Susan Wong and myself were invited to present in front of a bunch of hard core techies and PhD Statisticians today at the Predictive Analytics Summit in San Francisco. The conference, put on by the IE Group, was a very well run and good conference. Lunch was great. The conference overlooked the entire bay from the 30th floor of the Union Square Marriott. They had nice warm cookies at the breaks. Lots of Peet’s coffee. Come on. We all know that the amenities are what makes a conference really great .
Good mix of companies in attendance and presenting, such as GE, Wells Fargo, Intuit, Microsoft, Infosys. The speakers were good, some funny, and all very knowledgeable on the topic. The audience was also very knowledgeable. Which was great. However it was also a bit intimidating for the only Human Resource folks presenting at this 3 day conference.
Susan and I, being fully caffeinated and with a great sugar rush from the warm cookies, were ready to go as the second to last presentation of the day. Our presentation was taped and will be put up on the web within a couple of weeks. I’ll post when available. The audience seem to resonate well with the topic. Although they needed to be prodded a bit about answering some of my informal polls. Polls like, “who’s thinking about quitting their job”, “where they actually honest in employee surveys”, etc. There bosses must have been in the room. With only having a 40 minute session we had to rush through a bit. But, we managed to get 20 minutes of Q&A time after our final slide. Yeah the next presenter was too happy as he was trying to catch a flight out at 7. Sorry about that.
Types of Questions Asked:
- A few technical questions around dependent variables and targets.
- Can workforce predictions help an organization? Gave lots of examples of customers doing this today. Financial Services company using this to reduce attrition among new hires. Attrition dropped from 27% to 9%.
- Would companies adopt this? Susan, talked about why and how NetApp is adopting this. Also explained the importance of executive level support and continual management of it through a Global Workforce Council.
- Can you make predictions about all types of workers? Short answer is yes. Every worker, whether in Sales or Human Resources, has enough information to support making predictions about them.
- Is Human Resources the right department to manage this? Being in an audience that contained no Human Resource people, I somewhat expected this. I asked why wouldnt HR manage this? Their answers were that HR didn’t have the domain and know how to do this. In their eyes, Human Resources is not viewed as an organization that particularly cares about analytics. When asked who should manage this. They said that the teams needing it should manage it, Sales, Engineering, etc. As they were the experts on how to measure and improve workers in their domain. This should be an eye opener for us Human Resource folks about how everyday workers views us.
Unfortunately I couldn’t stay for the last presentation. I am heading off to India tomorrow for two weeks and I haven't backed!!!