Five Tips For Writing About Analytics

I write a lot about analytics. Blogs Posts, Power Point Presentations, Books, Training Materials, Marketing Pieces, etc.

What I write is influenced by what I read. 

I read a lot about analytics. Blogs, Books, White Papers, Research Findings, LinkedIn Posts and such.

What I read influences how I write. 

All that said and done, I came up with some quick tips to make writing about analytics more engaging.

Tip #1 – Write with passion. Analytics is a pretty dry topic on the surface. Lots of data and reports and formulas and models. The topic is among the leading causes of nosebleed amount my audience. SO, to get past the dry and head spinning content, your have to get people excited about it.

Let your passion for data-driven decision-making and using data to solve real world business problems shine.

Tip #2 – Keep it as simple as possible. This is my biggest challenge. Not getting to techie and using too many analytics buzzwords. Analytics is harder to explain then it seems, even though we all use analytics everyday. Companies know they need it, but can’t articulate how to use it successfuly.

Keeping my writings accessible to the novice analyst, but still interesting the expert is a key reason for my success.

Tip #3 – One Subject at a Time. It’s easy to start down one path and get pulled into tangents. Data is everywhere. Analytics means something different to every business. Trying to keep your writing focused is super important. Review key concepts and allow for everyone to keep up.

With blogging its easy, stay with what is on the subject line. With books and training materials, as long as you stick to your outline you will be fine. However you write, always make sure every thing ties back to the beginning.

Tip #4 – Get the Audience to Ask Questions. With my writing, I ask a lot of questions without actually asking questions. If you need help with this, connect with me. A lot of companies struggle with this (implying like your company does). I am constantly getting my audience to ask their own questions as they read.

It is all about creating an environment that encourages reflection and analysis. One question leads to another until you have created a culture of curiosity and discovery.

Tip #5 – Share Your Opinion. Your audience is reading your work because you are the expert. They don’t have the experience and/or the confidence to use their data or conduct their analysis on there own. Be the subject matter expert for them and they will keep coming back.

In today’s information age, everyone can be an expert in their own little niche. To truly become a thought leader, you have to be always sharing your opinions not just to your followers, but to your future followers as well.

As the number of analysts and data scientists explodes across the global work place, the need for experts has never been greater. If you have some knowledge others will benefit from and not sure how to get started in telling you story… connect with me. I will show you how.


Sonic Analytics – The Premier HR & Recruitment Analytics Solutions in the Philippines

Sonic Analytics is an HR and Recruitment Analytics-centric consulting, outsourcing and training company with teams in the United States and the Philippines. We specialize in corporate HR & Recruitment analytics consulting, public analytics trainings as well as small and medium HR and Recruitment Analytics outsourcing.


Our unique approach takes advantage of our extensive network among Filipino companies, call centers, BPO companies and top schools to identify recruit and train people who have the required skills to be a good HR or Recruitment Analyst.

We have created different analytics programs including Recruitment Analytics, HR Analytics, Business Analytics, Data Analytics and Data based Decison-Making.

Whatever HR and Recruitment challenges you face, we can work with you to enchance your organization’s performance through in-house training.

We’ll help you find new HR and Recruitment analytics technologies, methodologies, talent and/or reporting. We can also help you in assessing your current analytics culture and develop a strategy to enhance or improve your use of your talent management analytics.

We provide back office support from a pool of talented people specifically recruited for their analytical abilities. We specialize in setting up home based team of analysts who can do basic and moderately difficult types of analytics including PUBLIC DATA MINING, INTERNET RESEARCH, COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE, BUILDING BUSINESS DASHBOARD etc.

“In the end, HR & Recruitment analytics is all about finding the right data, analyzing it and reporting your findings to empower talent acquisition and management teams”


-Dan Meyer, President & Founder

Finding Meaningful Ways to Use HR Data

One of the biggest challenges people have with using more data in their talent management process is that many leaders just don’t know where to start. Most HR organizations have tons of data on end to end talent management from recruitment to training to operations, but it is not easy to see meaningful patterns within all the data.

HR data used to be something easily captured in spreadsheets. Some of us have evolved to using more robust applicant tracking systems and talent management tools. Cutting edge HR teams are able to use the Big Data in their business to fuel a mature analytics engine that leads to insightful reports and business dashboards. Recent leaps in technology have given data hungry HR professionals access to a wide range of employee information that  can be used in ways unimaginable just a few years ago.

To really find meaningful ways to use HR Data, today’s HR professionals needs to have at least a working knowledge of the data they have in their business. To be successful they need to know how to access and analyze the data, provide it to decision-makers and incorporate the data into a living process of continuous improvement.

11709268_10153506561077425_1608720566061502683_nIn the end, success with HR data all boils down to the culture of the business. Is the team, or at least a number of the team, tech savvy and analytical? Is curiosity encouraged when it comes to finding new data? Is proactively mitigating risks and eliminating waste in the talent management process encouraged? If yes, then you are doing better than most.

Finding meaningful ways to use HR Data is not just about the cool new technologies available, nor is it just about harnessing the power of Big Data. It is as much as, if not more important that the HR team share a culture that optimizes the use of HR Data in defining strategy, making decisions and improving the business.

If you are wondering how to find more meaningful ways to use your HR Data, connect with me. I have helped dozen of HR teams to find ways to up their game when it comes to growing a data-driven culture that can maximize the big data in their business.


Whats Missing in Your Cost Per Hire Metric?

One of the most common metrics used in recruitment is cost per hire. Generally used to bring together all the costs associated with filling an open position, cost per hire is probably the most widely used metrics across all types of recruitment. It is a close to a universal metric as we have. However, most of us are not using it correctly.

First make sure your calculation includes all factors related to filling the positon that have an external cost like marketing, advertising, job fairs, job board fees, travel time to events, remote interviewing, etc. Any and everything you can think of that happens outside the office that adds to your total cost.

Now do the same for factors that are internal to the business. Salaries, bonuses, reimbursement expenses, application tracking systems, copy and printing costs, etc. Make a list and notate the expense for any and everything you can think of that happens inside the office.

In both cases, also include data for shared costs from expenses that cover more then one opening. In many cases we don’t include things like rental expenses, association fees, government requirements, really anything that your organization spends money on that directly supports your recruitment efforts. In many cases, you can divide the total amount by open positions to come up with some kind of weighted amount assigned to each open req.

Now one more piece to your cost per hire metric, that most of us miss. Expenses related to not filling the position. How much is lost in productivity? What revenue forecasts come up short? How much is spent on overtime and other compensation for staff covering for the open position? When you factor these items in you can get a much deeper understanding of the cost per hire to the business.


If you are doing all of these things and feel you have a very solid cost per hire metric, then you are in the minority. In an ideal world, recruitment teams can better allocate resources based on what positions cost the most to fill. Better understanding all the data points that are added into the cost per hire calculation can also uncover opportunities for savings that you might not otherwise see.

On the other hand, if you are looking for some guidance on assessing your cost per hire metric to make sure its optimized to capture all of the relevant data points to your business then connect with me. I can help you get a true read on the cost per hire in your business.

Quick Analytics Survey: Reasons Why Analytics Projects Fail

I am in the process of sending out a quick analytics survey to my LinkedIn connections asking what is the most common reason analytics projects fail.

The survey will be extremely helpful as I am preparing a new book that focuses on why analytics projects fail. I want to list out the most common reasons and then add what can be done by analysts to prevent these causes of failure.

Here are the reasons I have come across in my career as an analyst and consultant.

