Issue #[[item.issue__number]] published [[timeFormat(item.date)]]


Indicators tracking the inactivity time of employees' scanners were put in place. The CNIL ruled that it was illegal to set up a system measuring work interruptions with such accuracy

Remember the stories of Amazon workers being denied toilet breaks? Turns out this sort of stuff is no bueno in France, as the Commission Nationale Informatique & Libertés - CNIL - the French Data Protection Agency, levels a fine on the company for excessive employee surveillance, as well as retention of performance data over a 31 day period. A significant victory for workers, but a step back for People Analytics - after all how can you be too accurate in measuring employee performance? Analytics vs Surveillance depends mainly on which side of the screen you’re on.
Issue #381 published 28 Jan 2024
More people should produce how-to guides like this. Pick a domain in TA / HR, and illustrate the usage of ChatGPT in that domain. People Analytics has until now been the domain of specialists, but AI seems to have a democratising effect across all people specialisms. H/T brainfooder Sajithkumar Swaminathan for the share in the online community
Issue #369 published 5 Nov 2023
Wonderful essay on the dangers of processes becoming proxies for the end goal. This warning could be overlaid over personal career objectives and / or company culture. It’s also a soft critique of the potential risks of ‘data driven’ decision making; if we do what we measure, it’s obviously important that we’re measuring the right thing. Easy reading, hard thinking = great brainfood.
Issue #349 published 18 Jun 2023
Extraordinary essay which draws out a direct lineage from slavery, industrialisation, algorithms to today’s OKR’s and KPI’s. The idea that Charles Babbage first came up with dividing labour in order to more efficiently coerce and control newly emancipated plantation workers really hadn’t occurred to me before. It’s crazy stuff but what else is people analytics but a system of control…?
Issue #347 published 4 Jun 2023
Rhetorical question because, who is 🤣? Technology innovation forces cultural adaption though and neurotechnology may just be the next logical step in the wearable evolution we’ve all largely adopted. Long read on some startups in US and Israel, doing some cool things in ‘brain scanning’, with the specific objective of figuring out when you are most ready for focus and deep work. Going to categorise this as people analytics because it is not categorically different….
Issue #320 published 27 Nov 2022
Really interesting case has set a precedent on the legality of certain forms of ‘bossware’ and of our relations with each other in the distributed way of working. I’m going to categorise this under People Analytics because I believe the line between employee surveillance and PA is a lot thinner than most of us might think. BBC coverage here
Issue #314 published 16 Oct 2022
At what point does People Analytics become Employee Surveillance? I wonder how many of us are tracked in this way - activity on screen, number of keystrokes per hour etc. Seems like quite a few might well be. Fascinating story which opens up a number of areas for discussion, most importantly of all, what exactly is work?
Issue #308 published 4 Sep 2022
Three of my favourite people in this episode - brainfooders Alison Ettridge, Toby Culshaw and Teresa Wykes talking Talent Intelligence. You should follow all these people and everyone who is interested in Talent Intelligence or People Analytics, should listen to this.
Issue #304 published 7 Aug 2022
It is so very important to have the right measurements, as do indeed ‘do what we measure’. The problem comes when we end up doing the things which are most conveniently recordable in Excel, rather than more intangible things which make great teams work, an important point made by brainfooder Ted Bauer in this post on ‘the spreadsheet mentality’. As a bonus, this HN thread becomes a brilliant discussion on why measuring something, can often corrupt it.
Issue #303 published 31 Jul 2022
David Green with Kevin Wheeler? Count me in, as two of the smartest people in our business talk about people analytics and the future of TA. Great to hear these two on such great form (both of whom btw, write wonderful newsletters which I strongly recommend you subscribe to).
Issue #301 published 17 Jul 2022
This is fun - the application of techniques, technologies and some cases, human resources, from one field (Hedge Funds) to something entirely unrelated (Pro Sports). Perhaps, not entirely unrelated. Great listen, do it here. H/T to brainfooder Bas van de Haterd for the share.
