Exclusive article – Why hybrid working will usher in a new era of data analytics

Nikolas Kairinos, CEO, Soffos.ai

It’s a statement that business leaders have likely all heard before – “content is king”. In the past, this might have been broadly true, with digital storytelling touching every aspect of an organisation – not to mention their corporate training strategies, where businesses have been armed with libraries chocked full of different materials for staff to gain new skills and knowledge. But in the post-pandemic world, it is data that will reign supreme.

Why is this the case? The truth is, that despite the volume of eLearning resources available to workers, one third (33%) of organisations still feel that they are unable to effectively support their remote employees, according to recent research from Soffos.ai. Amongst workers, the feeling is mutual – the same number (33%) have found online learning solutions to be too generic to help their professional development throughout the course of the pandemic.

Thankfully, businesses are looking to turn this around, with actionable business intelligence at the helm of their new and improved plans for remote training – and this is true of the majority (52%) of those surveyed, who plan to up their investment in data analytics.

So, what do organisations stand to gain from investing more heavily in sophisticated data strategies?

Specificity is key

Starting with the training conundrum, one issue that has often been voiced by employees is that online learning initiatives have simply been too broad to truly help with their professional growth. Naturally, as individuals we all have our own strengths and areas for improvement, and training schemes should reflect this. En masse videoconferencing sessions and programs that provide a ‘blanket’ approach will not suffice – particularly in the remote climate where workers might feel like they are going it alone, without the same capacity to learn on the job or ask their colleagues for advice.

As such, when it comes to finding learning solutions that cater to specific employees and not the masses, organisations will likely find that their learning management system (LMS) is their most valuable tool. The more sophisticated systems available today will allow training managers to monitor various aspects of their schemes, from flagging the questions that members of staff struggle with the most, to tracking progress and performance metrics and even determining employees’ preferred methods of learning. 

Comprehensive reporting will allow businesses to adapt their training to suit the needs of collective teams and individual workers across their organization, to fill the knowledge gaps exposed and lend more personalized support.

Setting up organisations for long-term success

Beyond meeting training objectives, improving learning outcomes and increasing staff satisfaction, businesses have the potential to completely overhaul their operations when harnessed with data analytics. Put simply, building a sustainable business requires consistent work and adaptability, to fit with the times and the evolving needs of employees and clientele. To do so, organisations need to be able to quickly access accurate insights into what is working, what isn’t, and how the state of play can be improved. It follows naturally that this will require a robust set of data to inform decision-making processes from the top down, as well as the right data infrastructure and solutions to make this a reality.

In the context of workplace training and how analytics gained from these initiatives might inform business operations more generally, take for example an organisation that has invested heavily in its corporate learning and development (L&D) strategy. In this scenario, if the organisation in question is failing to see improvements when delivering a training plan to its sales team, decision-makers might want to think about allocating more budget to focusing on more interpersonal characteristics of a great salesperson. Rather than continuing to feed generic information about sales tactics that employees are not fully engaging with, having detailed insights about their learning progress might encourage training managers to deliver more activity-based practice sessions, while focusing instead on customer service and soft skills to boost sales.

Further still, businesses across all industries will be able to create new revenue opportunities, make business decisions with more accuracy and agility, and improve their operational efficiencies by innovating with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that will do the hard work for them. 

Unlike traditional data analysis, AI-powered platforms can process high volumes of data and detect patterns that enable businesses to make predictions about the future – whether that is customer buying behaviour or the business’ vulnerability to fraud and cyber-attacks. Furthermore, sophisticated algorithms can verify the quality of the data and detect any anomalies or mistakes that would otherwise escape the human eye. 

Consequently, these technologies will be a great help for organisations that have a significant decision to make, whether that is investing in a particular technology, pushing for a recruitment drive in a specific department, or even developing a new offering based on customer needs.

After all, there is a limit to the amount of data that human beings can handle, but AI tools and modern data analytics solutions allow businesses to drive transformations using insights gleaned from copious amounts of data, that no team of analysts could handle alone.

Ultimately, the opportunities are endless when it comes to data analytics. Much more than just number crunching, emerging data analytics technologies will truly reinvent businesses and provide the impetus for informed change – as such, I am hopeful to see what new heights organisations can reach in the months and years to come.  

Nikolas Kairinos is  the chief executive officer and founder of  Soffos, the world’s first AI-powered KnowledgeBot. The platform streamlines corporate learning and development (L&D) to deliver seamless professional training for employees. You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter