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Article : High Value Talent Analytics Projects: Are you “Going Fishing” or Solving Business Problems?

Over the years, our firm has had many discussions with employers on the eve of a new talent analytics project. Often, it is the firm’s first deep-dive look at employee data. Sometimes we act as a strategic sounding board, and sometimes we can help them move directly forward into predictive analytics. It is always interesting.

This article will discuss two analytics approaches that we have seen. We will describe the value of each approach, and why you might want to begin with one over another. Though we are speaking about employee analytics, the same logic applies to any kind of business analytics.

1) The Fishing Expedition - Let’s Analyze Human Resources Data

Basic business awareness leads most firms to the conclusion that (a) employees are their largest expense, and (b) employee behavior is a significant driver of corporate success or failure. Other human behavior domains (customer analytics, patient analytics, voter analytics) continue to demonstrate clear ROI from using predictive analytics, and it is natural for employers to ask how the practice can be applied to employees and job candidates for similar ROI.

This potential often results in a decree to "look for something interesting in the HR data." We often speak with the professionals who have been given this vague task: to explore HR’s system of record: hires, terminations, payroll, home information, demographics, performance reviews. Sometimes, the agenda can also include unstructured data, such as internal email, chats, and social media in or outside of the company.

Often the effort is scoped to include a wide swath of employees in diverse roles: all managers, all professional roles, high and low potentials. The objective is almost always a vague "something interesting" rather than any specific objective or business outcome.

Inevitably, with enough data, enough time, and an expensive visualization package, something will be found. Let it be noted that you can almost always find something of interest in any dataset. Whether it is actionable or not is another story. For example, analysis of HR data may find that:

  • Employees from certain schools sell more
  • Employees with short commutes get higher raises, or
  • Employees from expensive zip codes have higher influence scores, or
  • Different office locations work longer hours, or
  • Younger users use corporate chat more, or
  • Longer-tenured male workers shop online from work.

The problem is, of course, that these types of projects are fishing in a vast sea of input variables, with no known business outcomes. The problem is that the HR data is essentially meta-data of the employee’s life at a company, absent the results of their work.

The interesting, high value data – the work, the performance – is generated on the job, in their department after they’ve been hired and on-boarded. HR doesn’t typically track this data it is tracked by the Line of Business.

The real business outcomes, the KPIs, the reasons the business hired the employee, are lived out and documented at each line-of-business for each role: in the sales department, or in the call center, or in the bank branches, or in software development.

The problem with the "fishing expedition" type of analytics effort is that it wasn’t framed correctly to begin with. An effective talent analytics effort simply cannot span all lines of business, across every single job description. It needs to be focused and framed.

Without measurement of actual business performance from the line-of-business itself, the analysis is fated to discover trivial relationships between input variables. Even with performance data, such an effort can’t hope to understand and normalize the subtleties of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in each role, line-of-business and location.

Our experience with these fishing expeditions is that the results are unlikely to yield patterns that are actionable – if you want greater sales, do you limit hiring to a small number of schools? No – this limits your sourcing options. If you want higher influence scores, do you simply start hiring from more expensive zip codes? No. And is there any proof yet that influence is tied to any kind of performance, in this role, in this company? No.

The result of a fishing expedition is descriptive analytics – glorified reporting – not predictive analytics. The only thing that is predicable is that employees may be less than comfortable finding that their employer has been reading their email and social media profiles. It seems obvious, but only by considering outcomes in the analysis… can one predict outcomes.

However beautiful interactive dashboards and visualizations of these patterns may be, fishing expedition projects are unlikely to receive follow-up executive sponsorship. And sadly, the reputation of talent analytics projects at the firm becomes trivialized or suspect.

2) The Targeted Win – Let’s Find Business Pain and Solve It

A more narrowly focused "business win" that can be implemented to save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year will win over a vague, ambitious effort just about every time. These more focused wins are indicative of millions that can be saved when implemented at full scale.

Targeted wins can be led by either HR or line-of-business management (or together). They identify a business "pain" in a particular role, such as:

  • Sales reps that aren’t making their quota, or
  • Insurance claims adjusters who make too many errors, or
  • Bank tellers who quit in less than six months, or
  • Call center agents who can’t pass training.

The successful talent analyst goes beyond HR’s carefully manicured "system of record" and merges actual performance data from the line-of-business. Business relevance is here. Actual outcomes are being tracked in the sales office, where the sales are being made.

The data are often quite structured. Even so, performance and KPIs can be confusing and contradictory. It can take effort to untangle signals to devise simple data experiments that deliver results, measured in line-of-business terms (not HR terms). It takes a data scientist with keen control over the data to tease patterns apart to find the truth and present it in a way that can be understood by the business.

As in all analytics efforts, a targeted effort with a targeted group is needed for the effort to yield strategic results – not just interesting results.

