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Analytics is still a hot topic in tech news and poised to grow by leaps and bounds for the rest of the decade. More and more voices are advocating for the benefits of robust business analytics, even to tout how useful it is for small businesses. So if that’s the case, then why is your staffing team still reluctant to utilize analytics in the day to day?

The culture of analytics is hard to implement, and much has been written about why adoption for businesses is so slow, much centering around the idea that sharing and analyzing data is a major pain point for most users.

On the other end of the spectrum, there’s Facebook and Twitter: sites people can’t stop visiting even if they wanted to. Yes analytics won’t ever be as sexy as social networks (well, maybe to us), but can your staffing organization learn a little from these addictive social media sites when trying to get employees to use analytics? We think so.

Have a “news feed” of notable activities

Social sites hook you in with a constant stream of “news” from your friends and those you follow. Everytime you look, there is something new to see, which is a big reason people keep coming back. A great way to get your team looking at the numbers is to have a feed of notable recent activity.

Select relevant activities to your team that are both positive and negative. This will introduce a culture where teammates share both sides of their work, not just the good. Placements made, placements lost, stalled job orders, and met activity goals can populate this feed.

It can be as low tech as scribbled on a whiteboard, or an Excel file displayed on a big screen. Any way you do it, this activity feed is a novel way to get your employees looking at new metrics throughout the day. Not only will they want successes listed there, they will be able to catch errors more often and keep your data clean.

Make it personal and social

More and more, your social network profiles are your online identity. When people search for who you are, they are looking at what you tweet and what you post. The allure of Facebook and Twitter is that they are personal, and they are a central hub for things only you care about.

If your staffing company can make analytics more personal, you will see wider and more frequent usage. A shared, statistical catch-all Excel file isn’t nearly as appealing as a stats sheet crafted for each individual.

Take a cue from the social networks and create individual employee scorecards, and here’s the kicker: make every scorecard public. When reps know that their peers can view their numbers at any time, it incentives them to keep their numbers up. Peers can also compare scorecards and learn from each other. A new rep might want to emulate the numbers of a veteran, and this is a great template to work from.

Also, this makes review time simple since there isn’t anything hidden or coming out of the blue. Having access to his or her own scorecard puts all the relevant metrics there in the open for discussion.

Make analytics easy to use

Do you remember reading those instruction manuals before using Facebook and Twitter? Of course you don’t. Social networks are designed with ease-of-use in mind since that ensures people won’t get turned off by complicated interfaces.

Analytics can often be a complicated, which is another reason for slow adoption. The key is to simplify to just a few metrics that really matter to your team, and cut out the rest of the noise. Limit the number of activities your team has to track to five or six Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Follow these tips and your employee may finally spend a little less time on Facebook, and a little more time with the numbers.

Of course, Excel can only do so much to keep things simple, let alone visually easy to digest. This is where a solution like InsightSquared can help.

 

Samuel Clemens
Sam is founder and chief of product & marketing for InsightSquared. Previously, Sam was VP Product at HubSpot, VP Product at BzzAgent, and on the founding team at Elance.com. His background also includes venture capital with Greylock Partners, the Algorithms group at Amazon.com, and management consulting with Booz Allen Hamilton. Sam has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Applied Math from Yale. In his off time he dives shipwrecks in the New England area.
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