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  • Sergio Garcia Mora
    Sergio Garcia Mora

    The People Analytics Meetup Experience in Buenos Aires

      Content Type: Meetup Write Up Language: English
    Argentina’s Software Industry is been consistently growing during the last 10 years, if you read OPSSI’s reports (Observatorio Permanente de la Industria del Software y Servicios Informáticos), you can see a growth pattern in sales (with a record in 2017), becoming a strong player in the exports map. On top of that, this year Argentina has been acknowledged as a leading country in Tech Skills by Coursera.

    But somehow HR has not accompanied this trend.

    I’m taking a Master’s Course in Data Mining, in which 95% of the attendants are engineers.. We’re almost 90 students, and most of them asked me “Can you do Data Mining in HR?” Of course I can! This question shows that not even ourselves from HR see Data Science as something unreachable, but also most Data Scientist in Argentina don’t see the discipline’s potential. And they need us.

    Fortunately Luis María Cravino has pioneered in metrics and Analytics in Argentina, and led the ITBA to open the first People Analytics post graduate course in Latin America. I’ve attended some tech meetups and I thought it was a huge opportunity to start doing some meetups on People Analytics.

    Why organizing People Analytics Meetups?

    Argentina’s HR teams need to develop Analytics projects, not to improve HR functions, but to improve business results. And the distinctive value that HR can add to Analytics projects doesn’t come from technology, but as @Mike Ulrich pointed out, to provide context to data, and may I add, to provide the means to transform the Analytics outcomes into projects.

    When you start reading about Data Mining you see that you have to learn:
    Business context (the domain).

    It isn’t very encouraging to HR professionals.

    But, Daniel Yankelevich, the President of an Argentinean and very innovative Big Data company, once told me that what makes a Data Scientist great is knowing:
    Business context.
    How to turn insights into actions.

    When I heard this, I realized that I was more prepared to develop Analytics projects than I used to think and that the most important value comes from what I can deliver with my expertise to our projects.

    So, I thought organizing meetups would be an excellent opportunity to encourage HR professionals to develop their own Analytics projects, to make them see that they can lead the change towards data driven organizations, and also to create a community to share knowledge and get to know people to ask how to start.

    Team Effort

    I couldn’t have done this alone. I have the good fortune to meet passionate and curious people like Lucila Baus, Pablo Senra, and Patricia Hartvig who wanted to be involved in nurturing and growing the People Analytics field, and are committed to make Argentina a regional People Analytics leader. Another important fact is they are also willing to share what they know and learn. They are not only People Analytics leaders but also terrific HR professionals, so they are all a rare gem in the local market.

    I’m also fortunate to have met mentors like Luis Maria Cravino and Tracey Smith, who shares knowledge and insights and always provide guidance to develop my projects. And we’re particular thankful to ITBA for letting us run the meetup in their facilities. I hope many of the attendants join next year to the course.

    I can’t forget to mention @Nigel Dias and @Stela Lupushor . I met them thanks to the HR Analytics Think Tank and shared with us some lessons that helped us to plan the meetup, and anticipating some details. If you want to run People Analytics meetups in your city, just join this community. Thanks for the support!!!

    What we have learnt in the Meetup

    The main lesson we learnt from the speakers is that, even a leading journal like La Nacion Data, uses Excel and open source and free versions of software to deploy their projects. Also that the effort it takes to develop an attractive report and visualizations requires to think on which projects can be reproducible, so the effort pays off in the long run. And in ‘one shot’ investigation and articles, a previous assessment of the impact of the article is mandatory to decide whether to do the analysis and visualizations or not.

    From the Telecom presentation, we learn that report automatization pays off in speed, data availability and precision, making it an important investment for data driven decisions. They are now in a more evolved phase of their projects and the data sources are more sophisticated, but their first projects were done with engagement surveys, benefits assessments, and employee’s location data. All data available for most organizations. And most of the People Analytics’ team don’t have a tech degree. And they still use Excel.

    The highlights of Guido’s presentation were designing a different dashboard for each specific audience. In his project he was the only one with a HR degree, so the team’s diversity led to a dashboard that helped to see where are the stress points of absenteeism in the company. People engaged a lot with his presentation because is an issue that most companies struggle with.

    ONA is a hot topic in People Analytics. And we wanted to be part of the HR Analytics Think Tank to share what’s the world talking about in Analytics. And with my presentation I tried to show the potential of Network Analytics focusing on where are the opportunities to act within the company to improve business results.

    We are thrilled with people’s response to our first meetup. Almost 40 people attended to the event, there were over 20 people in a waiting list, and 18 connected to the streaming from different cities of Argentina. We also had people connecting from Mexico. And a Paraguayan colleague that was on vacations in Buenos Aires also joined the meetup.

    I dream about making Argentina a leader country in the People Analytics field in Latin America. The response to our meetup, makes me think it’s possible to create a community in which we can share knowledge and practices, and turning more and more HR professionals into Data Driven HR professionals.

    We’ll be sharing videos and presentations in the HR Analytics Think Tank’s forum.

    Topic: Other
    Date Published: 01/01/1970

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