Costs Measurements are Essential

In marketing analytics, the costs of acquiring and maintaining customers are a vital component of a predictive decision. Likewise for employees, the costs of acquiring, on-boarding, and maintaining staff in a role matter.

We don’t understand why every line of business or HR department doesn’t already know and publish these cost curves, at least for high-volume roles. Most managers know that attrition is expensive, but still only count employee costs in terms of compensation and perhaps the cost of the job advertisement.

To understand attrition cost, one must factor in training, productivity, and break-even as outlined in the CFO's Guide to Employee Attrition. The cost information provides a vital link to place a value on employee turnover, prioritize efforts, streamline improvement, and to tune predictive models. Managers who care about performance or attrition need this information.

This cost model is an excellent high-value deliverable that lays the ground for smarter operational decisions as well as bigger savings from predictive modeling.

Key Take-Aways

  • HR data alone is rarely sufficient for strategic, actionable insight.
  • Line-of-business leaders hold critical performance data in their systems.
  • Analyses that tie to actual business problems lead to sponsorship, funding of more analytics projects and strategic business success.
  • Purely descriptive analytics of secondary issues can’t provide actionable insights, even with pretty dashboards and visualizations.
  • Cost analysis should be fundamental to any analytics effort (and in fact every business effort).

Analysts, HR and line-of-business executives need to obsess over finding incremental fact based solutions to business problems, rather than grandiose patterns seen on a dashboard. HR and analytics teams need to earn their way into bigger budgets and bigger toys.

Employee analytics projects should focus on a targeted win. Cost modeling is an example of a targeted win and is the ideal way to get started.

About Pasha Roberts:
Pasha Roberts is chief scientist at Talent Analytics Corp., a company that uses data science to model and optimize employee performance in areas such as call center staff, sales reps and other high volume roles. He regularly writes on predictive workforce topics and speaks at major predictive analytics events like Predictive Analytics World for Workforce, INFORMS and many others. Follow Pasha on twitter @pasharoberts.

Today's Tip of the Day - Ask For Ideas

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Published: Monday, February 1, 2016

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2021 Buyers Guide Dialer Solutions

Acqueon Technologies Inc.

Acqueon's AI-driven conversational engagement software enables sales, marketing and service organizations to engage in emotionally connected dialogs with customers via their channel of choice for significantly improved results. The Acqueon suite adds multichannel campaign management, contact center analytics, desktop, and CRM connectors for your contact center software of choice, including Amazon Connect, Cisco, Nice inContact, and Twilio. Acqueon conversational engagement software leverages the Acqueon IQ platform to aggregate data from the various applications, assemble rich customer contexts, and drive next-best-action using powerful statistical and predictive models.

Avyukta Intellicall Consulting Pvt. Ltd.

Dialer CRM VoIP CTI Cloud Solutions
We are a single roofed solution for Dialer / Hosted Dialer / VoIP / CRM and CTI Solutions . With 300+ call center clients in above 9 countries and recent features such as :

Dynamic custom agent crm popup

avatar module

10+ Custom Reports

Cloud Telephony with/out "Host your Trunks" option

and End to End CRM on the cards we are supposed to grow exponentially within the next 6 Months

Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.

Cloud IT Services GmbH

Dialfire offers you a complete call center solution that is simple and intuitive to use and adapts to your needs. It's completely cloud-based, saving you the hassle of setting up a phone system and installing software. In addition to predictive dialing and call blending of inbound calls, you can create personalized campaigns through an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Features include automated workflows and full control over the agent screen.

You can see the full list of features here:

ComSys S.A.

CList for Outbound Campaigns Management
CList by Comsys is an application that helps contact centers enhance the performance of their outbound campaigns. It accomplishes that by enabling the planning and execution of sophisticated communication strategies. Additionally, the AI-powered module of CList extends the possibilities of outbound campaigns delivering unprecedented results.
Comsys is a provider of οmnichannel customer engagement solutions that assist companies around the world in delivering unique customer experiences. For the last 15 years, Comsys designs and implements complex projects for clients from the outsourcing, financial services, telecommunications, and retail sectors. Comsys enjoys strategic partnerships with t...
(read more)

Consilium Software

Consilium UniCampaign™
Reaching the right person with the right information on the right channel at the right time is a tall order. That’s the power the new Consilium UniCampaign™ has been adding to Cisco outbound contact centers, easily tripling or quadrupling results, from improving digital customer acquisition to managing post-sale customer relationship. Delivering proactive outbound engagement in a game-changer product, Consilium UniCampaign™ is an omnichannel List and Campaign Management (LCM) solution which complements the strength and robustness of Cisco's Outbound Dialer with the implementation of multichannel (voice, email, and SMS) outbound contact strategies. The new 7th release of UniCampaign™ is des...
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Dialer software that makes customer contact pain free, so your team aren’t worried about complex technology and can focus on what they do best. Dramatically increase agent productivity using a variety of dialers, combined with AI, leveraging data-driven contact strategies to ensure the right agent is contacting your customers at the right time.

