Small is the new Big People Data.

You know that small dog on the beach that’s always yelping, that’s how I see Small Data. Small Data is loud and effective enough to tell you what’s working, or not working, in a company.

Who he barks the loudest wins!

However, companies seem to always want more data and are never satisfied with small amounts.

We often come across this when we introduce clients to Hi5. They say how much they love the product and how amazing and user friendly it is, but then they mention how they feel they need more data from their company, which is usually one of the following: Track EQ, IQ, performance, adaption skills, autonomy, eagerness, leadership, values, culture, beliefs etc. etc. etc. etc.

The question I always ask is how on earth are you going to get any person to give you that information or attention span?

To appreciate this, you need to ask a few Questions…

How does the average person uses their free time?

According to Google, the average person check’s their phone 150 times per day.

In addition, according to a study by influencer marketing agency Mediakix, people are spending the following daily averages on social media. (Good luck on getting them fill in a form that takes longer than 5 minutes.)


How big is this data?

According to IBM, every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This data comes from everywhere: sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos, purchase transaction records, and cell phone GPS signals to name a few.


Here are some practical steps to help develop a People Analytics Strategy.

1. Start Small

Don’t rollout a big ugly HR platform that never gets any adoption. Start with a simple platform that collates necessary data you need immediately. Adopt a MVP (Minimal Viable Product) approach when deciding on a People Analytics strategy. Look at how Facebook Started, it was originally just a simple news feed for Harvard students. Now (March 2017) it’s world wide social network with 1.94 billion monthly active users.

$10000000 bet says if Facebook launched today with all the features it currently has now, it would be an absolute flop. It would be too confusing, overwhelming. Nobody would know where to start or why to use it?


2. Be Human

Explain why it’s important for employees to help with information collation and be authentic with the communication. Employees will see right through you if you aren’t genuine. Remember the time when Enron had a nice sounding value statement with 4 values, it didn’t mean much.


3. Listen and watch your users.

Most companies implement systems and get frustrated when users aren’t using them the way they wanted them to. This requires humble pie on a regular occasion.

However, if you take a step back and watch users and ask them the right questions, you might end up getting better results. A good example of this, is when we initially launched Hi5. On the Hi5 platform, there was a form field that was open and filled the whole screen. We noticed a big drop off of users when they got to this screen..

When we questioned the Users, they said they didn’t have the time to fill in the field as they had to think carefully about what the recognition was for.

However once we decreased the field down to 144 characters, it didn’t require much thought and the user felt it was easy and quick todo. Engagement increased instantly!


4. Be responsible

This is the most common mistake we find companies make. They run surveys and waste employees’ time, but then they often don’t give feedback and insights back to the company. What’s more important is to action on the feedback as soon as possible. I honestly think this is how Google has remained at #1 position for so many years. If you read Laszlo Bock’s Work Rules you will gain insight into how Google got this right.

If you would like to start somewhere with People Data, why not try Hi5?

Hi5 is a fast, fun and easy way for your company to measure individual goals and company culture through peer reviews and recognition.

Don’t leave your company hanging!
Desktop App, Google Play App, iOS

Any questions? Want a personal tour? Need help setting something up? Just let me know, I’m happy to help any way I can.

Thanks. -Gary Willmott, Founder, Hi5