Increasingly, data is a highly valuable currency. And, as is the case with any currency, people are reluctant to give it up without good reason. When we find that our people problems might require data from unrelated corners of the organization, breaking down silo walls—and building relationships in their place—is our best bet for securing the information we need.
Here are a few techniques, taken from our upcoming People Analytics program, for laying data-sharing pathways across organizational divides:
Create a Data Marketplace: People data is valuable, and we have a lot of it. When seeking closely guarded information from another part of the organization, it doesn't hurt to make an offer—or ask that our counterparts name a price. Chances are, we have data gathering dust in a corner that they could use to solve a pressing business problem, and vice versa. When we barter knowledge, everyone wins.
Prioritize Trust and Transparency: People are protective of their data because it's valuable, but also because it could easily be misconstrued or manipulated. When we tell our colleagues up front how we intend to use their data—and give them transparency into the process from end-to-end so they can see how we use their findings—it goes a long way to building trust, and improving our chances of future collaborations.
Articulate a Shared Cause: Oftentimes, many different departments will be faced with a single overarching business problem, one that impacts the whole group. No one department is likely to have all the information needed to solve that problem, but by pooling data resources and collaborating on analysis, we can kick the ball much further.
Sometimes, the benefits of combining forces will be clear-cut. At other times, we may have to make the case—get our colleagues across the way to see our problem as their problem too. That's when preexisting trust really comes in handy.
Learn more about how to source, manage and utilize data in HR, join our People Analytics program, starting Nov 13.