“Big data is still the wild, wild west.” – Phil Simon
Several years ago, the world started to amass data to a point where it no longer could just be called “data” it had to be called “BIG data”. Since then, we’ve heard stories like Moneyball - where Billy Beane turned the low payroll Oakland A’s into a winner by making statistical player decisions - which trigger any executive to say “Wait, low-cost with high productivity? How do we get that?!”
So companies started investing in analytics and big data. In the workforce management world, we have seen the major software companies invest big money into developing and selling their own workforce analytics solution.
These workforce analytics solutions can help give you better insights into key metrics. For example, for the time that you’re spending on labor, how does that compare to revenue? Is one shift more productive than another? If so, what are the differentiating factors from that shift that may be applied to others? This data can lead to insights that will help your workforce continually improve. Although we believe that the best is yet to come for a workforce analytics platform, we wanted to share with you the ways we have seen analytics help companies in the industries we work with become more productive.
Analytics are especially useful in retail, where the correct staffing mix is crucial. Not enough employees and you have long lines with low customer satisfaction. Too many employees and you’re cutting into your margins with high payroll. Analytics can help by revealing the correct staffing for the number of customers, items or tasks that need to be accomplished throughout the workday.
For manufacturing, analytics can help provide visibility into the cost of labor as a percentage of production. This helps managers gain better insights into their most controllable expense – labor – and can help them find unique ways to make the manufacturing process more efficient.
In healthcare, analytics will help you recognize staffing requirements based on historical trends. This will help your managers understand if you have the right talent in the right locations at the right times.
Every industry is different, but there are some common threads that workforce analytics can address. Identifying and validating patterns in your workforce can quickly help identify your organizations strengths and weaknesses. Once those patterns are identified and you know how your business operates, you can drive your business to new levels of success in ways that work for YOU.