Insight HR analytics

Predictive Sentiment – the real game changer

Written by intelliHR on 10 Jan 2018

intelliHR’s CEO Rob Bromage discusses why he’s excited about Sentiment Analysis and how Predictive Sentiment will be the real game changer.

Q: Why are you excited about sentiment analysis in the people management space?

A: By bringing positive and negative sentiment analysis into the platform we are providing our clients a powerful world-class tool to keep their finger on the pulse. Sentiment analysis gives businesses a real-time handle on how their workforce is tracking and how they are interacting around performance. We use cross filter analytics to enable you to drill down into the source data and look at things like direct negative feedback for example. Businesses can view positive and negative sentiment by parameters such as the source, tenure, pay grade, gender, supervisor and business units. This allows you to then pinpoint areas in the business that might hold opportunity for improvement. You can identify people in the business who might need help or equally you can use the analytics to identify the champions of your business. The concept of positive and negative sentiment analysis is changing the game because not only are we processing big data, but we are using that data to inform strategic business decisions that can improve your bottom line and enhance financial performance. In this way, the platform is allowing us to better understand the needs of our workforce.

Q: Where do you think sentiment analysis will take us in the future?

A: Predictive sentiment is an exciting future state. As the concept of sentiment analysis developed we decided we could take it a step further. I started to think about the benefits of being able to predict the future of a business, based on big data we will be able to make sense of. We could take sentiment analysis into the future by not only being able to diagnose areas for improvement in the business, but we could help businesses predict future outcomes like financial performance. Our positive and negative sentiment analysis tools are already cutting edge, but I think it’s the future predictions piece that will really be the game changer. When we can use the intelliHR platform to work out how sentiment is linked to performance and how performance is then linked to financial performance, there’ll be no stopping us.

Q: Should companies invest in their people or in technology platforms?

A: By investing in technology for your business, you are investing in your people. Although the concept of predictive sentiment is made possible by big data, people are still at the heart. Our platform can handle many thousands of data inputs and it not only processes that data in the blink of an eye, but it makes sense of all of that data. This is something that no one human in a business would be able to do in that amount of time. Sentiment analysis tools allow our customers to use the big data they are collecting about their people. We need people and we need technology – the two are not mutually exclusive. Businesses talk a lot about staff engagement and people management but there’s a lot of things that go together to derive performance. High performance is a factor of ability, motivation and opportunity. I like to say that it’s “All of that to the power of culture,” – that’s when you realize true success in your business.

Q: What business assessments will positive and negative sentiment help us make?

A: Our sentiment analysis tools will be able to heat-map positive and negative sentiment over the entire business as a way of giving you a visual snapshot of performance. This will allow you to identify business units and teams that require attention in order to boost outputs. For example, if you’ve got a lot of negative sentiment coming back under a particular supervisor, then you’ll know that you have a problem there and can start delving deeper into that part of the data. It will also be interesting to then start looking at business units – what’s trending in their continuous feedback? Using our keyword analysis tool, you might see that certain words begin to surface such as ‘bully’ or ‘harassment’ or on the contrary they might be positive words that help you to pinpoint where your star performers are. In this way, you’ll be able to proactively mitigate risk to the business (and to your people) by dealing with issues before they become issues. Because of this your ability as a people manager and business owner to influence a much happier and engaged workforce is going to become a lot easier.

Q: How does the platform aid accountability?

A: By giving people access to information about themselves via the platform (whether that be feedback on their last goals or the remaining budget they have for training and upskilling) I think people will take greater pride and responsibility in their roles. It’s so easy to have a performance review and then just forget about it and move on. Our staff need to have the tools at their fingertips to look back and check that they have delivered on certain expectations or fulfilled their KPI’s. It’s often important documents like that which are not kept or hidden in a filing cabinet or on a private HR drive.

Q: What are the three main reasons you think a business needs the platform?

A: If I had to give businesses my top three pieces of advice on why they need to empower their workforce with a tech platform like ours, they would be:

  • It supports a more aligned, engaged and happier workforce which will end up having a positive impact on your bottom line. The platform is built with usability front of mind, so your people will enjoy using it. It makes it easier for people to do the things they need to do to manage themselves and deliver what’s required of them in their job.
  • It stores and can process mass amounts of important data in the click of a button. This is a platform built for analytics. It’s built so that we can make sense of big data and identify opportunities and mitigate potential risks throughout the business. It’s often the case in large businesses that the annual review shows the first red flags as to potential problems with staff culture or performance. However, through sentiment analysis, we can now be more in tune with the true pulse of the organization daily.
  • It will save the business money. The platform will help you to manage some of the biggest HR costs that businesses typically face; attrition and unplanned leave. When you look at the cost per staff member to use the platform per year, it’s an extremely cost-effective decision. For less than 4 hours at an average hourly rate of a staff member, the platform fee would be covered for the entire year, so productivity and cost-effectiveness can be vastly improved across the business. A small investment to gain much more capacity and productivity.

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