TecHR Interview with Brad Killinger, CEO at Sapience Analytics

What is your role and experience about the journey into technology?

I joined Sapience Analytics, the global leader in People Analytics, as President in August 2017 then was named CEO and elected to the Board of Directors shortly thereafter. I am responsible for the execution of the company’s global strategy and growth. During my two-year tenure serving as CEO, Sapience Analytics has achieved revenue growth of +500%.

I am passionate about promoting Sapience Analytics’ disruptive technology within the marketplace by communicating its unique value proposition – helping organizations move away from “gut feel” to data-driven decision making to guide performance management and more progressive talent management policies.

Prior to joining Sapience Analytics, I held several key global leadership roles at major technology companies, including IBM, Oracle, and Unisys.

I believe business leaders must be willing to build a culture that allows people to do what they do best. We have capable, talented people in their roles, and I trust them to do well. My role is to stay in front of customers and to lead them down the road to greater success.

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What is Sapience Analytics and how does it fit into the current Digital Workforce landscape?

Sapience Analytics is a market leader in the rapidly growing People Analytics segment and fits well into the Digital Workforce landscape in many ways:

  • By supporting a new way of managing people via true transparency, accountability and focus.
  • By supporting work-from-home strategies to better engage Millennial and other employees who prefer to work from remote locations.
  • By catering to the Millennial workforce to drive engagement (via transparency, gamification, etc.). With it, companies have experienced significant improvements in employee retention.
  • By – perhaps for the first time – providing a way to truly look at employee and team performance with real data, not estimations.
  • By empowering employees to lead conversations with their management and to work together with them on what is working and what is not, so they can determine how to move forward.

With automated work pattern reporting and real-time analytics, Sapience delivers unprecedented visibility into how people work with actionable insights to better manage cost and performance across teams and organizations, plus guide in-office and remote workforce deployment strategies. Fully compliant with privacy standards and seamlessly integrated with ease and flexibility, Sapience’s solutions are fundamentally changing the way companies grow and operate while shaping the future of business.

Sapience software measures and analyzes enterprise effort and time productivity. It focuses on improving the revenue, profitability, and overall delivery capabilities of organizations. It is a truly domain and function agnostic product that is delivering value to over 90 clients in 18 countries and 150,000+ users. The company provides solutions for:

  • Employee Engagement
  • Lean Management
  • Outsourcing Governance
  • Process Automation
  • Work From Home
  • Productivity Improvement
  • Sales Productivity
  • Software Metering
How does People Analytics transform the modern HR realm?

Sapience Analytics’ people analytics solutions transform the modern HR realm by making it possible for employees and management to automatically record time and activities for visibility into productivity gaps and traps – without invading privacy, i.e: no screen scrapes or keystroke tracking. Such visibility makes it possible for employees and management to identify needs and goals and to put in place winning strategies that make it possible for all levels of the organization to focus on paths to success.

In the past, Chief Human Resources Officers’ analytics focus was on traditional HR reporting regarding recruiting, interviewing, hiring and exit interviews. Today, HR is taking more of an active role to manage and improve employee engagement and employee experience across the full employee lifecycle with the goal of retaining and supporting the development of employees by providing a rewarding, inspiring, and supporting work environment.

To this end, CHROs need more data and employee engagement tools such as people analytics that provide the requisite insights to drive improvements in employee engagement and employee experience. This new more comprehensive focus is giving CHROs a view and a seat at the board, given they can now offer greater value to the organization by helping to guide business on the means to gain competitive advantage through strategic and holistic talent management.

Additionally, with one all-encompassing data set on work patterns, HR and line-of-business management can be on the same page and work together to understand the root cause of issues and devise solutions to problems to manage talent throughout the organization more effectively.

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How can companies benefit from your products and services for better business outcomes? What is your secret sauce?

Sapience Analytics’ minds the gap between man and machine by compiling data from every device and application used by employees to provide especially helpful insights to catalyze workplace automation initiatives and performance improvement.

