should be revealed in time 

business analyst interview questions

 

2. List out the documents used by a Business Analyst in a project?

The various documents used by a Business Analyst are:

a. FSD – Functional Specification Document

b. Technical Specification Document

c. Business Requirement Document 

d. Use Case Diagram

e. Requirement Traceability Matrix, etc.

 

3. What is the difference between BRD and SRS?

SRS (Software Requirements Specifications) – is an exhaustive description of a system that needs to be developed and describes the software – user interactions. While a BRD (Business Requirements Document) is a formal agreement for a product between the organization and the client. 

The difference between the two are:

business analyst interview questions

 

4. Name and briefly explain the various diagrams used by a Business Analyst.

Activity Diagram – It is a flow diagram representing the transition from one activity to another. Here activity is referred to the specific operation of the system.

Data Flow Diagram – It is a graphical representation of the data flowing in and out of the system. The diagram depicts how data is shared between organizations

Use Case Diagram – Also known as Behavioural diagram, the use case diagram depicts the set of actions performed by the system with one or more actors (users).

Class Diagram – This diagram depicts the structure of the system by highlighting classes, objects, methods, operations, attributes, etc. It is the building block for detailed modelling used for programming the software.

Entity Relationship Diagram – It is a data modelling technique and a graphical representation of the entities and their relationships. 

Sequence Diagram – It describes the interaction between the objects. 

Collaboration Diagram – It represents the communication flow between objects by displaying the message flow among them.

 

5. Name different actors in a use case diagram?

Broadly, there are two types of actors in a use-case:

a. Primary Actors – Start the process

b. Secondary Actors – assist the primary actor

They can further be categorized as:

i. Human

ii. System

iii. Hardware

iv. Timer

 

6. Describe ‘INVEST’.

The full form of INVEST is Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimable, Sized Appropriately, Testable. With this process, the technical teams and project managers to deliver quality products or services.

 

7. What is Pareto Analysis

Also known as the 80/20 rule, Pareto Analysis is an effective decision-making technique for quality control. As per this analysis, it is inferred that 80% effects in a system are a result of 20% causes, hence the name 80/20 rule.

 

8. Describe the Gap Analysis.

It is utilized to analyze gaps between the existing system and its functionalities against the targeted system. The gap is inferred to the number of changes and tasks that need to be brought in to attain the targeted system. It compares performance between the present and the targeted functionalities.

 

9. Name different types of gaps that could be encountered while Gap Analysis

There are mainly four types of gaps:

a. Performance Gap – Gap between expected and actual performance

b. Product/ Market Gap – Gap between budgeted and actual sales numbers

c. Profit Gap – Variance between targeted and actual profit

d. Manpower Gap – Gap between required and actual strength and quality of the workforce in the organization

 

10. What are the various techniques used in requirement prioritization?

Requirement prioritization, as the name suggests, is a process of assigning priorities to the requirements based on business urgency in different schedules, phases, and cost among others.

The techniques for requirement prioritization are:

a. Requirements Ranking Method

b. Kano Analysis

c. 100 Dollar Method

d. MoSCoW Technique

e. Five Whys

 

Stay tuned to this page for more such information on interview questions and career assistance. If you are not confident enough yet and want to prepare more to grab your dream job as a Business Analyst, upskill with Great Learning’s PG program in Business Analytics and Business Intelligence, and learn all about Business Analytics along with great career support.

Is Design Thinking PepsiCo’s Secret to Market Dominance?

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Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi took up the reins of the company when it was facing considerable drop in sales. As a way to address this, she revised her business strategy to make it more inclusive for consumers. She famously went after Mauro Porcini and sought his expert advice to redesign PepsiCo’s user experience. Eventually, her team resolved the problems by relying on an iterative process of understanding users and providing instinctive solutions.

Under the leadership of Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo prioritised user-specific solutions, designed products that were more human-centric and earned the company record-breaking revenues apart from accolades. User experience was not a part of PepsiCo’s business strategy until the early 2010s. Whether it was their product packaging, form or function, that human element was missing in the design. Once they focused on customer experience and made design a priority, customers responded by engaging with the brand more. From designing touch-screen fountain machines (Pepsi Spire) to launching a special line of women’s snacks, PepsiCo reconditioned the way consumers interact with products. Mauro Porcini successfully introduced a more consumer-centric PepsiCo to the world with design thinking being the key driver behind all these changes.

