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7/17/14 8:53 AM Rebecca Whittenberger

female employees using data and analytics as communication tools for businessData and analytics are trending communication tools for business, especially in the field of HR technology.

One of the central characters in the TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation is a robot named Data. Programmed with exceptional intelligence, talent, and even human-like feelings, Data is a valuable android central to his team’s problem-solving and success. If only all of us could have our own personal Data at work.

Well, actually, now you can. Especially if you are an HR professional who uses tech communication tools for business, you can now have real-time data right at your fingertips.

Putting data at the center of everything

The latest issue of Human Resource Executive features an article called New Tech Directions. This article says that the most significant HR tech-related trend right now is using data and analytics to “empower, inform and enable HR and business leaders. Data is at the center of almost every HR technology initiative today.”

Data, whether it’s a helpful robot or a bunch of information on a spreadsheet, is crucial to business success.

One of the big themes at this year’s HR Tech Conference in Las Vegas is going to be how HR decisions can be more data-driven. For example, Joe Essenfield, CEO of a New York-based HR tech solution development company, says that his company is definitely seeing an “increased desire to use more advanced and dynamic data and analytics to help them gain better insight into their recruiting strategy.”

So what kind of insights are we talking about? It’s a pretty impressive list of benefits. The article reports that data and analytics applied to the recruiting process now allow corporate recruiters and hiring managers to get detailed, real-time info about the following:

  • the location of their candidates (either geography or type of device)
  • the profit (or lack thereof) of their recruiting-advertising sources
  • the conversion and drop-off rates during the application and hiring process (i.e. at what point in the process they’re losing applicants)

All of this data is priceless when you’re looking for the best talent to hire into your company culture. Detailed analytics can help answer all kinds of questions, from “is this person a good fit?” to “where exactly in the recruiting process did this candidate lose interest?”

Using data to improve your communication style

This kind of practical data is also available in some of today’s communication tools for business. And you’re going to need tools like these to communicate internally with those fantastic new people you hired.

With these tools, data and analytics are your new best friends because they let you know the following:

  • how and when recipients interacted with your message
  • what parts of your message engaged recipients the most
  • what aspects of your message you need to improve

There’s already so many things competing for our attention these days that our communication style needs to be spot on. And the communication tools for business that we choose should include data and analytics that help us do that.

Looking for more tips on improving your business communication style? Check out our free eBook!

Bonus Tips

If you don’t currently have access to communication tools that provide you with practical data, don’t worry. Here are three ways you can improve your digital communication style right now:

  1. Insert interesting visuals into your message. Let’s say you’re sending an email to your new employee congratulating them on being hired. Don’t send a boring, text-based message. Instead, include cool visuals in your message to boost interest. Like what? A short webcam video with a personal greeting from you, a fun picture of the last company office party, a short quiz testing their knowledge (just for fun) of their new company – use visual, interactive elements to spice up your communications.
  2. Ask your recipients for their feedback. What better way to become a better communicator than asking your recipients how you can improve your messages and communication style? It’s often hard to see a situation clearly when we’re right in the middle of it, and it’s no different with communication. We may assume we’re good communicators when we really have a lot to work on. Ask for feedback on how to improve the way you communicate so your recipients will be more likely to read and comprehend your messages.
  3. Don’t rely on email alone to communicate important information. If you have something really important to say or a lengthy explanation to give, don’t use email. Make a phone call, set a meeting, or just walk over to your coworker’s desk to give the message in person. You basically want to eliminate as much potential for misunderstanding as you can. Email is most effective for simple questions and statements that don’t need to be analyzed. For example, in an email you can say things like “yes, I can attend the meeting tomorrow,” or “the main elevator is broken, so take the stairs” without fear of being misunderstood. (Let’s hope so, anyway.)

Rebecca Whittenberger

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