As an HR Tech World blogger I interviewed Eelco Voogd, CEO of WPA to find out what their company is showcasing in the disruptHR startup zone, and their views on maximising HR insights across the organisation.
FAYE: Hi Eelco, tell me a little bit about yourself and hat you do at WPA?
EELCO: My name is Eelco Voogd, CEO of WPA. We visualize the work of our clients’ human capital. This enables them to understand and innovate the way they work. We provide the accurate and tangible reflection of the company that enables meaningful dialogue. Such a dialogue is often necessary for true innovation. True in the sense that it is sustainable, long term movement. Within our organisation I am responsible for business development, marketing and branding.
FAYE: Why did you decide to take part in #disruptHRTech this year and what would you like to achieve as a result of your participation?
EELCO: We decided to participate because we have noticed a distinct shift within our customer base from workplace strategy related usage of the dashboards into a much more enterprise wide usage, clearly related to the development of human capital. We see clear evidence of a sweet spot of added value for insights that can relate HR to Facility Management and Corporate Real Estate. Being at DisruptHRTech we want to discuss this with others in the HR domain and hopefully come into contact with potential partners and/or investors as we continue to ramp up our sales and marketing efforts Europe wide.
FAYE: What do you really believe is the level of competent adoption of analytics across HR?
EELCO: This level is rising, but it’s not smooth across the whole landscape. Some companies are way ahead of the curve. Others are still lagging. It is progressing in fits and starts. There is a large group of companies where we are still at the very beginning. There is definitely a big data and analytics push, but only a couple of global companies already know how to turn it into value. Many companies still struggle with even retrieving usable data from their systems. We believe in ‘midsize’ data, quantitative but easily accessible without large investments in infrastructure and unsure outcomes. More manageable and easy to leverage for a majority of organizations.
FAYE: Analytics is certainly one of the hottest trends, so how do you differentiate yourself in the market?
EELCO: We focus on a particular set of data. We generate information based on input about the organization’s work. We retrieve their work-, their collaboration- and their cultural profile. Our solution provides an easy way to uncover work characteristics about the whole, parts or roles of the organisation. What sets us apart is both the ease of use for end users and the integration between work and place data. Plus we have solved the privacy related angles which we’re happy to go into more detail on.
FAYE: How do your dashboard work and how easy is it to integrate?
EELCO: The heart of our solution is a very easy to use cloud-based analytics dashboard that provides our clients with the insight about their people. The dashboard is fed with data from our scan engine. The strength of WPA is that it can be operational within days once HR data is provided. We also provide an integrated connection to HR systems to continuously feed the dashboard and integrate it with other HR related dashboards.
FAYE: What is your position on customisation vs. out of the box in today’s overwhelmed technology market?
EELCO: That is a hard nut to crack. Looking back at 15 years of IT experience we have seen many large scale tailor-made software solutions fail both in commercial and government markets. On the other hand many out-of-the-box solutions always miss that one piece you want as a business owner. Our position in this is to be very agile. We provide a steady and robust ‘out of the box’ experience, but we know customization is an everyday reality. Therefore we work with loosely coupled components that provide a best of both worlds experience. We protect our core added value from becoming a ‘featuritis-riddled’ software monster that does everything half-baked. Slowly but steadily improving with proven modules. We integrate with lightweight tools that do best what is needed.
FAYE: What do you believe are prerequisites in any new HR Tech?
EELCO: HR Tech is a very broad area. But the foundation started with plain administration, managing workforce data. The last decade talent management took a flight. These can be seen as prerequisites to proceed to a next level. That next level is more focused on the effectiveness of teams, visualizing organizational DNA, clarifying and explaining patterns that make the organization more self-aware and able to evolve and innovate faster.
FAYE: What are your plans for expansion?
EELCO: We have a solid customer and partner base in the Netherlands and Scandinavia, we have new clients in Australia, North America, France and Germany. We are building a more international partner network with WPA and looking for investment to speed up our growth and strengthen the team.
FAYE: That’s certainly some geographical spread – what differences are you seeing in adoption dynamics across Europe? Around the globe?
EELCO: We see distinct differences of work characteristics, and cultural biases. We see that it is important to understand, and accommodate the differences in regions as not every culture can be interpreted the same way. When it comes to reading the visualisations of the cultural and collaborative aspects of how people work one always needs local savviness to interpret and extrapolate the insights, facilitate the dialogue. But there are also marked similarities in results and common threads in these dialogues from our clients in Sweden to Qatar and South Africa, and from Kansas to Sidney. We see local differences and global movements, fascinating to observe and work with.
What you didn’t know about Eelco
Eelco Voogd is one of the two founders of WPA. A globetrotting Dutchman, whose career started after graduating in Michigan, USA. After having worked in both Germany and France in management functions for an industrial company he moved to consulting. Having worked 6 years in e-business and user experience design he started a work innovation company with his business partner Ilya Devèrs. After working for 7 years on workplace strategies they found out something was missing: Organizational Data to fuel evidence based design. That is how WPA started in 2013.
To find out more about Eelco and WPA
email@example.com I +31 6 46482345
linked-in: wpa analytics