Sapience Analytics solves a unique challenge that every organization faces – to understand how work happens in their organization and if their workforce is efficiently utilized. Companies track output/productivity data through various apps, but for effort they have had to rely on manual time sheet data entry. Sapience has automated the ability to capture the effort data and provides a 360-degree view on how work happens and engagement levels of employees and teams.

Sapience Analytics is a domain-agnostic solution that drives various transformation initiatives, including:

  • Employee Engagement: Self-improvement and gamification to improve employee retention and engagement.
  • Process Optimization: Automated time and motion studies to understand and optimize processes by eliminating wasteful activity, lean Six Sigma implementation and training.
  • Software Utilization Auditing: Usage tracking of software to lower IT costs by 15-20%.
  • Outsourcing Governance: Surface accurate data in outsourced team utilization, work pattern and productivity to improve return on investments from outsourcing initiatives.
How does Sapience Analytics support an organization’s efforts to increase employee engagement, wellness, productivity, and business profitability?

From outsourcing governance, lean management and process automation to productivity improvement and employee engagement, Sapience provides the most advanced enterprise-level people analytics solution for customers seeking to move from manual self-reporting to actual data.

What does your ideal customer profile look like? Which businesses are the fastest to adopt your People Analytics products?

Sapience Analytics’ ideal customers are companies that are struggling with or looking for new ways to improve management inefficiencies while improving employee productivity. This is not tied to any one industry or to company size as these solutions are needed and helpful across all types of companies and industries.

The target employee is any knowledge worker – individuals using electronic devices to accomplish work.

The businesses that are fastest to adopt Sapience Analytics’ people analytics products have been financial services companies.

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How do you prepare for an AI-driven world as a Business Leader?

AI is only as effective as the data set on which it is working. Therefore, one way to prepare is to ensure that you have accurate data. Sapience Analytics is a unique system that has taken AI to new levels by going from manually interpreting data (estimating) to providing actuals in seven-second increments.

If you wanted to analyze a workforce, would you prefer to manually input data or to accurately harvest data to which AI will be applied for actionable insights?

Which start-ups in the tech industry interest you the most and why?

There are many startups in the tech industry that interest me. The whole space is incredibly fascinating. However, if I had a narrow it down, I would say that startups that are less centralized and therefore more global in scope and work are most interesting.

What are the new emerging markets that you see providing the biggest opportunities in HR Technology?

The new emerging markets that I see providing the biggest opportunities in HR technology are those markets in which gig and remote workforces are part of the strategic mix. That is where technology can be used to maximize investments and profits by making it possible for those companies to meet the needs of part-time, intermittent or contingent workforces.

What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?

My smartest work-related shortcut is the automation of reporting systems to free people from mundane tasks, which opens up more time for analysis.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I’ve ever received is that people don’t work for companies just for the money. The greatest retention strategy is to create a culture where people are part of a solution and where people are treated well. This goes further than a 10% raise. Creating a winning mindset and treating people well — that’s what’s important.

Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read.

I would tag Robert E. Beauchamp, CEO of BMC Software, as I would love to read his answers. I have been impressed every time I’ve had the opportunity to meet him. He is someone with great wisdom, ethics and style. I find anything he says to be valuable.

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Thank you, Brad! That was fun and hope to see you back on TecHR soon.

Bradley Killinger joined Sapience Analytics, the global leader in People Analytics as President in August 2017 and was named CEO and elected to the Board of Directors shortly after. Killinger is responsible for the execution of the company’s global strategy and growth.

sapience logo

Sapience is an innovative People Analytics solution.

At an individual level, it empowers users to own their productivity and wellness through mindful work. At the enterprise level, managers and CxOs get accurate Workload and Capacity Utilization insights across every business dimension of interest, enabling them to align their talent pool to strategic needs.

Sapience is helping over 150,000 users at 90+ enterprises across 18+ countries to move the needle on employee engagement, employee wellness, organization productivity and business profitability.

Recognized by Gartner as a Cool Vendor, Sapience is the recipient of several industry awards for its innovative product and fast growth, including Dun & Bradstreet, Frost & Sullivan, TiE50 – Bay area, NASSCOM and IDG Channel World.