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PeopleOPTI: Professionalizing, Optimizing Talent Decision-Making

Federico Barcos - PeopleOPTI


Sofía Hanna By Sofía Hanna | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Tue, 02/15/2022 - 08:57

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Q: Why should companies start basing decisions on hard data?

A: We help companies change their mindset to make decisions based on data and not gut feelings. It is important to understand the connection between talent initiatives and business results. With data, we can see people analytics as a means to achieve a particular goal and that is very powerful. People are the most important asset that any company can have.



Q: How do you promote the importance of these processes among clients that still rely on analog tools?

A: There are certain myths around tech. A company can do advanced analytics to predict human behavior but the market has numerous open-source technologies. The only thing it needs are skill, mindset and culture. Technology is an enabler, not the main source of the competitive advantage of analytics.



Q: How is ONA different from other analytical and organizational systems?

A: Numerous open-source technologies use organization and analysis (ONA), a type of analysis that uses the metadata from communications to understand how people communicate and transfer knowledge from one point to the other. With ONA, one can optimize how knowledge and information is transferred and make a correlation between business outcomes and some patterns of human behavior. One can analyze the informal patterns of collaboration within a company. Companies often have traditional manuals, usually written in PowerPoint or Word, but people do not collaborate that way. We have different patterns of collaboration and ONA tries to understand the informal ways of collaboration that could impact how the company performs.



Q: How can you determine through your services the level of commitment of collaborators?

A: With ONA, you measure the cohesiveness of your company by understanding the connection and the different types of relationships within the company. The more cohesive the company is, the more engaged it is. One can measure those patterns and understand the level of engagement within companies. This is different to an engagement survey, where one asks employees certain questions. Through ONA, one analyzes data produced from all the technologies of collaboration, such as Microsoft 365, Slack, Teams or chat. This information is gathered to analyze and predict engagement.



Q: How can ONA become a useful tool for companies and how can it help grow loyalty and a sense of belonging to the organization?

A: If a company perceives a loss of cohesiveness, that is also a sign it is losing employee trust and loyalty. Companies often perform yearly engagement surveys but ONA measures engagement on a daily basis. It allows companies to see the teams at micro and macro levels and visually understand how the company is building or losing relationships, which is a predictor of engagement.



Q: How important has this become for the new hybrid or 100-percent digital work models?

A: Many companies lost their physical space during the pandemic. The need among some leaders to come back to the office originates from the loss of control because they cannot see how their employees are working. The most modern companies are using ONA to understand how people are collaborating. For instance, Microsoft published a critical document regarding formal meetings, which analyzed the optimal number of minutes that employees are engaged in a conference.


COVID-19 brought a different framework to work. Companies have lost critical awareness of how many hours people are working, from where they are working and what kind of value they are adding to the organization. We are also seeing patterns of people working more hours than they used to and that is a predictor of burnout despite being at home.



Q: How does PeopleOPTI adapt to the values and priorities of each company?

A: Not every company wants to measure the same parameters. From virtual meetings, we are seeing patterns of work overload. Companies are holding 30-40 hours’ worth of meetings each month. The question is how many extra hours employees will have to work due to this meeting overload. This is a critical metric to understand. If companies are having one-to-one meetings, they need to know how many hours they are spending monthly and how effective those meetings are.

For instance, meetings involving employees from a broad range of hierarchies probably will be more ineffective than those held among employees with the same seniority. The bigger the span in seniority, the more ineffective meetings will be.



Q: What does it take for a human resources department to become more strategic?

A: Many have mismanaged HR, which is key to understanding the ROI from employees. Being strategic means seeing people as assets, which they are. Companies need to understand the ROI of that asset but many HR departments have been unable to understand that. Now we have the tools, knowledge and mindset to do it. That is something we have been doing with clients: trying to understand the ROI of particular people initiatives. It is the only way to be strategic.



Q: What are PeopleOPTI’s plans for 2022?

A: We are becoming a people analytics marketplace with a focus on three main areas. Dashboards, for companies that want to accelerate their analytical capabilities and manage their people descriptively and predictably. Courses and learning materials for people analytics leaders or for HR, in general, to teach how to gain value from these dashboards. Finally, services. In the future, we will host events for companies that want to hire particular talent or skills for specific projects. Our vision is to democratize all the tools, knowledge and opportunities for companies that want to accelerate people analytics within an HR department.


PeopleOPTI automates the extraction, transformation and organization of personal and business data (ETL), making analytical findings available in pre-built or customized dashboards to optimize decision-making processes.

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