Sapience Analytics CEO Brad Killinger is using 'people analytics' to make companies more efficient

Brad Killinger is out to up the efficiency of employees. (Sapience)

Sapience Analytics CEO Brad Killinger is using “people analytics” to help companies better organize and use employees and become more efficient.

People analytics is a growing field that uses employee work pattern data to improve the way staff and the overall organization work.

“We are giving insights to company leaders and employees and better forecasting where their company is going,” Killinger told FierceCEO.

Sapience deploys a software platform at companies that collects employees’ digital output through their PCs and, if they are work related, their cell phones and tablets. Killinger said Sapience does not capture any personal/user input data.

The information is collected at four-second intervals and includes data such as emails, spreadsheets, or any task they are given. The information is then turned into reports that give CEOs and other company leaders an understanding of employees’ productivity and the capacity of the business.

The information is also shared with employees to see how they are spending their time. “Are they tracking against managers’ and self-goals and expectations, and how can they improve,” Killinger said.

He cites statistics showing most companies have become so inefficient that employees barely get to spend 25% to 30% of their office hours on core productive work. What people analytics is doing is replacing arduous manual time accounting, Killinger said.

In its place is “a data driven 360-degree view of what people do day to day and what you expect them to be doing,” he said. “It makes companies data driven around the people side of their business.”

Corporate America “has automated everything inside the company,” Killinger said. “This is a natural evolution—creating a very transparent relationship between employer and employee.”

And the employer understands what they have in terms of the capacity of their workload, Killinger said.

The people analytics field is a growing one, with many startups piling in. Killinger is aware of the growing competition but says so far, he has seen companies very good at the partial collecting side of the business or the reporting side, but not both.

Still, Killinger says, “We know they are coming.”

Sapience was originally an Indian company founded in 2009 by Shirish Deodhar and three other co-founders. But in 2017, Credit Suisse’ NEXT fund took an interest in the company and struck a deal that included bringing operations to the U.S. and having Killinger in a senior leadership role, backed by his experience with enterprise software and professional services. Credit Suisse ended up with majority ownership of the company.

Today, Sapience has 81 employees, a number expected to grow to over 100 by July, and uses the company’s system in its own day-to-day operations. The key takeaway from using it? “We are more able to effectively manage our overall business,” Killinger said.

Fast Five with Brad Killinger

When did you want to be a CEO?

When I was 12. I had a dad who was a CEO, and I loved what I was able to see him do.

What is your favorite question to ask during a job interview?

I try to detect their level of patience and trust.

What are the most important traits for a leader?

Honesty and openness.

What keeps you up at night?

Keeping pace with all of the growth we’re experiencing.

Where do you find new opportunities for revenue?

Continued market awareness.