Visier’s New Analytics Package Targets Diversity Numbers

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Visier introduced an analytics feature that provides up-to-date visibility into the state of their organization’s diversity and inclusion efforts. The SaaS solution helps identify opportunities and risks to aid HR and business leaders as they develop strategies around achieving their organization’s D&I goals.

The product, called Visier People, specifically targets chief diversity officers and other leaders who want to incorporate analytics-based insights into their D&I work. The company cites research by Russell Reynolds, which found that just 35 percent of CDOs have employee demographic data to work with. 

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Visier calls the product “the first of its kind.” The reason, said Chief People Officer Paul Rubenstein, is that it breaks diversity numbers out their silo and connects them to overall business data. “We not only tie the data back to larger business objectives, but also put that data in the hands of more than just leaders,” he told us. “It’s the people who have people decisions that move the needle and they need to see the business success bound tightly together with the diversity success.”

Diversity Numbers into Action

Put another way, the product is designed close the gap between diversity numbers, goals and action. A key element is how Visier People makes insights more visible, said Rubenstein. For cultures to change, everyone in the organization must be able to see the characteristics of its talent. “Visibility is a critical step to leveling the playing field,” he said.

However, closing that gap between goals and action is precisely where many companies fall down. As Rubenstein notes, D&I mandates are often watered down once they’re in the hands of the managers who decide on assignments and promotions.

Data that is accessible and present helps remind those individuals they also have a responsibility to focus on the underrepresented groups of their organization,” he said. “That’s what this solution offers—real data that can create impactful change in both organizations and in habits.”

Examining Behavior

Diversity, bias and harassment have been increasingly fraught as workplace issues. A growing number of employers have made address such issues a very public priority and, not surprisingly, they’re often turning to analytics to help them.

Many D&I specialists are at least somewhat skeptical about how strong an impact data can have on meeting these priorities. Even with access to better data, they argue, a manager who’s biased to begin with is likely to remain biased, and that bias is likely to impact their decision-making.

Rubenstein doesn’t dispute this. “We all have bias. This is something that’s entirely unavoidable,” he said. “What data like this does is force us to hold a mirror to ourselves and face empirical truths that we may not have held evident before.” Such an “objective lens,” he says, “forces us to change our behavior for the better or find ourselves being held accountable by others for not changing these behaviors.”

Visier People’s launch comes at a sensitive time in the world of workforce analytics and the gathering of diversity numbers. Recently, a study by NYU’s AI Now Institute found that AI systems reflect the very biases they’re meant to combat.

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