New research from NUI Galway examines the manner with which voluntary personal data analytics can be collected, managed and implemented by organisations within the workplace. The study focuses on a concept termed Enterprise Personal Analytics through which organisations can empower their employees by using their personal data analytics to digitally manage their working environment, enhancing wellness and performance.

Data analytics technologies and techniques are widely used in organisations to enable them to make more-informed business decisions. While traditional organisational business intelligence metrics deliver a big picture of structures, processes, and roles, evidence from the study suggests that more detailed and personalised data analytics can help employees gain deeper and more granular insights into the manner with which they work.

Wearable technology such as Fitbit is being used more often in organisations for Wellbeing Programmes. For example, IBM provided Fitbit devices to 40,000 employees over a two-year period which saw 96% of the users routinely monitoring health data. Employees who participated in the programme obtained an average of 8,800 more steps per day in comparison to employees who didn’t participate in the programme. Other organisations use it to support benefits managers to monitor employee performance and aiding in job safety by helping workers track sleep and activity levels.

The study entitled ‘Enterprise Personal Analytics Digital Transformation Roadmap’, published in Cutter Consortium, was conducted by Dr Trevor Clohessy and Dr Thomas Acton from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway.

Dr Trevor Clohessy from NUI Galway, said: “We believe that the emerging concept of EPA has the potential to become the new frontier of competitive differentiation. Through voluntary opt-in, employees can provide their personal analytical data to the organisation they work for that can directly support the company’s vision and objectives. For instance, organisations contemplating using machinery to automate a business function can use personal analytics data to identify the benefits of such an action and weigh their decision against the loss of tacit knowledge that the company may lose by replacing people with machines. This can also help organisations enhance the physical and mental wellbeing of their employees.

“Our research presents a two-dimensional grid (concerns versus perspectives) to define a roadmap that organisations can use to guide their EPA digital transformation efforts. We believe that if organisations build a culture of trust, their employees and customers will become acclimatised to capturing and analysing their personal analytical data within an enterprise setting. Our study also discusses how the potential nexus of parties, partners, employees, customers, data pools, cloud and network providers, encompassed in an EPA initiative, will require robust information governance mechanisms. Specifically, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force on Friday, 25 May 2018, applies to all companies worldwide that process the personal data of EU citizens. Companies considering implementing EPA initiatives will have to operationalise information governance strategies that are fully compliant with GDPR requirements.”

The study identified four specific concerns pertaining to the use of personal analytics in an enterprise setting:

  • Individual information systems architecture, the design and capacity of each employee’s work station would need to enable the collection of personal analytics data.
  • Knowledge and intellectual property (IP).
  • Motivation and remuneration.
  • Information governance.

Dr Clohessy added: “As a result of the emergence of GDPR here in Europe, organisations are turning to blockchain technologies which has been cited as a compelling means of protecting personal data in a decentralised manner. The use of EPA will be strengthened by increased instances of business use cases with robust security and privacy safe guards. Consequently, the roadmap described in our study can assist companies to deploy simple field tests prior to jumping into the deep end of EPA.”

The study can be read in full here: https://www.cutter.com/experts/trevor-clohessy


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