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Conceptual Modelling: Achieving Business Goals through Logical Thinking

Conceptual Modelling: Achieving Business Goals through Logical Thinking




Mon 25 April

13:15 BST

Sjoerd van den Heuvel

People Analytics Researcher

University of Applied Sciences Utrecht

“I guess my recent study is groundbreaking. Even Nobel Prize-worthy. I discovered that the more people are going to the beach, the more the sun will shine. I validated that several times, in June, September, December…”

So, what’s wrong here? Obviously, causality is reversed. But how sure are you that you don’t do that in your own People Analytics practices? Often, People Analytics projects are focused on relationships within the HR domain, but how do these initiatives relate to strategic business outcomes? What does the logical chain, the causal chain, look like? And if you reason from the right to the left, so you start with the business outcomes, would you end up with the same People Analytics research, of a completely different scope with much more business impact?

In this workshop, associate professor Sjoerd van den Heuvel PhD guides you through the process of developing conceptual models as the foundation of your people analytics project. You will develop a first version of a conceptual model for your own projects, which can be reviewed. Ideally, you should participate in this workshop with colleagues from your organisation so that you can collaborate, but you can also join as a solo people analytics hero. This session will be fun, frustrating, confusing, and extremely helpful. Are you up for the challenge?

This workshop will explore:

  • Examples of solutions and interventions that are ineffective because of incorrect initial assumptions about causal relations 
  • Examples of universalistic approaches that are insufficiently segmented to various organisational characteristics 
  • Examples of assumptions of direct relationships, when actually there are mediating factors in play
  • How to make strategic business impact with conceptual modelling in people analytics projects
  • How to avoid oversimplifying reality, which causes ineffective people analytics interventions
  • How to effectively instruct your data scientist, who essentially speaks a ‘different language’.

Learning outcomes:

  • Learn about the 4 core ingredients of any conceptual model
  • Develop a conceptual model for a desired people analytics project in your own organisation
  • Experience how easy it is to base you people analytics project on incorrect, inaccurate, and invaluable assumptions
  • Next week, you’ll spend your days developing conceptual models: that’s a promise!

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Sjoerd van den Heuvel

Sjoerd van den Heuven

Associate Professor People Analytics

University of Applied Sciences Utrecht

Sjoerd van den Heuvel Ph.D. is associate professor for Data-Driven Business & People Analytics at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht in the Netherlands. He is an international authority and a frequently asked speaker at business conferences and in-company trainings across the globe.

Sjoerd co-founded the very first Master of Science program ‘Data Driven Business’ in the Netherlands; a formally accredited, and by the Dutch Government funded, multi-disciplinary 1-year university program in which students master the role of Analytics Translator: the must have role for data driven organizations (source: McKinsey, 2018).

Sjoerd teaches Data Driven Decision Making and People Analytics to professionals, undergraduate and graduate students. His research focusses primarily on individual competencies and organizational capabilities required for successful Data Driven Business & People Analytics.

Sjoerd holds a Ph.D. degree in Human Resource Management from Tilburg University in the Netherlands, and prior to his current position, he worked as a senior management consultant (Capgemini Consulting), senior Engagement & Retention advisor (Dutch Postal Service) and assistant professor in HRM (University of Amsterdam and Twente University).

In both his teaching and research activities, his core focus is on how to bridge the gap between science and practice, because that’s where the People Analytics magic happens!

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