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Relive the People Analytics Event of the Year: Highlights from Outsmart 2020

For the first time in Visier’s history, our annual Outsmart conference was held online on June 3-4. This first-ever digital global summit brought over 1000 HR leaders from around the world together to discuss all things people analytics and workforce planning.

The entire conference is now available for free and on demand. We invite you to access the keynotes, breakout sessions, and resources in the Expo Hall. 

For those who attended Outsmart, relive the highlights below. For those who couldn’t make it, here’s a teaser of what’s available on demand. 

Access Outsmart On Demand

Day 1

Achieving Astronomical Goals

Dr. Roberta Bondar, the first neurologist and first Canadian woman in space, is no stranger to overcoming adversity and uncertainty. She kicked off Day 1 with an inspiring keynote on how she stays resilient in the face of continuous change. Dr. Bondar’s presentation isn’t available on-demand, but visit her website to view her TED Talk on “How do we face the unknown?” and other great interviews.

Future of Visier Solutions

Ian Cook, VP of Product, Visier
Nic Smith, VP of Product and Solution Marketing, Visier

Our product leaders pulled back the veil on how Visier’s future direction will help HR and business leaders power recovery. At the heart of our latest innovations are the themes of people analytics for all, connecting experience to value, and driving business agility. 

Panel: Putting People Analytics Power in the Hands of your Business Users

Eric Lieberman, Senior Director, People Analytics & Insights, Alexion Pharmaceuticals
Michael Salva, HR Specialist, People Analytics & M&A, Pitney Bowes
Lexy Martin, Principal, Research and Customer Value, Visier

“This isn’t just a tool for HR,” was the theme of this session. Lexy shared research findings on what enables organizations to derive success from people analytics, including extending usage to the rest of the business. This was followed by presentations from Eric and Michael on how their respective companies extended people analytics use to their functional business leaders, Finance team, and senior executives. 

Employee Experience in the New Normal

Zachary Pitts, Senior Solutions Consultant, Visier

This session answers why the experience economy is relevant to HR and more needed than ever to weather the “new normal” we all face. Using tangible examples, Zach walks you through how a data-driven approach can be applied in this context. 

Change Management: Laying the Foundation for a Successful Analytics Journey

David Burnley, Vice President, Product Innovation, Insperity
Matthew Hamilton, Head of HR Strategy & People Analytics, Protective Life Insurance Company
Mackenzi Wheeler, HR Project Leader, Kohler Co.

The more users that you have interacting with people analytics, the higher value of stream you’re going to be able to gain from it–and successful change management is key to this. Matt shared his tips through the entertaining lens of movies, Mackenzi provided job aids from her experience upskilling users and empowering Visier champions at Kohler, and David shared his lessons learned from helping clients enable their users in a variety of different organizations. 

Pushing the Boundaries of People Analytics

Aimee Campbell, Senior Organisational Effectiveness Manager, Unilever
Zack Johnson, GM, Embedded Analytics & Mid-Market, Visier
Jeremy Shapiro, Executive Director, Workforce Analytics, Merck
David Yang, Co-founder,

Whether you’re a people analytics vendor trying to change how people work, or you’re an organization experimenting with your own technology, this session is filled with inspiration of how real organizations created meaningful lasting change through advanced analytics projects. 

People Analytics and the “New Normal”

Russell Klosk, Accenture Strategy, Principal Director, Accenture
Stela Lupushor, Founder, Reframe.Work Inc.
Tracey Malcolm, Global Future of Work Leader, Willis Towers Watson
Jesse Sims, Vice President of Strategic Alliances, Visier
Matthew Stevenson, Partner, Mercer

“I think we’re entering a time when organizations need to get serious around how work’s going to get done, and start to measure accordingly,” said Tracey in this great discussion from leading organizations in the HR and Future of Work field. This popular session covered everything from diversity and inclusion, to productivity, to job fluidity, to aligning work with the predictors of outcomes. 

How to Address the Challenges of People Data and Add Value to Your Analytics Strategy NOW

Kia Afshari, Product Management Director, Visier
Torgeir Braaten, Product Management Director, Visier
Yan Chan, Head of Financial Solutions, Visier
Anton Smessaert, Manager, Data Science, Visier
Nic Smith, VP of Solution & Product Marketing, Visier

The necessity of agility now is critical, and it’s leaders in organizations that are setting an incredible pace in terms of ability to use data and analytics, and have that decision agility. This session dives deep into how Visier solves the challenges of people data that includes how data gets into the platform and how we keep it secure, a walkthrough of Visier’s guided analyses, and the reliability of the benchmarks available in the platform. 