The company leveraged design to drive innovation and create relevant brand experience for their customers. Design thinking helped them change their brand’s visual identity and improve the product itself. Following an iterative prototyping process, Pepsico was able to align the company goals around the product, helping transform obscure ideas and overcome plausible blockers in production process.

What really helped PepsiCo’s journey towards success was a deep understanding of consumer needs – the idea that the product had to communicate with the consumer in a way in which was unheard of before. Getting a perception of what consumers wanted from each of the products- vending machines, fountains or consumables and crafting the experience accordingly helped the company reclaim the market. 

The Pepsi spire (a series of fountains and vending machines) is the most loved and the first in the design enhanced line of products. Pepsi Spire allows customers to customize their drinks by communicating with a highly responsive touch-screen fountain. Now, if you are wondering if design thinking is just about enhancing product packaging, it’s not quite so. Pepsi Spire is a classic example of how design thinking can impact all phases of product-customer experience. The spire is basically a futuristic machine that speaks to customers and invites them to interact with it. Its intelligent interface reminds customers of the order history and suggests new options based on the customer profile. They can also experience the infusion digitally by watching the whole process of adding their favourite elements in the drink on the screen in real time- right when they select it. This approach extends the enhanced customer experience to the post-product phase and makes it holistic. Pepsi Spire has now become iconic and inspired a series of intelligent vending machines. 

Other Companies taking Cue from PepsiCo

Using design thinking to drive business means designing solutions with customers in mind – not only will that lead to more customer satisfaction but also establish businesses as distinguishable brands. What company wouldn’t want that? Global leaders are already using design thinking to align their customer’s goals and step into the future. Let’s take a look at the top companies who have already benefited from this model. 

Apple:  Apple is undeniably a classic example of how reconstructing user experience through innovation can lead to revolutionary success. At its core, Apple remains a company that has always championed innovation and delivered unique customer-driven experiences – all thanks to design thinking. Apple products ranging from iPhone, MacBook to ios not just bring you exquisite usability but also optimised functionality. From providing a holistic user experience to predicting customer needs, Apple has successfully shown the rest of the world how it’s done.

Nike: Nike has been a pioneer in merging sports with fashion. A brand which primarily targeted athletes and helped them enhance performance has now become quite a fashion trailblazer. “Move forward” (their pet phrase) not only dictates their designs but also aptly captures their user imagination. All along, design thinking has been instrumental in shaping their advanced products and services.

Google: Needless to say, Google has been acing the game and how! Whether it is Google map or Google Pixel’s image software, Google products are glaring examples of enhanced designs. Google teams are constantly thinking ahead of time and designing products and services that answer futuristic customer needs. Google’s constant endeavour to design products with a focus on user experience has established the brand as a world leader in design thinking.

Design Thinking has been around for longer than we think and its focus towards building enhanced user experiences has made it a much coveted strategy for brand building today. To put it in Porcini’s own words,

“People don’t buy, actually, products anymore, they buy experiences that are meaningful to them, they buy solutions that are realistic, that transcend the product, that go beyond the product, and mostly they buy stories that need to be authentic.”

PepsiCo’s success has since then inspired many other companies to rethink their business strategy and hire design thinking experts. If you are an enthusiast, learn more about it here.

What is Upskilling and why you need to pay more attention to it than ever?

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As per the latest NASSCOM report, up to 40 percent of the estimated 4 million workforce in India would undergo re-skilling over the next 5 years. 

You must have come across articles blaring data points like the one above in the past few months and would’ve brushed them aside conveniently, but if you are planning to make 2018 a milestone year in terms of Career Growth it’s time you took the latest corporate buzzword seriously. ‘Upskilling’ has arrived and it is here to stay.

In light of the layoffs witnessed by the IT industry last year Reskilling/Upskilling has become the new mantra to success, and for the all the right reasons. But before we get into why it is super important to upskill yourself more than ever now let’s understand what upskilling really entails.

What is Upskilling?

Upskilling refers to improving the skillset of professionals, usually through training to enable them to perform better in their jobs and help them progress through the company into various job roles and opportunities. Upskilling opportunities can be provided using a number of formats, ranging from short courses to getting higher qualifications or gaining certifications through part-time or full-time programs.

