In another of those high energy Sophos session in Disha2015, Mr. Khalid Raza, Talent Development Manager – IBM, introduced the students of TAPMI to the world of data analytics. He started off with a question to the students about their understanding of the term “analytics”. He went on to explain about the usage of analytics in solving business challenges. Most of the time we see what we want to see and omit what we don’t want to see. Analytics is about taking data, understanding it and interpreting it to solve business challenges. Data analytics could be used in HR practice to uncover the hidden truths about the work force, he said. Although companies around the world make use of analytics to gauge consumer preferences and behaviour, least amount of analytics is done on workforce. The data variables available on work force are limited to the likes of attrition numbers, head count, so on and so forth. A true business transformation would happen only when companies start using analytics on their workforce.

He talked about the advantages of using analytics and provided students with the findings of MIT research conducted on the same. Analytics helps in optimising work force related challenges. It also helps in transforming the business model by helping the management to understand the skill sets needed for the future. Analytics plays a major role in enhancing customer experience, accelerating sales, increasing innovation and managing risk. He then went on to explain how analytics would help boost the sales of any product. He asked the students to think from an analytics perspective.

Predictive analysis is the key. In predictive analysis, the inhibitors of sales and not past historical data is looked at. He then went on to talk about leveraging analytics to solve challenges in HR. The basic problem with analytics is the lack of trust or authenticity of the data. Sometimes the data will not be readily available, and people might not even collect the data properly. This would lead to future challenges in using analytics to its full potential.

He then talked about proactive retention and how IBM uses analytics to save attrition costs. The cost of attrition is nine to twelve months of salary. Higher the employee is in the organisational hierarchy, higher would be the attrition cost. He explained how analytics helps in doing proactive retention.Data from performance review and employee engagement in the enterprise social network are collected first. The patterns that emerge from the data help in identifying potential attrition hotspots, thereby helping company save the attrition costs. He then answered a round of questions form the enthusiastic students and concluded by wishing them the very best for future.