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Club Level Feature: Ernst & Young

EY collaborates with Microsoft on a new analytics solution to help organizations enhance workforce productivity and well-being

London, 12 July 2017

EY announced this summer that it is collaborating with Microsoft to provide a new analytics solution called Workplace Insights, which can help organizations enhance their productivity and the well-being of their work forces by uncovering data patterns in digital communication and employee collaboration in today’s complex, digitally-driven business environment.

Workplace Insights combines the Microsoft Workplace Analytics platform with EY services consulting and data analytics experience to help organizations reach informed business decisions that can improve performance. The platform analyzes an organization’s existing communication and collaboration patterns – such as email and calendar metadata – and incorporates data from other enterprise systems to show how teams spend their time, collaborate and engage, both internally and externally, such as with suppliers or clients. EY interprets the outputs to help develop actionable insights and recommendations that organizations can use to support the execution of their strategic and operational priorities. The capability can be applied across business scenarios that include organizational transformation, mergers and acquisitions and real estate planning. Workplace Insights helps organizations use data to make informed decisions in these example areas:

  • Organizational transformations: Helps targeted and efficient change management and transformation efforts by measuring and monitoring the real-time effectiveness of change programs and engagement.
  • Mergers and acquisitions: Supports integration, benefits realization and retention of critical talent by identifying degree of group collaboration and communication patterns across formerly disparate teams or organizations. This analysis can be used as forward-looking indicators of success or flag potential risks.
  • Organization design: Helps to provide organizations with a quantitative look at collaboration and communication habits, new activity patterns and make more informed decisions around changes in roles and responsibilities based on these new data sets.
  • Workspace and real estate planning: Allows planners to improve productivity and enhance employee engagement and collaboration by understanding where, when and how groups work. Work location and commute time information can be loaded into the platform, which supports EY in providing insights around capacity, design transformations and broader real estate planning activities.

Mike Bertolino, EY Global People Advisory Services (PAS) leader, says:

“In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive environment, employers continue to face increasing operational pressures, especially as the global workforce evolves. This collaboration with Microsoft combines data science with a focus on the value that people bring to their work. Workplace Insights helps companies to better understand the effectiveness of their people, so they can identify opportunities for change and help support their people to be the most productive and collaborative as possible.”

Ryan Fuller, General Manager, Microsoft MyAnalytics & Workplace Analytics, Microsoft, says:

“Working with EY to leverage the organization’s in-depth experience in workforce transformation and change management across multiple industries, we anticipate that we will increase our engagement with organizations around the world. In today’s disruptive and highly competitive environment, it is more important than ever that companies take full advantage of the data they have at their disposal and understand what drives value, so they can make better-informed decisions.”

Together, EY member firms and Microsoft deployed Workplace Insights to help a global professional services firm’s IT organization in redesigning process and structure to increase customer centricity and decrease cost. The company leveraged the data to improve collaboration between groups and identify optimal reporting relationships and organizational structures, which helped measurably improve product development, margin and speed-to-market.

Greg Cudahy, EY Global Lead, Technology, Media & Entertainment, and Telecommunications, says:

“Particularly for large transformations that can drive hundreds of millions of dollars in value, organizations need to be sure they can pinpoint their most collaborative and productive teams and facilities. Workplace Insights provides near-real-time, quantifiable feedback on what’s working and what is not, so organizations can quickly identify and leverage workforce opportunities. In addition, EY and Microsoft are committed to protecting clients’ and employees’ data privacy and confidentiality by aggregating and anonymizing data, while complying with increasingly varied and stringent data privacy regulations.”

The Workplace Insights solution is supported by more than 10,000 EY People Advisory Services practitioners globally. The solution can be integrated with the EY Organization Talent Hub (OTH), a tool built on the Microsoft Azure platform. OTH pulls an organization’s data into a secure environment, providing access to crucial statistics before and after the restructuring occurs. It offers the granularity necessary for planning the new organization design and selecting and retaining talent, while tracking workforce movements needed for day-to-day operations.

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