Take control, and ensure your team are on-message by designing the perfect agent interface with a drag-n-drop visual WYSWYG editor.

Rotate CLIDs, and auto-wrap certain calls to ensure maximum agent productivity and performance.


Genesys PureConnect
Genesys PureEngage

Cloud IT Services GmbH

Companies of all sizes rely on the cloud-based call center platform Dialfire and its powerful predictive dialer. Dialfire is ready to use within minutes and easily personalizable. From small ad-hoc to large multi-step campaigns, Dialfire offers high scalability. Adapt customer masks and automate workflows per mouse click. Integrated scripting and APIs ensure a smooth connection with external systems.


With Megadialer you will get a customized call center software. With the creation of personalized questions, surveys and sales script you will have the information you need from your customers quickly and efficiently. Improve the performance of your agents with a 100% online contact center, real-time analytics and predictive dialer to optimize the time between one call and another.

All rates include:
Instant Call Reports
On-Demand Recording
Call Supervisor
Call Layout after Completion
Your Own Caller ID
Call Monitor
Automatic Re-Calls
Automatic sending of Mails
Incoming Call Management
Real-time Activity Panels
Call Lists for Agents
Different Levels of Administration


Advanced outbound solution including predictive dialing, featuring patented technologies such as Live Person Detection (LPD™) and SNoDrop™ using Artificial Intelligence to deliver compliant & effective predictive dialing with 0% abandoned call rates. The solution includes its own CRM system as well as visual campaign creation and management as well as automated data import and export capabilities. The package comes with highly visual and open call scripting technology and an SDK (Software Development Kit) is also available for embedding the dialer into your own user front end.

Nuxiba Technologies

Discover Nuxiba's all-in-one dialer solutions. Either predictive or automatic, our software adapts to your business needs with a powerful and easy-to-use system. We offer TCPA compliance options, so you never have to worry about issues with the law and PCI Data Security so you can protect your cardholder's data information during every call.

Stop worrying about technicalities and focus on the most valuable aspect: giving the best service and customer experience with our intuitive features. All of our features and modules are fully adaptable to any business needs.

Obtain the benefits of using software fully tailored to your business, start saving money, and boosting your productivity.


Reach more contacts, in less time with PhoneBurner. Powering thousands of client and millions of calls, our cloud-based software eliminate repetitive tasks so agents have up to 4x more live conversations. Unlike other dialers, PhoneBurner delivers 100% delay-free connections with no awkward pause. Conversations start off with promise, not hangups.

- Call 60-80 contacts per hour, per agent
- Instantly leave voicemails
- Send 1-touch emails
- Automate workflows and call logging
- Record and transfer calls
- Access reporting and analytics
- Intelligently distribute leads
- Dial from local Caller IDs
- Get free white-glove onboarding

Scales to any size team with no contracts, no setup fees, and no per minute charges. Start a free trial without a credit card.


Predictive Dialler
A predictive dialler is an outbound call system that automatically dials from a list of telephone numbers. Also known as Power or Auto dialers it will automatically help agents make more calls, generate higher rates of connections, increase conversions, manage voicemail, no-answers and disconnected numbers.

We’ve made it easy to get started, we offer packages to best suit your needs and don't tie you into long term contracts. Don't take our word for it take out a no-commitment free trial!

Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
The InterDialog Dialer is an independent & intelligent auto dialer software that controls the outbound calls using various algorithms. This call center dialer works as Predictive Dialer Software, Progressive Dialer Software, Preview Dialer Software or Power Dialer Software based on the requirement of the process. It allows the system to create groups/caller lists and then dials out to multiple calling groups/lists at the same time, thus helping target a wider market segment in a shorter period of time.

The predictive dialer software and automatic dialer algorithms used by the InterDialog Dialer are designed to improve efficiency by lowering the wait time, the number of dropped calls and t...
(read more)

Tru29 Outsource Solutions Inc.

Custom Outsourced Solutions
Tru29 Solutions tailor fits a dialer solution that will truly suit your needs.


Voiptime Contact Center
Our contact center solution allows processing the high volume of client requests from different channels (voice, webchat, email, web callbacks), running massive outbound dialing campaigns, and makes all call center operations visible for management. Voiptime Cloud Contact Center is a professional calling solution for outbound and inbound calls. It’s a plug-and-play software that immediately increases the productivity of your call center department. With the help of our solution you are able to:
- Automate lead prospecting and have 4x more live conversations daily;
- Increase the agent occupancy up to 80-90% with the help of the fastest Predictive dialer;
- Smooth out the peaks of calls by...
(read more)

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