5 Takeaways from PAFOW Philadelphia

We attended The People Analytics – Future of Work conference in Philadelphia last week and had a fantastic time connecting with some old friends as well as meeting a variety of new faces. As always, the speakers were fantastic and we found the various sessions incredibly insightful. In case you missed the event here are our top 5 takeaways.

1. People Data for Good. The event topic was People Data for Good and it was great to see how various companies are achieving this today. Several of the speakers shared great examples of how they are living up to this principle and ensuring that their people data is being used both responsibly and ethically. In parallel, there was much talk of the recurring need to build a robust and generally accepted code of conduct / ethics amongst vendors in the space. 

2. ONA is hotter than ever. There was more buzz than ever about network analytics and the variety of fascinating use-cases organizations and vendors are now working on. Brydie Lear from ING bank spoke on the importance of incorporating behavioral data in their employee listening strategy. It’s clear that the technology is maturing and a number of organizations are now regularly applying it to make better decisions and to take action.  

3. Efficient Collaboration. Rob Cross kicked off the second day of the event with a fantastic keynote detailing his research on network analysis. He emphasized the point that high performers are often not the most connected individuals in an organization but rather tend to be some of the most efficient collaborators. Pointing to the fact that too much collaboration can be harmful. He also emphasized the value of identifying individuals who are in “High Demand” by others as potentials for development. 

4. Same Same but Different. Stacia Garr presented an early version of RedThread Research’s fascinating survey of vendors in the people analytics space. According to their analysis, the space is growing tremendously and growth has accelerated rapidly in the past couple of years. Stacia also highlighted that the space is complicated and crowded and that there is a need for vendors to do more to differentiate themselves. Some ideas on this in the slide below.

5. Real World Use-Cases. There were more practitioners than ever presenting great examples of successful people analytics projects. WeWork’s Joseph Ifiegbu presented a fascinating case study on how they decided to locate their corporate office in Chelsea, NYC based on an in-depth analysis of commute distances and the relevant impact this had on employee satisfaction.

These cases are all great signs of how the people analytics space continues to evolve and mature. Many organizations are now making key decisions and seeing real results from their people analytics initiatives.

Congratulations and thanks again to David, Al, Lara, Lyndsey and the rest of the PAFOW team for putting together another awesome event. We can’t wait for PAFOW SF in January!

Ian O'Keefe on the People Analytics Stack
Rob Cross presented a overview of some exciting research in the ONA space
Joseph Ifiegbu gave a great talk on WeWorks fascinating people analytics journey. It also happened to be his birthday - Happy Birthday Joseph!
Our very own Erik Schultink on the importance of empowering managers to drive improvements to employee experience.
Brydie Lear on the importance of including behavioral data in analysis of Employee Experience

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