Here are the top reasons Why Upskilling is important for you now more than ever:

  1. It helps you keep up with latest Industry Demand & trends– Learning new skills or improving existing skillsets ensures that you are up to pace with the shift in trends your domain is witnessing. As an example take The Union Budget 2018 and its clear focus on AI, Big Data and Robotics and their application in the Digital Economy. We can clearly see career opportunities are set to rise exponentially in these domains within the next 2-3 years. So if you were to acquire a new skill or develop expertise in a new domain, Analytics, Big Data, AI or IOT could be a great option.
  2. You can increase your pay-check in no-time- According to a staffing solutions company, TeamLease Services, India will face a demand-supply gap of 2 lakh data analytics professionals by 2020. This lag between demand and supply exists not only in India but is a global phenomenon. As per the estimates of McKinsey, the gap between supply and requisite demand for analytics skills in the US will reach 50-60% by 2018. With the industry all set to witness such a huge demand gap you can utilize the opportunity to get a lucrative pay package in the respective domain. A sure shot way to develop a new competency in it would be to take up an industry-oriented program focusing on a new-age skill. You might have to invest a year or 6 months with such a course but the gains in terms of better employment opportunities and rise in pay scale will all be worth it.
  3. You can future-proof your career– More technological advancements sometimes translate to more and more people being replaced at their jobs. A recent threat to millions of jobs is posed by Automation and Artifical Intelligence, although the number of jobs that will be automated due to AI is debatable it is always better to future-proof your career by developing new competencies. It is hence beneficial to become an irreplaceable asset to your organization by constantly proving that you have the grit and enthusiasm to learn new things and stay updated.
  4. Enable a successful career transition– In case you are planning to transition into a new role or enter a new domain altogether, Upskilling will help you facilitate the shift with much more ease. A program or course that enables you to build a body of work through industry-based projects will surely be helpful in tackling interviews with prospective employers with confidence and will display domain knowledge. Look for a program which has a good mix of industry participation which will allow you to network with industry experts and thought leaders and give you opportunities for referrals and endorsements.

The bottom line

With newer employment avenues opening up in the IT industry, the emphasis is slowly shifting from Scale to Skill. Technical competencies aligned with the Digital Economy are therefore in high demand. The time to explore new waters and ride the new wave is now. Re-skill or perish is the only way forward.

The only resolution you should be making in 2017

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Every New Year brings with it the hope of a new beginning in our lives and along with it, come the myriad of resolutions we make to ourselves. Research indicates that most of the resolutions made by people are towards fitness and weight loss. As a result, January becomes a windfall month for most gymnasiums and fitness studios while most of us don’t become any leaner or fitter with passing years the one thing that we can definitely achieve is being a better version of ourselves. To achieve that you don’t have to make tall promises to yourself just Make Learning a Habit.

Learning new things is simple, achievable and one of the most profitable investments you can make each year.

 

1. Learning is like weight-loss

train

Let me make an uncanny analogy here: Aspiring to becoming leaner is very similar to wanting to learn something new. Ultimately, you have to change something that’s core in your behaviour to have the desired results. Both these goals need focus, determination and lots of discipline. And lastly, just as in weight loss as in education, there are no low-hanging fruits or express results. Both take time to fructify, but once you go the distance, there is no looking back.

 

2. Why ‘Learning’ in 2017?

Why we need to learn in 2017

The right question here should be ‘Why Not’. There has never been a better time to learn and frankly speaking, with the changing dynamics of businesses and technology disruption impacting us, if we don’t make learning a habit in 2017 and onwards, our professional credentials would be questionable at best and irrelevant at worst. Learning new skills and upgrading one’s professional capabilities is no longer a matter of choice but a necessity to have a fruitful career. In today’s time and age, the half-life of knowledgehalf-life of knowledge is forever decreasing which means that one needs to keep learning always to stay professionally relevant. The new reality is that what you learn at 25, will not take you till 35.

