Ideas and insights for today’s people-centered leaders.



Unleash 2019: It’s All About Smart Data and Reboot(ing) HR

I’m looking forward to Unleash this year. An eight-hour flight with no one interrupting me sounds sublime right now. I’m very much looking forward to being back in London, a city I love, have visited numerous times, lived in and honeymooned in. And of course there’s the Unleash 2019 conference, which for me, is totally exciting. I come away with my thinking stimulated and lots of new friends that are as passionate about people analytics and all things HR as I am!

Your guide to Unleash 2019 from a Smart Data Perspective

OK. Yes. I am myopically focused on people analytics and transforming HR the right waySo, if you are too, here’s your guide to the two+ day event based on perusing the entire “Smart Data” track, for which I actually will be the session introducer. I’m then adding in one key session initially targeted for the “Reboot HR” track where I will have a mighty panel of practitioners dealing with how they are addressing a critical obstacle to the success of people analytics.

First of all, as a long-time technology adoption trend analyst, this year’s Unleash conference sessions speak to the continued maturation and sophistication of our field. Several years ago, sessions were about making the business case. This year, the sessions are dealing with explicit challenges of hiring, developing, retaining, and overarching organizational issues around workforce planning as well as new innovations in security of payroll.

My session will deal with how three organizations are evangelizing people analytics to ensure success. Our message is the secret sauce for any of these others, because if you can’t democratize data, through your HR business partners or directly to your business leaders, any analytics effort to address unique challenges is diluted and HR transformation will not succeed.

Key sessions to attend on the Smart Data Track

1. Private Blockchain Supported Payroll: Trusted and secure controls for employee data

Stuart Curley, Chief Technology Officer, NGA Human Resources, a techy geek with a passion to transform processes and new technology, while bringing along people, will make sense of blockchain to support payroll. NGA HR operates a highly secure and effective business managing payroll and payroll data for many global customers. As they increasingly have stricter data security and data breach prevention requirements, NGA HR has increased its rigorous audit and compliance processes to ensure its services run properly. Customers exercise their right to audit the services using an auditor of their choice. The developing demands of customers and auditors creates more complexity for managing the data.

Stuart believe that private blockchains can help address the challenges. He will cover his journey with blockchain, the viability of Gospel Technology’s Secure Data Platform, and provide guidance to the audience of lessons learned as NGA HR’s longer-term vision for its architecture will engage Gospel Technology.

When: March 19, 2019 · 11:15-11:40

Speaker: Stuart Curley, Chief Technology Officer, NGA Human Resources

2. Mind the Gap, with Measurement: how Nestlé leveraged people analytics to address pay gap and equity

Jordan Pettman is Global Head of People Analytics with Nestlé where he is accountable for developing the global HR Analytics Strategy within the Hire to Retire (Workforce Planning, Analytics, KPIs, reporting) group. He supports the development of global HR Data standards and governance and leads the HR Analytics team and its current priorities. The CEO of Nestlé made commitments to the ILO and UN in 2017 to focus on understanding and addressing gender pay inequality.

Learn how Jordan’s group enabled the businesses and the markets it supports to understand gender pay gap and equity in an HQ-driven global project.

When: March 19, 2019 · 11:45-12:10

Speaker: Jordan Pettman, Global Head of People Analytics, Nestlé

3. The Pipeline Opportunity: How data inform outreach recruiting

Jared Valdron, Head of People Analytics, GitHub enjoys combining both organizational and data sciences. He is passionate about bringing novel sources of data into his analyses. He is enamored with the nested nature of labour markets as they relate to recruitment and turnover.

This presentation will outline the journey GitHub went through to design an outreach recruitment strategy in a highly distributed context. It will demonstrate that, while geographic distribution adds a lot of complexity to recruitment, it also provides a great opportunity to target specific recruitment activities and improve their return on investment. Attendees will come away with a generalizable approach and even a technical toolset so that they to can go through a similar process for their multiple offices.

When: March 19, 2019 · 12:15-12:40

Speaker: Jared Valdron, Head of People Analytics, GitHub

4. Skill-based Workforce Planning Through People Data, AI and Deep Machine Learning

Steffen Riesenbeck, is Head of People Analytics, Bosch. Stephen has deep HR experience from gathering experience as an HRBP, Project Lead in Compensation, years in Compensation AND Benefits focusing on global processes, change and enabling. With leadership roles also in HRIT focused on projects and future trends, he now brings that all to bear on people analytics for this huge multinational organization.

