Designing People Analytics Applications
PeopleAnalyst brings together capabilities from business strategy, human resource management, behavioral science, statistics, human resource information systems, product management, machine learning and software engineering to develop data analysis applications that help you see, understand and solve tenacious organization problems differently.
We provide specialized expertise necessary to identify the root of business problems and translate these into clear technical requirements and support you in implementing them. We design full stack people operations and people analytics work environments including integrated data collection, data management, data analysis, and data delivery system functions. We address the hard problems of data, including: unintegrated HR systems, non-existent or mis-aligned methods & definitions, data quality problems and complex security and privacy needs (including need for third party confidential survey data handling). We design and implement a technical architecture to systematically improve organization and process feedback in the following ways: 1) total range of organization related topics that can be analyzed by the organization, 2) speed of analysis, 3) certainty of analysis, 4) efficiency of analysis, and 5) uptake of analysis, designing client people analytics operating environment and support model to provide systematic, credible, timely, business-outcome-directed insights. More details on the how below:
We help you put in place high-powered systems that can continue to produce systematic dynamic insights over time without us, as opposed to spend off time to produce “one offs” and “just one more time” reports (but if you want us to, we can).
The design also considers the unique needs of people data in ways that traditional data environments designed for other purposes do not.
We use and we facilitate a modular design premise that provides a suite of interconnected analysis services on relatively inexpensive, nimble software as a service applications that can added to or changed over time. We are advocates of a new class of analytics products, which for lack of a widely recognized descriptor we call: problem specific analytic tooling or micro analytics or modular analytics - tools tightly embed with the places and times decisions are made. The connectivity of the environment increases the overall value of any single application, while at the same time reducing dependency on any single application. This is better for you. The elements we design anticipate new data and means to express that data in the future as we work to put each element in place.
In addition to helping organizations directly through consulting, PeopleAnalyst also works with entrepreneurs and software engineers to design, develop & communicate novel software applications for people analytics.
1 discovery meeting(s)
Everything has a beginning. PA's discovery process is designed to distill vague people analytics application ideas into developable and communicable designs.
In this phase PA will meet with stakeholders to develop a specific area of problem focus. For one to two days, the PA Discovery Team will meet with prototype customers to discuss and document perceived problems and solutions. We will develop a problem model, with testable theories around which to form an analysis with clear guidelines for success or failure. This phase will include discussion of problem focus, research objectives, data sources, data collection devices, and other topics that may be required to form a coherent design that can be packaged in a repeatable people analytics service or application.
Collaboratively, the team will complete following tasks:
Define and question the main problems, opportunities and objectives until they have settled.
Define measures - including related antecedents, behaviors & consequences - to establish a conceptual model for impact of change on the company and individuals.
Identify key feedback partners, audience and focus for the problem validation, solution validation and at scale solution proposal.
Establish a plan to evaluate the riskiest assumptions in the product or service solution theory. Establish a plan to obtain baselines, benchmarks, other supporting information and analysis to achieve clear insight, predictions and recommendations.
Establish a plan to implement and test ideas until they have debugged and de-risked for scale.
Establish a plan to identify people, process, and system requirements to apply a product or service solution continuously at scale.
Evaluate if the detailed proposal & plan will meet the stated objectives and have value commensurate with the cost of the project before proceeding.
2 discovery report
After conducting Discovery, PA will produce and deliver a proposal in the form of the Discovery Report (within two weeks).
Acting as a blueprint and technical guide, the Discovery Report will identify the prioritized objectives, objective measures, solution features, value, budget and timeline for the initial phase of the product or service solution development. The full list of information contained in the Discovery Report is as follows:
Problem (storyline and problem features)
Baseline measures & benchmarks (if applicable)
Estimate of probable value of change
Proposed solution (storyline and prioritized solution features)
Proposed development roadmap & timeline
Proposed system architecture
Proposed process and people supports
3 Kick off your project
Once the Discovery Report has been delivered, PA team is ready for you to kickoff your project or to handoff to yourself or other partners (at your direction).
In lieu of a traditional contract that may last through the entirety of the project, PA engages its partners based on Agile Project Management and the concept of Sprints.
A Sprint lasts 10 working days or 2 weeks. At the beginning of each Sprint, the tasks are identified between PA project lead and the client. After a Sprint, the completed work is presented and a new set of tasks is identified. The pricing for each Sprint can be customized by the required resources for the tasks. A successful agile project engagement is built on a spirit of collaboration, positive can do attitudes, absolute transparency and real partnership between PA and client to continually iterative the solution during the process of the engagement.
