You’ll find that properly understanding behavior analytics is crucial to your success regardless of the industry that you are in. Here is a primer to get you started.

Introduction to Behavioral Analytics | #9

[00:00:01] Welcome to the Epic Company Culture Podcast. Your host, Josh Sweeney, will give you, the business leaders, HR professionals, and company culture aficionados, the knowledge you need to take your company culture to the next level.

Josh: [00:00:14] Hello, my name is Josh Sweeney and welcome to the Epic Company Culture Podcast. Today we’re going to be going over an introduction to behavior analytics. Before I get started, I’d like to thank Prototype Prime for this amazing podcast space. If you haven’t seen or visited Prototype Prime, they are a technology co-working space in Peachtree Corners. So please check them out.

What is Behavior Analytics?

[00:00:40] So, behavior analytics. What is behavior analytics? In regards to company culture, behavior analytics is the study of employee behavior using a data-driven approach. So I’ll walk you through that with a couple of different examples. As a highlight, what we do is we will take personality tests and human profiling and some other testing methodologies to understand a person, employee, whatever it might in different case. Then we’ll overlay that with additional HR data to come up with scenarios that we can analyze to increase production, find the right people, retain talent, all sorts of different things. It really demystifies the human behavior using data and science.

Cohort Analysis

With that, I think the best way to get that information across is to give you a few examples of what that would look like. One of the processes we use and one of the services we provide is called a cohort analysis. In this cohort analysis, we’re going to take all of the personality test information to get some performance data. Or HR data around any sort of information that they have. If it’s a salesperson, it’s performance data, annual review information. Then we’re going to overlay that information to come up with the perfect profile for certain job roles.

Sales Personality Analytics

[00:02:15] A really easy example is in a sales organization. So in a sales organization, it’s easy to get the information because you have very cut and clear performance data. A lot of times you have quotas or sales numbers around that salesperson’s performance. Maybe the number of calls, orwhatever it might be.

Personality Test

What we’ll do is administer a personality test, an assessment of everybody in that sales team. We’ll take the performance data around their sales. We overlay that and we’ll come up with some methodologies and some numbers. We can then say, “In your environment specifically, these are the profiles or the range that we see as the perfect sales person.” There’s nuances for each organization, but they generally fall into certain groupings. Then we’ll look at that and we’ll say, “Here’s the profiles of people that are in the gray area. They’re consistent, they perform, but maybe not top performers.”

Not a Fit

And then lastly, we’ll come up with a third grouping. It’s the people that just aren’t a fit in your organization. So we’re taking a very data-driven approach to find the best salespeople. Once we have that profile and once we know that information, we’re then able to use it in hiring.

If you’re interviewing fifteen salespeople and you need to fill five positions, all we have to do is now

  1. give them this personality test
  2. Correlate their personality type to your top performers
  3. We have a very good idea of who’s going to perform. Also who the organization should not move forward with offering a position to.

So that’s an example of a cohort analysis.

Other Organizations – Trucking and Logistics

[00:04:04] This can be used in other organizations as well. Right now, we’re actually working with a trucking and logistics organization. In that organization, it’s almost inverse on the performance side. Meaning that it’s highly regulated, so a trucker or somebody that’s driving an eighteen-wheeler tractor-trailer type truck can’t outperform. They can have great performance. They can do well and they can not get into wrecks. All of these different things, but they can’t put in more hours. Legally, they have to have sleep periods and things like this.

Violation Benchmark

So what we’re really analyzing with that company is we’re looking at violations. We’re looking at the inverse. What are the profiles that seem to be the highest risk because when it comes to the DOT — Department of Transportation — and in that industry, the violations and the other things that go wrong are highly detrimental as compared to a top performer. There’s a very negative correlation to what happens. So what we’re able to do now is we’re able to take all the violation data, any other information around that driver or that group of drivers, that cohort, and we overlay that with a personality and we’re actually able to say, “Look, these personality types are very consistent in their job, and then these other personality types are the ones that most often lead to the highest number of violations.

So there’s a mismatch here and we would recommend maybe coming up with another plan for those people, whether it’s you just don’t hire them or whether you manage them a little differently. Or you take other steps.” So when it comes to behavior analytics, that’s one of the top uses we enjoy is that cohort analysis.

Work Motivators

[00:05:53] Now, the other thing that we use behavior analytics for is the motivation factors for the group. Now when you talk about individuals, you can look at personality profiles and information and know exactly what motivates them. In the Epic Culture personality assessment, we have a section on our hiring report that says “workplace rewards.” It very clearly spells out what that person’s looking for.

But that gets a little more challenging when you have groups. So you have to get into the behavior analytics side and you have to have data correlated from many people on the team. So let’s say for example you have a marketing group and it’s a marketing group of twenty people. Each one of them individually are incentivized in different ways, but when you bring all of that information together into one team report, what you’re going to find is there are some common ways that you incentivize them as a group.

So if you’re looking to do any sort of team motivation, team bonus, off-sites, whatever it might be, as a group or as a team, you really need to know what motivates that team. You don’t want to do a group bonus that’s financial for a team that values off-site team rewards that like to spend time together and build camaraderie. It’s just not going to resonate the same way. So that’s the other way that we like to use behavior analytics in understanding those motivation factors for groups.

Communication Style

[00:07:23] And the last one that I’m going to share today is all around communication style. So we see very similar to the motivating factors each person individually has a communication style. They have a way that they like to communicate and converse and manage conversations and do emails and all these different types of things. Whereas when you start having to communicate to the group, it comes across differently.

Examples of that would be, I just ran a report for a group a few days ago when we were doing a team performance session and what we realized is as a group, they very much like to whiteboard and verbalize. That was how they collaborated. It was all very visual. They all wanted to get in front of a whiteboard, take turns standing up and going through that information and they would talk it out. They would verbalize everything that they needed.

[00:08:16] With another group that I worked with the other day, their top performance or their top communication style and preferences actually went a little bit of a different direction in that they wanted to make it relaxed. So what you saw in that team was they didn’t really want a stuffy environment.

He/she didn’t want to be at a long boardroom table. They liked a relaxed environment, maybe around food or any other way that you can think of a relaxing environment, bean bag chairs, whatever it might be, couches in a lounge, to relax. They also wanted to talk big picture. So as a group they focused more on the big picture and the relaxed environment, and that’s really what got that team to gel. We’re able to use behavior analytics and the other information to take a data-driven approach and find out different commonalities and different driving factors for people as a group.


[00:09:11] To recap, what I’d like to just highlight here is, the cohort analysis is going to give you a good understanding of how you can use personality testing in order to get the right people in the environment based on your top performers already. You can also use behavior analytics for finding the motivating factors of a group, and then you can also use that, the behavior analytics for understanding the group’s communication style.

So what I want you to do is think about how you can use behavioral analytics to create a better company culture for yourself. If you have the information at hand and you’re already using some of these types of technology, what can you do to dig into that more to figure out how you can really make your team come together in a highly productive way and increase retention and productivity across the board.


[00:10:06] Thank you for joining us on this podcast.

[00:10:30] Thank you for tuning in to today’s episode of the Epic Company Culture Podcast with Josh Sweeney. If you enjoyed this content, please subscribe on iTunes, Soundcloud, or Stitcher. For additional content and transcripts, visit epicculture.co. If you have questions or topics you would like us to address or expand on, tweet us at @epicculture1 or email at podcast@epicculture.co.