Reasons Why Analytics Projects Fail:
#1 – Lack of Focus, no one makes the project a priority.
#2 – Lack of Vision, no clear idea of what the end product looks like.
#3 – Lack of Management Support, no support from above.
#4 – Lack of a Champion, no one to cheer team on to completion.
#5– Organizational Politics, gets killed by someone else.
#6 – Lack of Funding, not enough money to complete the project.
#7 – Lack of Talent, don’t have the experts need to be successful.
#8– Lack of Resources, not given all the tools you need to finish.
#9– Bad Data, you complete the project, but end up with bad data.
#10 – Key People Leave, someone leaves that can’t be replaced.
#11 – No End User Participation, not useful to those its built for.
#12 – New Technology, it becomes obsolete before it can be used.
#13– Over Reliance on External Help, slowed by waiting for others.


If you have a reason, not covered by this list, please feel free to reply with that’s as well.

This future book will be a companion book to my recently completed Analytics Guidebook and my current book in process entitled Data-Driven Cultures.

If you are having problems in your organization with analytics projects faltering or failing to be the success you had hoped for, let me know. I can help you identify the cause, come up with a solution and help you ensure your analytics projects becomes a huge success to the organization.

Aligning Strategic Business Insights Through HR Analytics

Here is my course outline for the upcoming HR event I will be speaking at on August 17, @ SMX in Pasay.

Title of the Program:  Aligning Strategic Business Insights Through HR Analytics

Learning Session Description
From sourcing, through hiring, beyond training and towards retention, the best HR teams know their data and use it to stay focused on the overall strategy of the organization.  This learning session is designed for HR and Recruitment professionals to identify key data points and be exposed to analytic techniques  that are paramount to successfully aligning HR to a strategic business plan.

Learning Session Objectives
The specific objectives of this unique fun-filled learning experience are;

  • Be exposed to cutting edge analytic techniques being used by successful HR and Recruitment Team in the Philippines and abroad.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of what key metrics and data points add value to HR teams as they use data to align business strategy.
  • Be empowered to produce actionable reports that give decision-makers the right data at the right time to ensure a more solid business strategy.

Key Benefits from Attending this Learning Session
 In this session, your organization will be able to:

  1. Define the most important data points to the organization’s strategic plan.
  2. Develop an analytics strategy around how to better use data in decision-makin
  3. Deliver new analytics techniques to the rest of their team to better align HR and Recruitment with the core business strategy.

In this session, your participants will be able to:

  • Identify key data points within their HR and Recruitment business data.
  • Learn how to bring these data points into an inventory that allows quicker and more powerful analysis.
  • Integrate these data points and analysis into management reports full of actionable insights.

Who Should Attend

This session is suitable to a wide range of professionals but will greatly benefit:

  • Executives, Managers and Business Leaders who are looking to empower their HR and Recruitment teams to use more data analysis in their strategic planning.
  • HR and Recruitment Managers who use data and analytics as well as employee analysts to help in strategic planning and business optimization.
  • HR and Recruitment Supervisors and Team Leaders who use data and analysis to manage their teams and implement strategy.
  • Analysts working with HR and recruitment data who add value to the overall HR strategy though their reporting and analysis.

Learning Session Outline

This session will be broken into 4 key areas:

  1. Cutting Edge HR Analytics
  2. Finding the Right Data
  3. Key Analytic Techniques
  4. Actionable Reporting

Teams that are successful in each of these 4 areas, will be ahead of the game when it comes to keeping HR at the forefront of defining, aligning and implementing business strategy.

Learning Session Process

This session will utilize a variety of proven adult learning techniques to ensure maximum understanding, comprehension and retention of the information presented. This includes thought provoking discussions and analytics solutions presentations.

If you are interested in attending, check out the image below for details. Hope to see you there!


Only Data Dinosaurs Promise “One Day” or “On the Spot” Hiring

In the ever quickening world of BPO companies in the Philippines, the latest recruitment slogans promise One Day or On the Spot Hiring. Like the last dinosaurs, these big companies are making a futile effort to avoid extinction.

Anyone ever involved in recruitment will tell you, that its hard enough to find good candidates, but trying to find rock stars with a one day, end to end, recruitment process is ludicrous. Not using more data and analytics in their process, will lead them to walk with the dinosaurs.