 

3. What should I learn?

What should you learn

This is like standing by an ocean and trying to find the perfect starting point for your swim. What you can learn is limited only by your intellectual bandwidth and interest. For the sake of brevity, let us focus on what the professional in you needs to learn. Depending upon the industry you are in or aspire to be in, you need to understand the trends that are driving growth. If you are unclear about it, you should talk to your seniors from the industry and pick their brains. Pick an area that is affecting most companies in your space and eventually will impact everyone and build your skill sets in that. Professional competencies such as analytics, big data engineering, product management, information security, intellectual property, digital marketing etc. are high growth areas where most companies are struggling for ‘good’ talent. Finding a sweet spot like this and making yourself competent in it will ensure your career benefits from this talent shortage.

 

4. Where should I learn?

e-learning

Learning in 2017 will be easier than ever before. From blogs to YouTube or TED, from companies offering online learning to mobile apps, ‘lack of access’ cannot be your excuse to not learning. But having said that, having a plethora of options makes it overwhelming and confusing.

I come across some candidates who know what the skills they need to acquire but are not sure if they will be able to learn. I usually advise them to first test the waters by accessing some free content online. YouTube is usually a good source for this. See if you like what you are learning and are able to grasp it.

 

5. Why do we fail to learn online?

why we fail to learn

If you are the kind that does not suffer from such starting troubles, you will usually find your learning options to be either completely online courses or blended courses (online + occasional weekend classroom sessions). Given this spread, how do you decide which format to go for?

Completely online courses provide convenience since you don’t need to attend any classroom sessions. But, online learning has been plagued by abysmally low rates of completion. The main reason for this is that for most of us, we learn better when we learn in a classroom setting with peers and faculty, who we can talk to in person.

The flexibility of attending class room sessions over few weekends in a month gives you the advantage of mixing the best of two worlds – the flexibility of online learning and the learning effectiveness of classroom learning. In our blended analytics program, we have seen hundreds of candidates do our program after having done one or multiple online courses. When asked, the most common response we get is because they feel that their learning in the online programs was incomplete. Also, when it comes to acquiring hard skills such as analytics, big data or machine learning, it is important to focus on programs that are more exhaustive and immersive and don’t take a superficial approach by promising to teach something in a matter of some hours.

 

6. What will it take?

learning in 2017

Learning is for everyone. Amongst the thousands of candidates who take our programs every year, we see about 30% of them to be with in the 15-30 year experience bracket. While there is no age to imbibe the habit of learning, just like with all good habits, the sooner you do it, the better you are. Having said that, learning is hard work. Depending upon when was the last time you were in a class, you would need discipline, focus and perseverance to go the whole distance. Usually, we have seen that the first two months are the hardest but once you settle into a routine within the first sixty days, you will go one to achieve the results you desire. The advice that we give to all our learners is to start small. Begin by dedicating an hour every day for the first 2 weeks, then about 8-10 hours a week for the next thirty days. Small changes in your habit will ultimately lead to big gains in your learning and professional success.

On that note, in 2017, make a promise to yourself. To learn something new and to challenge your professional status quo. Make Learning a habit and build the career you’ve always wanted. Oh and as for fitness, try playing a sport – 5 days a week. It is fun and just as effective (or ineffective) 🙂

Big Data and Workforce Analytics: Powerful and Underutilised

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Workforce data analytics can drive performance and help businesses stay ahead of the competition, according to WFS Australia, the Workforcea Software Company.

WFS says businesses that implement automated workforce management systems have access to large amounts of data on employees and business processes. These sets of big data can then be combined and analysed to deliver ongoing improvements to business performance, the company says.

Leslie Tarnacki, WFS VP of human resources and GM ANZ, says, “Businesses must move away from relying on simple metrics and anecdotal evidence, and become more data-driven.

“Automated workforce management systems with integrated deep analytics tools give organisations insight into where business processes can be improved to drive bottom line results, and stay ahead of the competition.”

WFS Australia has identified four key ways workforce management data capture and analysis can improve business performance:

1. Fill knowledge gaps

Data analytics can help businesses make better informed decisions, WFS Australia says. Data offers unbiased insights and reduces the influence of human emotion in workforce management. The depth of insights delivered by analytics tools grows as data is continuously captured by automated systems. Businesses should start to implement workforce management analytics as soon as possible to achieve a competitive advantage, according to the company.

pgp business analytics (pgp-babi) great learning

2. Identify patterns and best practices

Automated systems can capture, combine and analyse data on workforce scheduling and labour activities, and other enterprise systems, such as financial applications. This deep analysis can provide detailed snapshots of business processes and help identify best practices.