In this session, you will learn how Bosch motivates employees to do their own skill assessment and become responsible for their development by building their own career paths. The huge value of this is that by gathering all this skill data, Bosch can do skills planning – identifying the skill gaps and comparing them to the market as well as finding the required skills within the company feeding into organizational workforce planning.

When: March 20, 2019 · 11:15-11:40

Speaker: Steffen Riesenbeck, Head of People Analytics, Bosch

 5. People Analytics: HR wants to do Data Science but organisations don’t know what to ask

Eden Britt, Chief Data Officer HR, Group Head People Analytics at HSBC is a passionate believer in the power of Data Science and Big Data. In his role at HSBC, he is responsible for the strategy and execution of reporting and business intelligence, people analytics consulting, workforce planning, organisational design, data science, data governance, data architecture and data quality. His myriad teams tackle many of today’s analytical challenges daily, from manipulating and connecting large data sets, delivering HR data insights, and management intelligence in an organisation with over 240,000 employees and 70+ countries and  trying to uncover the most important business constraints and address the people constraints within them.

While as of the writing of this piece, there was no session abstract but I am keenly interested in hearing this session. And, further, he is described as a charmer, comedian, and a world citizen who brings together big picture thinking, ideas, relationship building and individualization.

When: March 20, 2019 · 11:45-12:10

Speaker: Eden Britt, Chief Data Officer HR, Group Head People Analytics at HSBC

 6. How to Make Better Hires Through Analytics Insights

Continuing a focus on recruiting and hiring, this session is led by Martijn Voermans, Head of HR Analytics, Signify formerly known as Philips Lighting. The company is now established as a stand-alone listed company in a heavily transforming business environment. His role is to develop people insights to support business strategy and excellence in HR processes.

He will discuss how through analyzing the performance and attrition rates of new hires, Signify uncovered the most beneficial combination of recruiting efforts, including the best sources of hiring per region and business area.

When: March 20, 2019 · 12:15-12:40

Speaker: Martijn Voermans, Head of HR Analytics, Signify

 Key Unleash 2019 session to attend on the Smart Data track (but in the app) – Reboot HR

1. Solving the Most Critical Obstacle to People Analytics Adoption

This stellar panel led by me brings together Olly Britnell, Global Head of Workforce Analytics and HR Strategy, Experian; Ben Bartl, Global Head of People and Data Analytics, Dentsu Aegis Network; and Leandra Griep, Expert People Analytics and Insights Generation, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Many organizations have charged their HR business partners with supporting business leaders to make data-driven decisions. Yet, my research along with confirmation from so many I have the opportunity to meet with each year, indicates the HRBP’s are not analytics savvy and not prepared to be the evangelists we need. While maybe not now, they can be, as I recently wrote. So, what are we expecting from them? How do we go about preparing them? What must their managers be doing over and beyond their current role? Are there other alternatives?

Come listen to these three practitioners discuss their approaches. They taught me so much and I think this session will bring us full circle to my comment up front on how organizations evangelize people analytics as the secret sauce to successful HR transformation.

When: March 19, 2019 · 14:30-15:25

Speakers: Olly Britnell, Global Head of Workforce Analytics and HR Strategy, Experian; Ben Bartl, Global Head of People and Data Analytics, Dentsu Aegis Network; Leandra Griep, Expert People Analytics and Insights Generation, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany; and Lexy Martin Principal, Research and Customer Value, Visier


About Lexy Martin

I am a long-time researcher who has surveyed and talked with thousands of organizations about their HR technology adoption and the value they achieve. I managed the Sierra-Cedar HR Systems Survey for its first 16 years. I retired but I’m just not the retiring type, so I now head research at Visier, a people analytics organization. I joined them because of all the technologies I researched, the one set of technologies that delivered value consistently to adopting organizations was people analytics. I’ve always known though, that it’s not technology that delivers value but what you do with it and to be most successful change management is the critical success factor.

Visier created Visier People, a pre-built, cloud based people analytic solution, to put insight into the hands of HR leaders and professionals.  From data transformation to beautiful visualizations that encourage exploration, and inclusive onboarding and enablement services, Visier includes everything you need to to fully enable easy-to-use analytics at your organization.  Add ‘See a Demo of Visier at Booth 210’ to your agenda to discover how people analytics can lead to 44% reduction of critical new hire resignations, reduce workforce planning cycle times by 25%, and more.

About the author: Lexy Martin

Lexy Martin is a respected thought leader on HR technology adoption and value achieved. Known as the originator of the Sierra-Cedar HR Systems Survey, she now works at Visier with customers to support them in their HR transformation to become data-driven organizations. Lexy is Principal, Research and Customer Value at Visier.

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