One critical item within the world of agile analytics is the role of the future. A strong link to forward-thinking initiatives is what often makes or breaks the real value behind next-gen analytics. While deep and flexible pictures of current CWM-related data can provide actionable intelligence to key stakeholders within the average enterprise, one crucial item in the realm of agile analytics revolves around one significant concept: what does the future look like? The following three questions are just a few of many that agility can answer:
- What will our blended workforce look like a year from now? The idea of a “blended workforce,” which translates into the mixing of traditional and contract talent, is becoming more of an accepted workforce aspect. Both full-time equivalents (FTEs) and contract talent can drive value to the modern organization. With this notion in mind, it is important to understand how the workforce will look in the future, and agile analytics is an ideal means to forecast that viewpoint. Intelligence related to current contingent workforce management (CWM) data (and how it intermingles with traditional talent-led projects / efforts) can help shape the foundation of the CWM program, including:
- Dedication of financial and enterprise resources
- Alterations to existing technologies
- Improvements to the current program’s capabilities
- Which suppliers of talent will we utilize next year? Taking a cue from the procurement arena, supplier forecasting is somewhat of an offshoot of spend analytics (the veritable procurement tool utilized to dig into corporate spend / supplier data) in that can identify trends and patterns. This intelligence is incredibly useful in negotiating agreements with professional service providers and other types of talent, as well as tracking performance of contract talent and understanding what the “best” talent looks like…not just the lowest cost.
- What financial impact will contingent labor have on enterprise budgets in the future? Perhaps the most critical item of all is the financial piece of the intelligence puzzle. Contract talent is most often linked to significant corporate projects across the greater organization, each with a budget and delivery schedule. Based on current data, executives leveraging agile analytics can understand how the future will look in regards to finances, and link this information in greater planning, forecasting and budgeting. Where CWM programs were once relegated to the back office, this intelligence will propel the contingent workforce management programs into a new and much more strategic corporate light.
Data plays a critical role in the contemporary contingent workforce management program, especially with the notion of “Big Data” creeping into every executive’s playbook. Ardent Partners has found that although traditional systems for extracting, analyzing, and drilling into data can assist in driving visibility into key components of contract talent management, it takes a truly “agile” analytics platform to provide value across the full, multi-functional spectrum of the modern organization. With flexibility as a core analytical capability, executives currently managing CWM programs will have the ability to derive true intelligence into the many complex layers of the contingent workforce umbrella.