Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Vendorprisey on Social Analytics


     I’ve been chatting to Thomas Otter from Gardner at the InfoHRM conference.

I love meeting other great HR bloggers – although I’ve still not met many (Thomas I think is my eighth after Michael VanDervort, Laurie Ruettimann, Joel Cheesman, Kari Quass, Jessica Lee, Scott McArthur and Jason Averbook).  Perhaps we need HRevolution in Europe as well?


Anyway, I asked Thomas about his tag ‘Vendorprisey’ for his blog and tweets and he explained that some time ago ‘Enterprisey’ meant something corporate and bureaucratic.  (Actually I can’t quite remember what Thomas said after a few glasses of Peter Howes’ wine.)   And Thomas decided to apply this to his role as a vendor (this was while he was at SAP).

Thomas talked first about the emergence of the Talent Management suite.   Many organisations bought ERP systems intending to use them to do the full HR but this never happened.  Instead new vendors bolted onto ERP systems so organisations moved from single system to combinations of best of breed ones.  These have been growing and integrating and now offer what’s being called Talent Management suites.

Secondly, he looked at the state of the HR technology market – there’s currently more interest in fully using existing systems of record, consolidating systems, undertaking smaller projects and achieving faster ROI, as well as postponing big upgrade projects.

We also looked at Gartner’s hype cycle.  There’s increasing interest in workforce planning, but this isn’t yet overly hyped.  And there’s increasing interest in HCM and social software.



Social software 

IT has previously set priorities for software.  But there’s now a wave of people coming into the workforce with different demands – they’ve used Facebook and Google docs – and the work differently.  This is putting pressure on IT departments and the systems that we use.

An example is the new tools Starbucks is using to allow their staff as a community to swap shifts between themselves.  They can even set prices for their time or for taking a shift off them, and it’s all be made easy to use.

(I talked about this on my HRchitect podcast interview – I equated system of record systems with value for money in the value triangle, talent management systems which provide management information for better decision making as adding value, and these types of social systems as creating value, because they allow people to actually work in better ways.)


One implication of this is that companies need a social media policy.  (IT blocking access to Facebook is one policy – but not one Thomas [or I!] would recommend.)


The implication for workforce analytics is that while the data HR demands will continue to grow gradually, there will be dramatic growth of the data employees provide voluntarily.

Thomas has a client that has given employees an applet to put on the Facebook pages to encourage their friends to come and work with them, notify them of new vacancies etc.  The company can track application, notify the person that a friend has applied to join them and track referral bonus payments etc.

The challenge for analytics is now more about analysing relationships between data points – using social network analysis etc.





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