Categories Articles, Staffing & Recruiting

Years ago, I saved up and bought a very fancy DSLR camera. I liked taking pictures, and my point and shoot seemed ancient at the time, so I sprung for the new hotness. It had just about everything: a huge sensor, multiple shooting modes, superb manual settings, and it even came with a powerful zoom lens included in the carrying bag.

I ended up selling it to a friend about three months later.

The reason was that I never used any of those expensive bells and whistles I paid dearly for. I liked taking pictures of friends at BBQs, but I didn’t have any interest in learned the ins-and-outs of being anywhere near even a semi-professional photographer. I just wanted a fancier point-and-shoot, but instead I ended up overpaying for features that I never even touched. It never even came off of automatic.

Companies that invest in analytics are a lot like my story, but instead of hundreds of dollars, we’re talking tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars. According to a new Gartner report, 64% of organizations have invested (or plan to invest) in analytics technology. That’s great! Unfortunately, only 8% have started using it.

What?

The reason is that everybody knows that analytics can deliver massive returns, which is why so many businesses are investing into analytics solutions. However, there is a disconnect between perceived usefulness and actually implementing and using the software that they purchase. There is a bit of “we don’t want to miss the boat” mentality going on here, but no one knows how to drive the boat.

Analytics isn’t easy. Especially when you’re trying to reconcile multiple data sources with years of history, not to mention your employees who will need to learn new methodologies and a new skill set. In the world of staffing and recruiting, time and resources are extremely limited for the most part. Staffing is a lean business, and that can make it even harder to take on the extra step of analytic due diligence.

So what do you look for if your staffing firm really wants to get in on the analytics game, but doesn’t want to be part of the 92% that is watching from the sidelines?

1. Find a cost-effective analytics solution. This way, you immediately mitigate your investment and on-going costs. Not only is it a smart business move, but if there is a possibility that you won’t see ROI from your analytics until months down the line, you want to make sure your initial investment is small.

2. Find a turn-key solution. Unless you’re a well-established company with employees to spare, you won’t have the time or manpower to go through a lengthy set-up process. Analytics solutions don’t have to take months to ramp up. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products can cut that time down to as little as 48 hours.

3. Find a dead-simple, easy to use solution. At the end of the day, if a system is just too hard to use, it won’t be used. As much as I wanted to use all the manual features in my DSLR, I just didn’t have the passion to learn it all. I just wanted a point-and-shoot. The same mentality applies here.

Analytics will only return great insight if you actually apply them. InsightSquared can help by providing the easiest to use analytics software for staffing and recruiting firms.

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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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