Raising worker performance with AI and machine learning

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Many organizations today find themselves at a crossroads, faced with an abundance of data but a scarcity of trust in that data. Those organizations prevent their employees from becoming the “producers” of data insights that are needed to grow the business and foster innovation.

But leading organizations are using data and analytics to boost employee performance and create more “masters” of critical tasks. They are turning data consumers into those idea producers and using analytics everywhere to drive decisions.

That was the message of Kurt Schlegel and Debra Logan, two analysts with Gartner Inc. who offered the keynote address, “Lead in the Age of Possibilities,” at the Gartner Data & Analytics Summit 2017 in Grapevine, TX this week.

Schlegel and Logan offered tips on how organizations can turn scarcity into insight abundance, and greatly increase the employee productivity in the process. Schlegel gave the example of the shortage of physicians in this country, which can be offset by elevating the knowledge and skills of nurse practitioners.

“We can input artificial intelligence into our workforce to create more masters,” Schlegel said. “We can use data and analytics to bolster the role of nurse practitioners.”

More broadly, “we can raise the performance of workers with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and bots,” Schlegel said.

Unfortunately, while the majority of chief data officers surveyed by Gartner say they are in a position to be the champions of change for their organizations, Logan said the majority of data analytics projects don’t directly impact business decisions.

“Data is everywhere. Analytics must happen everywhere,” Logan said.

Schlegel and Logan offered a 3-step plan on how organizations cash in on their data assets.

Step one is to Rethink Your Leadership, and think of new ways of doing things. If an organization doesn’t already have a chief data officer, it’s time to get one, Logan said. Organizations should turn their consumers of data into producers, and create a decision-making culture.

Step two is to Modernize Your Technology. Schlegel said this includes the ability to virtualize and scale, use machine learning, and incorporate bots.

Step three is to Maximize Your Business Capabilities. Schlegel said organizations should use analytics to transform data producers into business enablers. They should apply analytics to improve the business model, and change analog into digital experiences.

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