Best Practices for Creating More Effective User Data

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Employee demographics are critical to uncover what parts of your organization are thriving, and areas of opportunity. If you don't take the time and effort to create representative demographic groups, your data is more likely to be less organized and more difficult to tell a complete story.

The following are the most common mistakes organizations make and potential solutions.

Generic Demographic Groups


Employees are only categorized into generic demographic groups, such as Age, Tenure, Gender, etc. 

The results from these groups can yield some insight, but broad parameters can make it difficult to take meaningful action. 


To more accurately identify strengths and areas of opportunity, consider how your organization functions and categorize employees into more targeted groups, e.g. Division, Department, Job Level, Location, etc.

Overly-Specific Categorization by Job Titles


Employees are categorized into groups based on Job Titles that are overly specific.

For example, consider the roles, Director of Insight, Senior Analyst, and Analyst. The roles are similar enough to be categorized together but are instead organized individually.


Create new demographic groups that pull in similar employees with slightly different Job Titles. Instead of getting insufficient results at each level, you can examine your team of analysts as a whole.

Stale Demographic Groups


The same demographic groups kept year-over-year, although helpful for comparing results, can be limiting when looking for ways to uncover meaningful data.


Put some thought into more targeted groups that may be outside of the norm. 

For example, consider a recently conducted pulse survey to capture employee perceptions around leadership accountability. Create a demographic for the surveyed employees and examine how scores change. 

Other examples include creating demographic groups for those who were recently promoted, were assigned as mentors, or have been in a role for years. 

Lack of In-Depth Manager Understanding 


Managers are a vital component in an engaged workplace culture. You're missing a critical opportunity if you don't capture manager perceptions.

For example, if your managers don't understand your organization's plan for future success, they're more likely to be disengaged themselves and not able to communicate organizational plans to their direct reports. 


Organize your managers into groups. Employees typically fall into one of three groups: Contributors, Managers, or Upline Managers. You can break down your managers into deeper groups, but starting with those three can benefit your data and efforts to engage your organization's managers. 

Difficulty & Time Barriers to Creating Effective Demographic Groups


It's common to assume that organizing employees into clean, updated, and accurate demographic groups is difficult and time-consuming. 


Configuring demographic groups doesn't have to be difficult. Contact your CIM/CSM and provide them with an Excel document that includes a unique employee identifier, i.e. email, employee ID, along with the new demographic data.