When it comes to trying to compress the recruitment process cutting edge companies look to technology and data analysis to help them narrow the field and make quicker hires. While dinosaurs just through more manpower at the problem. They ramp up with staffing staff and take shortcuts in skills assessment, candidate fit and potential success to meet the ever increasing demand for talent.

dino image

When you see the headlines promising one day hires, you look at the companies and see they are doing things like its still the Jurassic Era. Resume screening in mass, scaled down skills tests and group final interviews. No demographic profiling, no analysis of the candidates distance to work or difficulty of commute, no predictive modeling based on candidate data to show likelihood of employee success. Its like watching a bad sci-fi movie about dinosaurs taking over the planet. It will not end well.

In today’s hyper competitive job market, only the companies who evolve to using more intelligent recruitment methods will prevail. The rest will someday take their place in a museum of failed BPO companies from the early 21st century.

And its not that expensive, not is it really that hard to invest in analytics solutions. The cost of ramping up and hiring more people to do hiring  is always more costly over time then a good business intelligence tool.

Instead of shortening your process to stave off eventual extinction, evolve your business to get with the times. Don’t end up like everyone else offering the promise of expedient hiring to fill seats, that in the end just need to be filled again and again. Hire a recruitment analytics expert, have them dig into your data and come up with a smarter solution.

I can show you how. I have helped dozens of BPO companies come up with analytics solutions that help them avoid the trap of one day hiring. Connect with me if you want to survive.



Using Data To Recruit Better Candidates

A few blog posts ago I mentioned 2 important recruitment analytics data points that can be used to help better understand attrition; distance to work and difficulty of commute. If a recruitment team has a way to use data on these two metrics in their screening process, they will be able to spend less time on high risk candidates and more time on candidates who have a much higher chance of sticking with the company.

It is not hard to start tracking these data points, as long as you have their home address, a general knowledge of traffic patterns and two very useful free  tools to help in your analysis. The free tools can be found at and

Based on the 50 Customer Care Analysts my team has hired for our 17 seat customer care team over the past 2.5 years, you can see some clear patterns when you look at their home addresses and commute on a map.

As you can see below, the majority of our candidates who turn into long term hires live closer to the office and along easier traffic routes. As a general rule, one direct ride (bus, train or shuttle) generally equates to stickiness of the candidate. Even some who live closer distance wise, but face multiple rides have a higher attrition rate than those who live a little further but have one ride. For example, taking a bus from the central part of Quezon City might be easier then 2-3 jeepney rides from Taugig, even though the distance from Taguig is much closer.


The map, created in Tableau Public, is generated on knowing the latitude and longitude of their home address (from their resume), which can be looked on using itouchmap. The whole project took less then 2 hours to compile, organize and upload the data into Tableau, then seconds to build the map.

During our first year as we hired people from a wider range of places we had much higher attrition (65%), but as we matured as a business along with our understanding of these and other key metrics, our attrition has dropped significantly in the past year (28%).

As elaborated on more in detail in previous posts, distance to work and difficulty of commute are not on their own data points to be used to screen candidates, but when combined with their interview scores, test and assessment results and reference checks, you can have a much more well-rounded view of the candidate’s potential.

If you would like some help us setting up this same process of capturing distance to work and difficulty of commute and building a map to visualize them, feel free to reach out to me.

Change Has Come > I am DMAI

About 4 years ago I attended a conference on Business Process Outsourcing where the keynote speaker was former President Aquino.

When he entered the room, I was sitting on the edge of the middle row and as he walked to the stage he walked right by me. I’m not much for being impressed by that kind of thing, but in this case it was pretty cool. I mean how often does someone get to be a few feet away from a president of any country.

In the four years since my brush with political celebrity, I am looking forward to getting another chance to be in the same room with a president. On August 17th, I will speaking at this event where current President Duterte will be giving the opening speech.


