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Be the data. Now.

May 11, 2012

The cigarette suspended from his bottom lip, Bogie-like, seemingly held there by the thinnest slice of moisture and the slightest leverage from the lip above. On more than one occasion, ash would succumb to gravity, floating to a crash onto the field of green and white below. Merrill Simons was an old “MIS” guy, and he helped me get a “flat file” of service call data from our old NEC “Astra” mini-computer, and he’d deliver it on a 5 ½ inch “floppy drive.” In 1987, there was no attaching a file to email. In fact, most “interoffice memorandums” were exchanged on paper, and all computer reports were delivered sneakernet style on stacks of greenbar paper. It was not unusual to see people lugging reports of the 11″ x 14.87″ wide paper 3 or 4 inches in depth! My mission, and I chose to accept it (from another ash dangler), was to save trees by importing the flat-file data into “dBase III,” then create a report that would neatly present the calculated data on a few sheets of standard 8 ½“ x 11” paper. I had never used dBase, and after only about a week, I figured out how to open the program… Then I came face to face with “the dot prompt.”

Yeah, the old dot was a bit intimidating, but eventually I learned to code and successfully produced a weekly “Utilization Report,” complete with a variance column that showed how an individual or team performance compared against our target utilization of 65%. Knowing that particular metric later helped me land my job at Kronos, but I’ll save that for another post. Anyway, since that experience I’ve loved working with data. Anyone that’s spent any time poring through thousands of spreadsheet rows manually scanning for patterns with bloodshot eyes knows the meaning of “be the data.”

Kronos customers want to “be the data.” Any webinar, local user conference session or KronosWorks session that covers reporting attracts about 3X the audience of other topics. It makes sense. With labor being the highest controllable cost of most organizations, those responsible for it want to be that data.

But what data? Back in the greenbar days, and to a great extent still today, the data we “be” is from past periods. Last quarter. Last month. Last week. Yesterday. I want to be the data now, not last week. It’s the same for workforce data. Only through real-time visibility can organizations effectively plan their future workforce needs to control labor costs. Our Workforce Analytics delivers those instant insights so you can:

  • Gain instant visibility into workforce trends and outliers to identify areas of opportunity for innovation and growth
  • Maximize productivity and minimize costs
  • Maintain predictable labor expenses and stay within budget

So drop the stack of paper and be the data. Now.

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