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The Right Questions at the Right Time: The Power of Thoughtful Analytics in Compliance Programs

By Tricia Cornell and Ann Allsopp

· analytics,Drive Analytics,DOJ Guidance

You’ve probably noticed the colorful little survey stands that started appearing outside public restrooms and in the doorways of convenience stores a few years ago. They ask a simple question: Are you happy or not? All you have to do is tap the smiley face (happy) or frowny face (not happy) buttons and continue about your day. It’s an easy, powerful survey you can complete without even pausing.

Image of HappyOrNot Survey Stand

Image credit to happy-or-not.com/

Now imagine those cheery HappyOrNot stands as your typical annual corporate culture survey, with 50 questions, each with eight response choices, and with branches taking you down different paths. The line of colorful stands would stretch down the block, and the thrill of tapping smiley-face buttons would wear off well before you reached the end.

And, ask yourself, would the data be that much better? If the experience of HappyOrNot (for that is, indeed the name of the Finnish company that makes those adorable machines) is any indication, no, it would not. By making data collection frictionless — clear, simple and built into an existing interaction (walking out a door) — they have turned millions, if not billions, of finger taps into improved customer service and higher sales all around the world.

As an industry, we know the quality of interactions is far more important than quantity of material. Compliance programs are moving away from longer courses and communications toward more impactful bits and bites of content. Even the DOJ is calling for “shorter, more targeted training,” because we know there’s little value in a large dump of information. So it makes sense to apply the same approach to the data collection and analytics for our programs, right?

The unfortunate reality is that many of the analytics solutions on the market don’t know how to capture more targeted data, so they focus on quantity instead. The result is a dashboard full of information you have to sift through yourself, most of which you didn’t want or need in the first place. Is it any wonder that companies are struggling to get value out of their analytics tools?

When the Rethink team set out to develop a better analytics solution for our clients, we knew it had to start with meaningful data. And capturing meaningful data means asking the right questions at the right time.

The Right Questions

The data that’s useful to one company is not the same data that’s useful to the next. Asking the right questions means thinking about your program’s size, maturity, and goals, and then creating strategic questions to extract the information that’s most relevant to your program.

The data that’s useful to one company is not the same data that’s useful to the next.

When you ask the right questions, you don’t have to ask a lot of questions. You can get more value out of a few, strategic data points than an entire dashboard’s worth of information that isn’t relevant to your program goals.

The Right Time

Thinking back to the example of the HappyOrNot stands, you probably noticed that those surveys are placed strategically, in high-traffic areas, to capture your opinion on a store or bathroom while you’re there thinking about it. If instead the store asked you to come back and take a survey about your experience a week later, you’d not only be less inclined to complete it, but your response also wouldn’t be as accurate.

Similarly, your best bet for collecting data from employees is to ask them for their input while they’re thinking about a given topic. Our Drive AnalyticsTM solution utilizes questions built directly into a training employees are already taking. This way, they can answer questions while their brains are primed to think about that particular topic, without switching tasks. This means more accurate information for you, without the headaches of rolling out a separate survey.

An added bonus to this approach is that the right analytics questions can also enhance the effectiveness of your training. When you ask employees to think about a topic and give an opinion based on their own experience, they forge a deeper connection to the subject matter. Encouraging employees to see their own situation in the context of the training builds empathy and trust.

Just like our industry is discovering with training and communications, the most valuable approach to compliance analytics is a thoughtful approach. When you ask the right questions at the right time, you get the right insights.

Curious how we do it? Learn more about our Drive AnalyticsTM solution here, or reach out to us at hello@rethinkcomplianceco.com for a free demo.

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