So from being in the audience 4 years ago, to now being on the same stage 4 years later. It is a very satisfying feeling to think how far I have come in 4 years. From a “fresh of the plane” foreigner with just a handful of connections to being one of the more in demand public speakers. All because I love analytics and have a passion for sharing my key essentials for data-driven decision-making with my beloved Philippines.

Change has come!

Living the dream!


Using Data Analytics to Assess Work Ethic

When you oversee the growth of a team from 6 to 100 employees in just over a year like I have, one of the biggest challenges you face is keeping up with recruitment requirements. When in rapid expansion mode, it is easy to lower standards and fall into a “just fill the seat” mentality. When this happens, high attrition generally follows.

One way to try and curb high attrition rates is to get better at measuring candidate work ethic. For most people assessing the work ethic of candidates is something that seems very subjective and not something that is east to apply metrics too. And in with that assumption, you are missing some very easy data points to capture and use in being more analytical in your recruitment process.  Let me highlight three data points to capture in the recruitment process that have a strong correlation to work ethic.

  • Timeliness
  • Resume Quality
  • Preparation for Interview

We all make note of these items during the process, and often include them in the overall evaluation of the candidate. But rarely is anyone capturing these items as data and using it to help measure work ethic and use it to predict work ethic once employed.

Timeliness is simple. Where they early, on-time, late, really late or a no show for any of the interviews in the process. If people are early or on-time it’s a positive and can show a general behavior once employed. On the other hand if a pattern of being late or not showing up is already evident before being hired, why would you expect that to change once they are part of your team?


One thing that is common here in the Philippines is dramatic excuses for being late or missing interviews. If you are or ever have done recruiting here, I am sure you can rattle of a long list of excuses; family emergency, death of a loved one, getting sick, and stuck in traffic being the ones I hear the most. Its easy to dismiss the excuse as a valid reason to be late or not show, but time and time again when we hire people who started like this, they don’t stick around. Putting a weight behind timeliness is extremely important. Over time you can track the attendance patterns of people you hired with low timeliness scores and I guarantee you that you will see a strong correlation between the two.

Resume Quality is also something that generally has a direct reflection on the candidate’s level of professionalism. If you are expecting someone to treat your business with respect and hard work, yet their resume is out of date, incomplete and/or full of typos, once again you are fooling yourself. Im sure we all think at some point the resume is just a resume and bad candidates can have good resumes and vice versa. Well if you do think that, then don’t you owe it to yourself to start tracking data to validate that. When you find you are mistaken, and bad resumes general equal bad employees, you can thank me. Come up with simple scoring system. Like an English teacher would grade a paper. Grade the resume and add the data to both your decision-making and your data analysis.

One of the deal breakers for me when I interview is how prepared is the candidate. When I ask them how did the hear about the job, and they say a friend told me to apply I get concerned. My follow up being did you research the company before coming here. When they say I didn’t. Its pretty close to an automatic fail. If a friend told them about the job, but they didn’t do anything to learn about the company it’s a clear sign they are not taking this serious. So why would I expect them to take their job serious once they start. Again come up with a simple scoring system to indicate how did they hear about the job, what kind of research did they do about the company and how much knowledge do they come in with about the job they are applying for.

So there, you go. That’s how you can add some powerful analytics to your recruitment process. Come up with you own measurements for timeliness, resume quality and interview preparation. Use them along side the tests and assessments and interviews, to build a more complete candidate profile. All track these data points over time to compare to data once they are an employee like schedule adherence, productivity and quality of work. I promise you, you will see strong correlations between the pre hire and post hire data.

If you need some advice on how to define, track and analyze your new data points for measuring the potential work ethic of your candidates, drop me a line.

I will also be talking about how to create data for your HR and Recruitment processes and how to apply some simple analytics techniques to drive better decision-making at Ariva’s HR Congress at SMX in Pasay on August 17th. PM me for details on discount pricing.