Tarnacki says, “Visual reports make it easy for businesses to identify patterns in organisational processes and outputs, and put them into action. This lets companies better assess how current practices need to change to meet business goals.”

3. Drive value from employees

Analysing big data from workforce management systems can provide a wealth of information to improve employee productivity and reduce staff absenteeism.

Tarnacki says, “Understanding employee preferences and customer demand patterns can help the business improve scheduling. Balancing the demands of customers and employees improves satisfaction, which is linked to the bottom line.”

4. Visibility into skills shortages

Workforce management systems that are integrated and cloud-based help businesses gain visibility into where skills gaps exist in an organisation. Analysing the big data generated within workforce management systems helps to identify and develop appropriately targeted employee management programmes and improve the business value of human capital, WFS Australia says.

 

 

People Analytics for Employee Engagement

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The last few years have seen the emergence of analytics as a potential force for driving data-based decision making in HR. Traditionally, Human Resource Management forms the policies and practices that define the workplace culture of the company. It deals with identifying, hiring, training, motivating, and retrenchment of workforce. Human Capital Management, on the other hand, is the strategic issue that systematically seeks to analyze, measure and evaluate how these policies and practices create value. HR Analytics is one such practice under HCM. It is a combination of software and methodology that applies statistical models to worker-related data, allowing enterprise leaders to optimize human resource management. Genpact has been using people analytics successfully to drive employee engagement over the last 2 years.

Gallup, a research-based global performance management consulting company, in their recent survey, found that concentrating on employee engagement can help companies withstand, and possibly even thrive, in tough economic times. It advocates that companies with high engagement have a 20% boost in productivity and profitability. They also said that globally, only 13% workers were engaged.

pgp business analytics (pgp-babi) great learning

Engagement reflects upon organization’s operational capabilities from the viewpoint of its employees such as Leadership, Change Advocacy, Work Culture and other important competencies. It can help highlight issues like reasons for attrition and incompetent leadership. It can also predict well in advance the dissatisfied or unhappy employees who might either eventually attrite or their performance suffers due to lack of focus which finally leads to firing. In both the cases, the company ends up exhausting its vital resources like money and workforce in filling up those places again. It is a fact that retention is always cheaper than recruiting. Therefore, if unhappy/dissatisfied/disengagement employees could be predicted it, will help in forming an effective retention policy specific to individual problems or at least help in understanding the problem itself if not able to retain. With HR more and more becoming a strategic partner in helping a company achieve its goals, organizations today are looking at employee engagement to be a driver of business outcomes.

With tools to manage onboarding, performance management, succession planning, workforce analytics and HR Management, Howden, an engineering firm has increased HR process efficiencies and retention of its top talent, while decreasing time-to-productivity for new employees and costs associated with employee turnover.

Genpact has worked extensively in the area of attrition. The basic premise they work on is that dissatisfaction leads to unhappiness at work which causes disengagement and ultimately attrition.

The analysis at Genpact begins with a complete database of employees containing details since the time of their joining. Along with various attributes like age, gender, date of joining, date of birth, date of leaving, days in band etc., they also collect a first line manager survey (FLM Survey), which is designed to get ratings of managers from subordinates based on Six leadership competencies namely: Business Acumen, Change Advocacy, People Leadership, Execution, Effective Communication, Customer Centricity.

pgp business analytics (pgp-babi) great learning

Apart from this, they also have performance ratings of the employees which categorizes them according to their potential. They also undertake a lot of engagement initiatives and keep records of the employees who participate. Training data is also available of the employees who have undertaken trainings and their performance on those as well as their other achievement.

Genpact has found a positive relationship between the performance ratings and their FLM surveys. Using this data, they were able to identify factors which are important for employee retention and which enhance an employees’ sense of engagement. Once this is done, they can better engage the employees by using the analytics data in the following ways:

They are able to prioritize the initiatives out of the basket of engagement activities, which have the maximum impact and are able to redirect investments to the more beneficial ones.

Using analytics they can predict employees who are at the highest risk of leaving the organisation within the next 6 months and can design interventions to rehire them or re-engage them to minimise the risk of attrition.

This becomes very important for them as they invest a lot of resources in training and developing their employees. Therefore, every employee who leaves is a drain on the resources.