Issue #297 published 19 Jun 2022
It may be titled ‘basic principles’ but this 127 page tome is pretty much the comprehensive guide for recruiters and HR folks on People Analytics. I spoke to a newly hatched CPO friend of mine recently and she said People Analytics was a key component of her step up to the top role. So if you care about that, you should have a read of this.
Aaron Lintz for the share in the fb group
Issue #282 published 6 Mar 2022
Do you practice ‘DDR’ or ‘data driven recruiting’? It would be hard for any one of us to say no these days, but as we dive deep into collecting, measuring and collecting data about our people and processes, we need to be careful not to fall for into the McNamara Fallacy
Issue #280 published 20 Feb 2022
Handy Statistical Lexicon
There is no greater rhetorical flex these days than invoking statistical lexicon. How many times have you heard that some claim ‘is not statistically significant’ as if merely invoking this is the end of all discussion on the matter 🤣? This website is no replacement for a formal education on stats but it is certainly handy.
Issue #279 published 13 Feb 2022
Excellent post on how our relationship with worktech needs to be ‘cautiously optimistic’, especially once we understand that ‘fairness’ is not necessarily determined at the gate. Three takeaways at the end are well worth the time of everyone here.
Issue #278 published 6 Feb 2022
Fascinating article on the ethical conundrum confronting data scientists on what data should be collected and how it should be used to support better decision making. In the end, I suspect we are going to need to couple People Analytics with a constrained application of AI in order to produce the better business outcomes but also to avoid decision making paralysis. Must read.
Issue #270 published 12 Dec 2021
Exceptional post on how to build a department from scratch. Can be read as an intro to People Analytics, an example of a maturity model of People Analytics or as a how-to on building capacity where before there was none. Must read folks.
Issue #267 published 21 Nov 2021
I’m a fan of these ‘100 days in’ reviews - we did a Brainfood Live on this for recruiters a couple months ago. Here is Serena Huang talking about her experience as a new Head of People Analytics. Worth reading, especially if you think you might be making a move yourself in near future. PS: also, decent intro to People Analytics
Issue #266 published 14 Nov 2021
EmailAnalytics is a product surfaces up how your employers are talking and collaborating with each other on Gmail / Google Workspaces. This report is a monthly aggregate across the industry, so useful to benchmark for your team. Does your team receive too many emails? Do they spend too much time on chat? I guess now you can find out…..
Issue #254 published 22 Aug 2021
“Stories of fear sell better than those of hope” 
Aleksandr Agapitov, CEO of Xsolla, responds to accusations of mass lay offs via algorithm, as detailed in last week’s brainfood. To his credit he makes a credible case of media narrative manipulation, whilst not refuting the accusation but rather presenting it in new light. It begs the question: what is problematic about this?
Issue #253 published 16 Aug 2021
Russian payment services company Xsolla has fired 150 employees at once. What caused controversy wasn’t the staff reduction itself but the CEO’s letter, in which he tried to explain the reason behind this decision…
The controversy stemmed from the allegation that the decision was made based on analysis of employees communication metadata….. fascinating story. H/T Mervyn Dinnen for the share in the fb group
Issue #252 published 8 Aug 2021
Systems thinking, and a lack of it, is probably the main reason behind why bad ideas end up being policy in organisations. Fantastic long read - be warned, this is 10 minutes of your time - on the application of systems thinking from the perspective of People Analytics.
Issue #249 published 18 Jul 2021
The Flemish Scrollers, 2021
Fun website which tracks how often Flemish politicians - whose open sessions are livestreamed by default - check their mobile phones. A lot has been said about ‘bossware’ and how uncomfortable we are at been tracked at work, but perhaps the issue is more who is doing the tracking….
Issue #248 published 11 Jul 2021
Tour de Force by brainfooder David Green, who excerpts from his new book, Excellence in People Analytics, a brief (yet comprehensive) history of people analytics. This post is a superb foundation for deeper investigation on vital component of today’s business operations.
Issue #243 published 6 Jun 2021
David Green has been making these collections posts a monthly ritual; pretty much gets you up to speed on the state of the people analytics - no better curator on the topic. Now also a LinkedIn newsletter, so you know what you got to do - subscribe to it.
