Why Every Employee Needs Access to Behavioral Analytics
Why Every Employee Needs Access to Behavioral Analytics
People make data-informed decisions in their everyday lives — mostly. The only place your employees are not making data-informed decisions on a daily basis is at work.
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Every employee in your organization already knows how to make smart decisions based on behavioral analytics. They choose their Netflix movies using a sophisticated algorithm, they connect with new Facebook friends based on a cohort analysis, and they make Amazon purchases by leveraging a recommendation engine.
The only place your employees are not making data-informed decisions on a daily basis is at work.
That was one of the most surprising takeaways from our recent State of Insights Survey. According to our data, only 25% of employees understand the importance of data and are equipped with the right tools to make data-informed decisions.
While your marketing, sales, and product people might be immersed in behavioral data, you are missing out on a huge opportunity by keeping this data away from the rest of your organization. In fact, companies that base the majority of their business decisions on data insights consistently outperform companies that still rely on intuition or experience.
Business analytics tools have evolved. They are easy to use and designed to answer everyday business questions. You don't need to be a data scientist or analyst who knows how to write queries to find relevant information.
In the same way, people now make data-informed decisions in their everyday lives, you can empower your employees to leverage data to work smarter.
The Power of Behavioral Analytics
Behavioral analytics track and examine how people and things interact with your internet-connected assets like applications, products, and technologies.
By understanding how your customers, employees, and products interact with each other, you can start to predict how they are likely to behave in the future and make necessary improvements. This type of analysis goes beyond performance metrics and statistics, to help answer the "why" questions that lead to better decision-making.
For example, in marketing, metrics will tell you which offers work and which don't, but without knowing why, you can only make incremental improvements. With behavioral data, marketers are able to track which customers react to which offers at which times. This deeper level of insight enables the marketer to deliver the right offers to the right customers.
Behavioral analytics goes beyond people and can also examine how products and machines work, giving companies the insights they need to make operational changes. For instance, Southwest Airlines tracks the behaviors of their planes to understand how much fuel they needed based on routes and weather conditions. The insights save them millions in fuel costs per year.
Every department in your organization can benefit from these types of behavioral insights. The challenge is to find the right tools to help you collect, distribute, and analyze behavioral data across the entire company.
How Every Employee Can Gain Access
There are not many companies that purposefully deny their employees the data insights they need to work smarter. The real problem is that most companies are currently unable to get the right insights to the right people fast enough to take action.
Based on our State of Data Insights report, the majority of companies surveyed shared that it takes several days to weeks to gain access to the data they need.
Your data can only make a real impact if it can help employees make decisions on a daily basis. The traditional method of making a data request and waiting three to five days to receive an analysis that often poses more questions than it answers will no longer cut it.
The most common barrier to giving every employee access is data silos. Different functions use tools that collect data, but the tools don't connect within the organization. Even if your company can integrate all of its data, it usually goes to a relational database solution that is not designed to manage the volume, variety, and velocity of behavioral data.
Leveraging behavioral analytics requires a completely different technology approach that is designed to handle the volumes of raw data generated by tracking behavioral events while making it easy for employees to get answers.
In McKinsey's The Keys to Building a Data-Driven Strategy, they point out that in order for an organization to become data-centric in their decision-making, they need to provide simple analytical tools to the frontline employees that will quickly improve their choices.
At Interana, we built our solution specifically to handle event data at scale. With a full stack configuration, Interana can analyze trillions of events in seconds. This allows any employee to enter a question and take advantage of all the company's data to find the best answer.
Netflix makes it easy to decide on a movie. Amazon makes it easy to find items to purchase. In the same way, Interana makes it easy to get answers from your behavioral data by simply asking questions.
When Everyone Has Access to Behavioral Analytics
When marketing uses behavioral analytics, they can track their customers across digital channels and improve the relationship with personalized messaging that leads to improved ROI.
When product managers leverage behavioral analytics, they can see every click and movement throughout their application to better understand how users navigate their product, which gives them the insight to remove any barriers that keep users from getting the most value.
These benefits of behavioral analytics for marketing and product have been well established, and the time has come to share the wealth with everyone else in the organization.
How can other departments take advantage of behavioral data?
Data-Informed Decisions in Financial Operations
When finance can connect the dots between customer behavior, KPIs, and financial performance, they can develop a business strategy that goes deeper than revenue to predict risk and more accurately forecast future performance.
Basing profitability on actual behaviors as opposed to managing using statistics enables finance to identify and prioritize activities that will have the greatest impact on profitability. They will see trends and plan accordingly as opposed to relying only on historical data models.
Data-Informed Decisions in Human Resources
When human resources have access to behavioral data, they can track employee performance starting from the hiring process. Employee turnover and productivity are two areas that can cost a company dearly. By understanding how the hiring criteria connect to the employee's performance, HR can tweak how they hire to identify stronger performers.
For example, if the data from your talent acquisition tool shows front-end developers with over five years experience who are proficient in HTML6 perform much better than candidates with only two years of experience and no knowledge of HTML6, you can revise your hiring specs to find stronger performers for that particular role.
Data-Informed Decisions in Information Technology (IT)
When IT can see how employees are using myriad technology tools, they can figure out what tools are working and which to discontinue. But most importantly, behavioral tracking of employee users provides IT with an extra security layer.
Security measures, like anomaly detection, alert IT and your employees when there is any suspicious activity that is inconsistent with the employee's normal usage. When the behavior changes, your application will lock the user out until they are verified.
These are just three examples of how other departments can benefit from using behavioral analytics to inform their daily decision-making. At the end of the day, if any employee in any department has a question, they should have the ability to ask their data for an answer.
Smarter Decisions Lead to Positive Outcomes
Every decision you make from what you eat for breakfast to what movie you pick on Netflix is informed by some kind of data analysis. Technology has merely created a ton more data allowing you to make even better decisions in almost every aspect of your life - including work.
Employees are already experienced, data-informed decision makers in their personal lives. They are waiting for their company to catch up and give them the same types of tools at work that they use at home.
Instead of trying to retrofit older analytics tools to fit the modern world of on-demand behavioral insights, consider the new breed of behavioral analytics tools that are designed to capture and analyze massive amounts of data with an interface that allows users to simply ask questions.
Published at DZone with permission of Aditya Vempathy , DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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