3 Minutes with… Steven Bianchi, VP People Operations, Improbable

After speaking at People Analytics World 2018 in April, Steven Bianchi shares a few thoughts on his experiences and predictions in HR Analytics...

VP People Operations, Improbable Games

- VP People & Organisation, Zalando
- Global Head of HR Management Information & People Analytics, Deutsche Bank
- Chief Operating Officer, Canonical Group
- Senior Director, People & Organization Analytics & Insights, Unilever
- Lead Systems Analyst/Designer, Canada Revenue Agency

Steven believes in a connected future whereby one’s ability to influence and manage networks will enable value to be created in ways unlike anything the world has ever experienced. His role as Vice President of People Operations for Improbable Worlds Limited — a British technology company that focuses on large-scale simulations in the cloud, enabling virtual worlds of unprecedented scale and complexity — enables him to be an architect of this future and work to make it tomorrow’s reality.

For how long has your work involved analytics, either directly or in project leadership?

Since the late '90s, but I came to focus on human capital, talent and organisation analytics in 2008.

For how long have you worked in the HR domain?

Since 2007, when I started working focussing on HR Management Information at Unilever.

How well do you feel People Analytics is progressing?

There has been a lot of interest and growth in the people analytics domain over the past few years, which is fantastic. It's always exciting to see how others approach and address similar-themed challenges.

I also think that we're getting closer towards a universally accepted definition of the role of a People Analyst, which is an important step towards recognition as a professional practitioner.

What have been the greatest challenges that you've faced within People Analytics?

I see a lot of great and interesting work happening in the people analytics space; however, most of these initiatives appear to be managed as research projects, which may serve to support a single purpose (event, process, etc.).

These sorts of solutions don't typically scale well. You'll often hear me saying that we [people analytics] need to design for production environments; that's what has led me to adopt more of a product management approach towards people analytics.

What are your predictions for 2018 and beyond? Where are things heading?

I forsee a few trends. Vendor consolidation will occur as players with deeper pockets integrate the offerings of smaller, more innovative studios. This could lead to some baseline People Analyst skills becoming more generic and expressed as one's ability to use tools and applications, whereas more senior leaders will likely specialise and differentiate on domain experience and business acumen. I've seen repeated calls to create a professional People Analytics body, and I think that its formation is imminent.

Steve Bianchi spoke at PAWorld18 in London on 11-12 April, click below to discover more:

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People Analytics World 2018 is over until next April