Recent Posts

The Competitive Advantage of HR Benchmarking

Between Glassdoor and Indeed—among several other resources—job seekers have plenty of data these days on whether your business is a sweet dream or a nightmare. It is on you to ensure your work environment is hospitable compared to the competition. Toward that end, Suzanne Lucas discusses in a post for Spark the value of benchmarking in HR. Good for Business In the first place, Lucas warns that you be smart about the way you approach …

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How Lack of Strategy Disrupts Your Analytics Initiatives

Throwing money at effective analytics tools is one piece of the puzzle to being a data-driven leader. The other piece is setting a clear strategy that makes it easy to understand what analytics are supposed to track and why. In an article for Forbes, Brent Dykes highlights the mistakes that leaders make with analytics strategy and also the steps required to clarify strategy. Lead the Way or You’re in the Way A 2013 study suggests …

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Sharpen Your Competitive Edge by Benchmarking

Entrepreneur Bob Adams thinks of benchmarking in two ways: financial benchmarking and benchmarking everything else. In an article at BusinessTown, he explains how to make the best of either type for the benefit of your business. Exploiting the Data When benchmarking financials or anything else, the first question of course is from where to derive your data. Industry associations are a go-to source for that, as they at least offer average financials and tend to …

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Yes, You Can Track Employee Well-Being as a KPI

Miserable employees leave, or if they do not leave, they put in such a low work effort that managers might wish they would leave. In this way, employee well-being is pretty important, even for the most cold-hearted leaders. In an article for CIO.com, Sharon Florentine outlines a few ways that businesses can actually seek to measure well-being in a statistically meaningful way. The Cheerful Measure The first step of measuring employee well-being is deciding what …

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A Categorical Guide to IT Metrics Management

In business, the discussion always comes back to people, process, technology, and resourcing. Business value is derived from understanding and improving all four. As such, it makes sense for IT to design dashboards that emphasize the balance between them. In an article for Virtual Strategy Magazine, Rich Razon discusses the types of metrics to track under each category that could be useful in your dashboard. Accuracy Breeds Confidence People metrics are in essence the HR …

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Defects as a Measure of Quality: 6 Tips

Using defects as a measure of quality is far from the be-all-end-all of software testing, but it can certainly help. In a post at his blog, Tom Cagley reflects on what would make an effective defect management process. These insights can in turn be used as a measure of software quality. Six Aspects of Defect Management Information capture Prioritization Scheduling Resolution Reporting Process improvement You begin by deciding what information is needed to adequately categorize …

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IT Is Not Inherently Analytics

In an article for SmartData Collective, Greg Olson describes a time when a CEO asked him for some information, so Olson presented him with robust Excel data. The CEO responded, “Never give me data. Only provide me with information.” The principle behind that stuck with Olson. When IT is asked for information, in most cases IT will provide its answer via that hefty spreadsheet format. This is why Olson believes it is wrong to think …

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5 Rules for Using Software Quality Metrics

You want software quality metrics that matter, that cannot be gamed, and that instill confidence in everyone involved. Alright, so how does that happen? In an article for TechTarget, Gerie Owen shares five rules to get the most out of your software metrics: Develop metrics based on what info is needed and who needs it. Keep metrics simple. Measure against an objective standard. Standardize the components of the metrics. Metrics are a tool, not a …

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Innovation Metrics and KPIs: Are You Getting What You Pay For?

Global R&D spending hit $1.6 trillion in 2014, which goes to show the search for innovation is as frenzied as ever. In order to ensure there is an ROI on spending though, you need performance metrics. The problem is such metrics utterly indirectly measure innovation. Sami Mahroum and Elif Bascavusoglu-Moreau write an article about how to most effectively capture your ROI on innovation. Finding Tangible Innovation Metrics The issue with using accounting metrics such as …

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4 Reasons Why Motivational Practices Fail

“A global survey of more than 50 Fortune 1000 companies and 1.2 million employees showed that in a whopping 85% of organizations… employee motivation declines sharply after people have spent six months with their managers.” Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Lewis Garrad share this data in an article for Harvard Business Review. What on Earth can be done about this information? Well, the authors recommend that managers stop treating motivation like an art and start treating it …

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State of the CIO in 2017: Strategy Rising

Technology may expand at an exponential rate, but the rate of accompanying business change has always been glacial at best. IDG and CIO.com have released their annual State of the CIO report, having surveyed 646 IT leaders. The findings are pretty much what one would expect, but in a good way—CIOs continue to make incremental headway in becoming strategic leaders of their organizations. Strategy versus Function CIOs still watch their costs, manage vendor negotiation, and …

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3 Global Contact Center Benchmarking Mistakes to Avoid

If you have the time and inclination, benchmarking can help any process. You could benchmark the time it takes to shave or apply makeup if you really wanted. In an article for TechTarget, Scott Sachs discusses benchmarking as it pertains to global contact centers, citing three mistakes that can get in the way of having the most effective benchmarking experience: Creating best practices in a vacuum Cherry-picking key metrics Overlooking differences in measurement practices A …

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3 Ways Shadow Analytics May Be Working against You

Nobody likes to be stuck waiting in line, especially for something exciting. Some people might start to cut the line. And that is what is beginning to happen in businesses with analytics; too many units want it, and IT cannot cater to everyone right away. In an article for InformationWeek, Lisa Morgan describes three problems that arrive in the wake of growing “shadow analytics”: New silos are being created. Solution choices may be suboptimal. It …

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Top Companies Don’t Have More Star Employees—They Cluster Them

In an article for Harvard Business Review, Michael Mankins describes research conducted by Bain & Company and the Economist Intelligence Unit on workforce productivity. They found that the highest-performing companies have about the same proportion of “star talent” as other businesses, but they use those employees more effectively. Is your business utilizing its star players as well as it could be? Star Constellations According to the research, 15 percent of employees on average are star …

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3 Ways to Get More Out of Your Web Analytics

You can take a monthly glance at how many visitors your website has received, or you can start treating the data with the depth it deserves. Filip Matous offers to help in an article for Harvard Business Review. He shares three ways to better use web analytics: Avoid mental shortcuts. Match your business goals to metrics. Communicate metrics effectively. Untangling the Web When you find a new trend in the data, you obviously want to …

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