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The Analytics-Based Workplace: Turning Data into Continuous Innovation

Today’s workplaces are data-rich environments, throwing off vast amounts of information that could, in principle, be used to improve the employee experience and drive better business decisions – for example around real estate choices, facilities usage, and productivity investments. In practice, most companies can surface that value only through laborious, usually manual, effort, if at all. Which is one reason why they’re turning to digital workplace technologies of the kind that I described in my previous posts (see the list at the end of this blog). These systems can provide data-based insights for at least three layers: the network, collaboration, and physical building layers. Here are a few examples:

Network: Location services from Aruba, an HPE company, can provide location analytics in addition to capabilities such as wayfinding and asset tracking. Aruba Introspect provides security analytics and forensic insights.

Collaboration: Microsoft Graph, the API for Microsoft 365, and Workplace Analytics can provide insights into employee productivity and resource usage patterns.

Physical infrastructure: Aruba partner SpaceIQ’s facility management software includes capabilities to run scenarios for space planning and analysis; another Aruba partner, Teem, provides workplace analytics as well as room scheduling software.

What’s really exciting about HPE digital workplace solutions is the ability to aggregate and centralize workplace data for all three levels, enabling analytics-based continuous improvement of the employee experience. The workplace of the future will provide Facilities and Real Estate with a singular dashboard that evaluates, analyzes and tracks all the hard metrics you need to get to where you want to go. You can even create a companywide employee experience score that takes in all the elements you’re interested in and compacts them into a single employee experience index; easily tracking how your actions affect the index in a continuous feedback loop.

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4 ways to exploit analytics-based innovation

The potential use cases for unified, data-driven analytics are many; here are four trends that I see attracting a lot of attention in the market:

1. Security: Digital and Physical.

Let’s say, in a global business, multiple individuals on a common distribution list get hacked. With today’s siloed platforms, the affected systems can’t communicate with each other. But with an aggregated platform, you can constantly monitor accounts at the network layer to detect threats: How are users typically accessing the network? Which devices are they using? Which resources? The technology can flag anomalous actions, for example if a user attempts to access documents, spreadsheets or SharePoint sites that they haven’t used before and that they don’t need for their work.

The same goes for accessing buildings, say a facility that isn’t needed for a particular job role, or one that’s in a different country when the user’s job doesn’t involve foreign travel. When the affected employees come in to the office the next day, they can be immediately alerted that they’ve been hacked, and get re-provisioned on the network and rebadged for building access.

2. Mapping and evaluating collaboration.

A data-driven analytics platform can help you understand which collaboration strategies drive success. For example, maybe you have a new product release that’s not hitting on all cylinders, and you want to understand why. The platform can provide anonymized data showing how specific job roles worked together for the product launch. Are there ways to improve the collaboration between marketing and engineering? How often and how soon did marketing and sales come together? Which resources were the various groups using? A complete contextual picture of group interactions with each other and with their physical surroundings can help enhance collaboration.

3. Understanding and showcasing cost savings.

CIOs want to use analytics to understand the IT cost landscape, the ROI on their initiatives, and the opportunities for per-employee savings. A centralized platform can provide key insights and encourage employees’ participation in meeting the company’s cost goals. It can provide feedback like “Congratulations Sarah! You’ve transitioned 18 percent of your cell phone usage minutes over the past six months to online voice communication, saving the company X amount of dollars.”

The technology is steadily moving towards the ability to bring similar insights to the physical environment perspective so that companies assign real-time facilities cost by user group. For instance, maybe sales’ cost per employee is three times engineering’s. Why is that? Possibly sales needs more space to bring in customers for meetings, and there’s no reason to pursue savings there. Or it may turn out that there are unjustified expenses, and sales leaders can take steps to create awareness and bring costs down. This is the power of analytics across not just the digital, but also the physical environment.

4. Improving help desk service.

Another emerging trend in the digital workplace is enhancing the employee experience around internal support. Corporate intranets and help desks can be frustrating, as we all know. How many times have you needed immediate help with something even as simple as vacation policy and had to dig around for what seems like hours to find it? Or called IT and it’s taken 35 minutes to log a ticket and an hour or more to get a response?

HPE is leveraging analytics, third-party cognitive services, and machine learning to build chatbots that can aggregate massive amounts of information in order to draw, essentially, a mind map of whatever domain the bot is responsible for. As the bot ingests more and more data, it learns to respond to human queries intelligently and accurately, within seconds. Companies can transition much of the work of human agents to these AI systems, often with significant cost savings. It’s a classic example of the power of moving siloed data and analytics onto a single platform for seamless resolution of inquiries or issues.

This principle – continuously improve employee experience using data-driven analytics – brings to a close my series of posts on the digital workplace revolution. Here are the other core principles behind HPE’s approach to transforming the workplace experience, with links to the blogs where I covered each one:

You can learn more about intelligent spaces from HPE Pointnext here.


Telang Aviviere
Global Solution Strategist
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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Aviviere_Telang

Global Solution Strategist