Under this method of working together, clients can quickly validate the value our inputs to the project so we can make critical adjustments as we go.
4 Perform alpha data management, data analysis & data delivery
PA will perform alpha people analytics analysis prior to building an at scale solution and report findings. PA will obtain all data that will be used including extracting data from systems, design and administration of surveys (if necessary) and augment with third party data (if necessary). PA will apply techniques to extract, transform, load data into our data management environment. We will then apply various techniques of scientific and statistical analysis combined with our understanding of psychology, sociology, labor economics and operations research to make final determinations about the feasibility of the product or service under study.
The lead PA product manager may, with your permission, consult with our PeopleAnalyst employees, partners or advisors in a given area of inquiry to understand or further examine the data and our preliminary findings. All partners, employees and advisors of PA are guided under terms of a confidentiality agreement.
PA will provide an informal presentation and seek input on our preliminary findings prior to providing a written report complete with appropriate descriptions of our process and findings.
If the recommendations of our study represent a non-trivial change to the people analytics product or service concept it is often necessary to develop consensus within a broader group of stakeholders and potential customers for the proposed change. This step can help with achieving buy in and can be a factor for ultimate project success.
Examples of ways we can support this include:
Support in stakeholder sessions to explain the results and implications of our work.
Assist in the rollout of findings to a broader audience .
Facilitate an anonymous stakeholder comment period before implementation of any proposed strategy, system, process or policy changes.
Speak at company events to share the steps, logic, reasoning and results of our engagement.
Assist in implementation of recommendations from analysis - particularly if those are technical changes to systems or processes.
5 design permanent data delivery systems
If the prototype proves to have long-term value to you PA can design a permanent data workflow and visual output, which colloquially are described as a “dashboard.”
Depending on your situation and needs the dashboard may be designed in any existing data environments you have, designed using open-source code libraries like D3, or designed a data workflow to move data into off the shelf data visualization software like Tableau, while maintaining security. The dashboard / data application can be hosted externally by PA or your company.
The exact circumstances of any additional fees will be discussed with you and fully described in statement of work prior to project start. Depending on your circumstance and needs additional fees may be necessary for:
License costs (if the project requires we use other applications somewhere in the data workflow)
ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) costs
Data cleanup costs
6 obtain feedback and capture collective learning
During the project PA will maintain an environment of open dialogue and candid feedback with the client, however at the end of the project we will make a deliberate effort to review the learning from the project - both good and bad .
What did we learn? Did we meet the projects definition of success? Should additional work be considered? How did the findings play out in expected or unexpected ways? What follow-up steps can be taken?
Examples of ways we can support you include:
Create a business case for change.
Measure if a change has its actual intended effect.
Search for any unintended consequences.
Perform random sample one-on-one interviews.
Peopleanalyst Design Principles
find a pure intent
Intent is the launchpad and important governing constraint for the imagination. We strip away fuss, frills and complexity until the idea is pure and magnetic. Then we build from there.
We believe you should always know why you do what you do.
root it in science
The creativity, invention and imagination of the decision-support tools we build are rooted in science, deep expertise and intellectual rigor and backed by data, anything less would just be smoke and mirrors.
We believe the origin of new learning and insight is science.
create new possibilities
We create tools that give organizations new ways of being in the world. We unlock potential in organizations by seeking out and building on unexplored intersections and connections.
We believe creativity, invention and imagination stem from unexplored intersections.
fill it with life
We want everything we create to express life and enhance the experiences of the living, from the broad brushstrokes to the smallest detail. Our work is inspired by the experience of life - in all their luster and imperfections.
We believe the product of our labor should have a heartbeat, be made with passion, and should engage emotion.
craft human interactions artfully
We aspire to help our partners create experiences that are seamless, beautiful, magical and delightful.
We believe everything we do - from a single human interaction, to an interactive tool for thousands of employees or for hundreds of thousands of candidates - should be crafted with pride and attention to detail.
change the game
We turn stuff upside down, ask the scary questions, and shift the lens through which we look, to find a glimpse of the future. Because it’s not about just making cools stuff… It’s about changing the world.
We dare to be revolutionary for the sake of creating great.
More details here: PeopleAnalyst IO Mission, Values, Principles
Let’s build something amazing together