CHRO Panel

Megan Burkhart, Executive VP, Chief Human Resources Officer, Comerica
Paul Rubenstein, Chief People Officer, Visier
Yaarit Silverstone, Senior Managing Director, Accenture
Clay Worley, SVP and Chief Human Resources Officer, NCI

This annual session focuses on connecting the people analytics community to the head space of the chief HR officer. This year, Megan, Paul, Yaarit, and Clay discussed HR’s role in recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the changes needed based on the Black Lives Matter movement, data privacy, responding to changing employee expectations, and so much more.

Day 2

Find Opportunities in Crisis

Dave Ulrich, the godfather of modern HR, put forth 10 things that we can do to find opportunities from crisis based on decades of research and studies. While his presentation is not available on-demand, he has shared a high-level guide on these 10 tips on his LinkedIn as a series of posts. The first one can be found here.

Insights from the Industry’s Leading Experts and Analysts

Al Adamsen, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Insight22
Jason Averbook, CEO & Co-Founder, Leapgen
Megan Buttita, Research Director, Worldwide Services Group, IDC
Stacia Sherman Garr, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Redthread
Zachary Toof, People Analytics Research Leader, Bersin™, Deloitte Consulting LLP

In this annual mainstage panel, Al led this amazing group of speakers on a very authentic conversation about not only the state of HR and the future of work, but what’s happening in the world. Jason, Megan, Stacia, and Zachary share what’s top of mind, the work and research they’re doing on these important topics, and how data and analytics has become critical to HR’s success.

Pay to Stay: How to Save Money by Raising Salaries

Gary Russo, Director, Workforce Intelligence, Providence St. Joseph Health

Gary–this year’s Vizzie recipient for Trailblazer of the Year–unravels how analytics can be used to identify when it makes sense to raise salaries and determine if someone is leaving because of pay as opposed to other reasons. 

“We can quantify it through real means that are repeatable. We don’t have to rely on things that can be debated like exit surveys and other qualitative methods that people can pretty much just dismiss with an anecdote,” said Gary.

Follow the Money: How to Save $10M

Marcel Krauskopf, People Analytics Technology Management Expert, Merck Group
Lexy Martin, Principal, Research and Customer Value, Visier
Samuel Thayer, Senior Director, People Analytics, Compass Group

New research by Lexy, who previously managed the Sierra-Cedar HR Systems Survey, shows that there are moments in the employee lifecycle and organizational effectiveness activities that yield high dollar values. Marcel discusses the returns seen from their flight risk modelling work, while Sam dives into how they kept revenue intact during the pandemic.

People Analytics in Progress: A View from the Middle

Maggie Curcio, Chief People Officer, Henderson Engineers
Dondi Dix, Chief People Officer, Lockton Companies
Carl Moeller, HR Analytics Leader, American Century Investments
Kelly Reed, Managing Director, Talent & Culture, Lockton Companies

We’re excited about this session, which covers a topic not typically seen at most people analytics conferences. The panel is made up entirely of mid-sized and mid-market organizations that are headquartered in the Midwest. They all provide different and interesting perspectives on how transforming their people analytics functions is going.

Acceleration by Design: How Privacy Enables People Analytics Programs

John Rhoades, Managing Director, Data Privacy & Technology Compliance, Insperity
Ruth Yeo, Privacy Director, Data Privacy Officer, Visier

John and Ruth show that it’s possible to leverage people analytics, while also protecting your workforce’s data and complying with a number of emerging complex–and often very confusing–data privacy laws and regulations. They share how to use privacy by design in your people analytics programs.

Accelerating and Scaling the Adoption of Evidence-Based Decision-Making

Nigel Dias, Managing Director, 3n Strategy

You’ve got some kind of vision for the decisions that are being made. You’ve got some kind of view for how decision-makers will be using evidence. But you may also be facing an adoption problem. This is where Nigel’s five considerations for improving adoption will prove invaluable. 

Making People Data Meaningful in a Crisis

Dan Lapporte, People Analytics Leader, HR Strategy & Management, Kaiser Permanente
Samuel Thayer, Senior Director, People Analytics, Compass Group

Dan and Sam have both been instrumental in evolving Visier’s capabilities, especially when it came to the unprecedented pandemic. Don’t miss their stories on how people analytics enabled them to make quick data-driven decisions that saved jobs and lessened the negative impact of the pandemic on their organizations. 

Catch Outsmart on demand today

As one attendee said, resiliency was such a consistent message through this conference. In all of the sessions outlined above, the power of data was at the heart of that resiliency. Knowing how to find and use data is more important than ever. 

We hope you and your colleagues take the time to watch these sessions and come away inspired. Please also share them with others who may be interested in the encouraging advice that was ever-present at Outsmart. 

Lastly, feel free to also check out our Clarity Magazine: Volume 3, which features articles by many of our wonderful speakers. 

About the author: Karra Barron

Karra Barron is Visier's Sr. Content Marketing Manager and has over a decade of experience using storytelling to move people into action. At Visier, she is responsible for developing a wide range of thought leadership resources that educate and inspire business users to become data-driven leaders.

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