5 ways to use data to improve productivity

20 March 2018 -

Data productivityThese are the questions you can answer with data to boost the way you work

Guest blogger, Isaac Kohen

Why should we care about team productivity? The answer is simple. Productive employees translate to high performing companies. According to a recent Gallup Survey, companies with engaged employees outperform companies without by 202%. That is a big difference, and it accounts for more than just pennies when it comes to year-end profits.

Having productive employees is a big deal. But measuring it manually can be difficult. Data collection through a software application like user monitoring can give you effective productivity data to help you make strategic decisions for your team. This insight can have a dramatic impact on your daily operations and team performance.

With this said, data can be used effectively to improve employee productivity in the workplace.

Here are five important answers that you can learn from data:

1. Where’s your ‘selfware’?

A recent report discovered that 93% of surveyed companies are wasting money on unused or underused software, or otherwise known as ‘selfware.’ These types of applications can cost companies hundreds per user, and the wasted money comes from ongoing maintenance costs and costs related to inventory keeping.

In order to detect where your ‘selfware’ is hurting team productivity, it’s important to make best use of a monitoring software that’s collecting and analysing data. The key to understanding ‘selfware’ is tracking application time use. This type of tracking allows you to see the amount of time used in the application, where applications are being used and log actions.

Once you have the needed data to make an informed decision on selfware, you can retire applications that are sucking your team’s productivity.

2. What are my team’s most productive hours?

The team could be more productive in the morning, the afternoon or in the evenings. Data collected from an employee monitoring software can give valuable insight into idle vs. active time. According to a recent study done by University of Texas-Austin, over 78% of employees experience idle time at work.

The idea of a 9-5 work day is an industrial revolution concept that transitioned into today. With the rising popularity of remote work and the advancement of technology, employees can now access information easily from any location while using internet-based applications.

We are no longer bound by the 9-5 work day and brick and mortar walls.

Because of this, you could utilise data collected from monitoring to make strategic decisions on employee productivity hours. Maybe peak team productivity is first-thing in the morning, and late in the evening. Through data, these trends can be easily identified, and managers can change work schedules (and locations) to reflect productive hours.

3. Where are the workarounds?

Sometimes employees look for workarounds to get the work done. They might resort to old applications, because they’re familiar with how they work. It might be familiar, but it might be an example of ‘selfware.’ Through data collection and monitoring, managers can create ‘whitelists’ and be ‘pinged’ when employees are using retired software. Further the data can show managers how much time is logged and discover what obstacles were there that decrease efficiency.

4. Which employees deserve a promotion?

When employees are up for a promotion, this can be often a stressful and awkward event. Lucky, monitoring and data collection can give the manager and the employee concrete evidence behind a promotion. Data can provide insight into whether the employee reached the company’s established productivity rating, was logged on for a significant time, or followed company security policies effectively. Because of monitoring, employees can gather more data-driven reasons for them to receive a promotion.

5. How can we encourage productive habits?

If employees are displaying productive working habits, managers want to recognise and reward those habits. Celebrating employees when they reach productivity peaks is a fundamental part in building a functioning and happy team. Celebrating ‘wins’ boost self-esteem and encourages employees to continue to do similar good work habits. Monitoring and data provides the team will concrete examples of what worked well. Examples are a proven method of quality and effective instruction.

It’s time to take a new approach to productivity. Though data analysis and monitoring, managers can provide effective insight into improving the effectiveness of their team.

Isaac Kohen is the founder and CEO of software firm, Teramind and can be reached at [email protected]

Image credit: Shutterstock

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