Issue #238 published 2 May 2021
Brainfooder David Green publishes these incredible monthly circulars on People Analytics. It’s too much information but you can be sure there will several nuggets in each one which you will find educational. Focus on People Analytics and adjacent. Have a read, and follow David on LinkedIn
Issue #234 published 4 Apr 2021
The shift to remote is an inadvertent digitisation of previously analogue processes, and it will be prove to be a boon to the emerging discipline of People Analytics. When does it go too far though? Microsoft 365 productivity scoring dashboard was met with this outstanding tweet thread from Wolf Christie and likely triggered its hasty modification. People analytics or surveillance tech? Might well come down to who is looking at the dashboard.
Issue #220 published 27 Dec 2020
The shift to virtual working has produced a data boom that could revolutionise organisations – if they know what to do with it.
One of the under rated and under reported aspects of the shift to remote is the digitisation of businesses processes which were previously analogue. This means a data boom with risk and opportunity in equal measure. ‘Recruitment meta data’ is going to be a thing in 2021 folks. Have a read
Issue #219 published 20 Dec 2020
Nothing revelatory in this report from Cardiff University / Data Justice Lab, but it does a rigorous job of outlining where in the recruiting process that data is being collected, and how it is or might be used. Accessible reading on a phenomena accelerated by remote - the digitisation and therefore datafication of the workplace.
Issue #217 published 6 Dec 2020
At what point does people analytics segue into bossware for workplace surveillance? Some interesting features rolled out in Microsoft Office 365 which has come under criticism from the twitterati for precisely this issue. Wolfie Christie twitter thread for the technical breakdown, Gizmodo article for a consumer friendly critique.
Going against the grain: I’m kind of ok with this. What do you think?
Issue #216 published 29 Nov 2020
File this post under ‘didn’t know, afraid to ask’ - an excellent overview of the difference between two terms which are often conflated. Kind of a must read I think
Issue #209 published 11 Oct 2020
At what point does people analytics become employee surveillance? Remote working digitises the remaining analogue elements of employee collaboration, leading to greater data driven decision making - and at the very same type - contravention of worker privacy. This story is going to run and run folks.
Issue #205 published 13 Sep 2020
A call to action from brainfooder Toby Culshaw on the importance of Talent Intelligence for our strategic repositioning within the business. Message is clear: talent acquisition has to expand scope beyond talent acquisition, and being smart with data will be one way to do it.
Issue #202 published 23 Aug 2020
A thread about a Talent Acquisition Maturity Model in the fb group, got me to think about what other maturity models we can find that have been applied to different aspects of our work? This one, about People Analytics, is a pretty good example of why they might be valuable tool. Now is as good a time as any to conduct an assessment, so have at it here
Issue #195 published 5 Jul 2020
We’ve conflated data with truth. And this has dangerous implications for our ability to understand, explain, and improve the things we care about.
Essential read from Andrea Jones-Rooy, Professor of Data Science at NYU. Perfect antidote to online arguments where your interlocutor goes ‘where’s the data on that?’
Issue #158 published 23 Apr 2020
More stuff from the US military, and as you might expect, it is both impressive and worrisome in equal measure. A new AI-enabled pilot project aims to sense “micro changes” in the behaviour of people with top-secret clearances. If it works, it could be the future…
Issue #156 published 23 Apr 2020
J'accuse recruiters / HR people of pretending to know more about data than they really do. I’m guilty of this, so reading this respectful post by Cassie Kozyrkov was a godsend. You should read this if you don’t know the difference between analytics and statistics; it’s ultra urgent you read it if you think you do.
Issue #156 published 23 Apr 2020
This article has nothing whatsoever to do with Covid-19. But it is perhaps the single best essay I’ve read on people analytics - with the why & how dealt with in a way which stretches your understanding but accessible enough for most of us here.
Issue #182 published 23 Apr 2020
Accessible deconstruction of a critically important topic in HR by Panalyt’s Abdel-rahmen Korichi. This step-by-step guide is an ideal entry point for people wanting to take the next step with People Analytics - if you’re not familiar with it, take a read now. Also a fine example of how to write vendor side content ;-)
Issue #127 published 23 Apr 2020