Moneyball in the Office Space: How Humanyze Uses Analytics to Help Organizations Make More Informed People Decisions

The Resonance Test 22: Ben Waber

March 15, 2018
by Kevin YoungKen Gordon

If someone told you that his company was all about “people analytics,” would you understand what that meant? How about if he added: “Sort of like Moneyball for business”? Bet that would make things crystal clear—at least for the multitude of baseball and/or Brad Pitt and/or Michael Lewis fans out there! That is, in fact, how Humanyze’s CEO, Ben Waber, described his firm to Continuum SVP Kevin Young, in the most recent installment of The Resonance Test. In a sprightly digital dialogue, the two talk through such topics as: the use of data in the modern work environment, how privacy functions in Humanyze’s work, and why the U.S. should look into adopting EU privacy standards. If you want to a glimpse into the future of the work place, you should pay attention to this podcast, and note when Waber says:

• “You don't care what Bob’s doing at 2:30 on Tuesday. No one cares. What you care about is: ‘What’s our most productive team do differently than everybody else? How much does management talk to the sales team?’ Those are the really big questions. That’s what we care about.”

• “Humans, by our very nature, we’re not recording devices. We’re also incredibly inaccurate when I even ask you questions about these things. Who’d you talk to yesterday? Only about 30% accurate.”

• “Essentially our customers use our technology to inject real intelligence into all their different people decisions.”

• “We give people consent forms, that show them the actual database tables we collect. That’s a legal contract between us and our users. That’s important especially in the U.S., to give people legal guarantees around what their rights are with the data.”

• “Because our technology enables you to literally, at a millisecond level, understand what’s going on, you can act that much more quickly.”

• “Just figuring out where somebody is at any given time is not that hard. And you can see how that can be abused—which is why having regulations out in front of that is really critical.”

• “Our average opt-in rate is over 93%, so we’ve gotten quite good at rolling this out. But... you have to take your time, and you have to be transparent about what you’re doing with this data.”

Host: Pete Chapin
Editor: Kyp Pilalas
Producer: Ken Gordon

The Resonance Test 22: Ben Waber
filed in: IoT

About the Author

  • Kevin Young
    Kevin Young
    Head of Product Experience

    Kevin is responsible for maintaining the health of and planning for the growth of EPAM Continuum’s Product Experience business. He also leads programs and project teams directly, working with clients to solve their most complex challenges.

    Kevin is deeply invested in connected consumer health. His work brings together the necessity of strong healthcare products, effectiveness of good design, and the coming ubiquity of the Internet of Things.

    Kevin graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University with a BID in industrial design. His product design successes have resulted in 14 design excellence awards and 18 U.S. patents.

  • Gordon Ken
    Ken Gordon
    Principal Communications Specialist

    Ken makes Continuum’s work visible to the necessary people. He creates superlative content, works with colleagues to do the same, and employs social networks to share it widely.

    A card-carrying humanist, Ken co-founded QuickMuse, the improvisational writing website, and JEDLAB, the Jewish education community. He has written for, the New York Times, and many other pubs.

    Ken has an English degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MA in English from the State University of New York at Albany. He framed both diplomas long ago, but can’t seem to find them now—a fact he considers all-too-human.