Let’s just state the obvious: the realm of people analytics can be intimidating. In 2017, Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends Report revealed that, “While 71 percent of companies see people analytics as a high priority in their organizations, progress has been slow.” Fast forward to now and it’s encouraging to see the progress organizations are making, albeit also slightly scary. Understanding people analytics for SMBs and how it can drive a business forward isn’t the future, it’s the here and now. For small organizations around the world, implementing solutions that don’t require heavy lifting (or a ton of investment), but provide greater people insights, is a powerful evolution.

However, the reality is, small-to-mid-sized companies are still trying to find the on-ramp when it comes to people analytics. While larger organizations have had a head start, small-to-mid-sized companies with smaller budgets and managers who are simply trying to keep their heads above water may find embarking on a people analytics journey daunting. Most of these organizations continue to utilize traditional business performance tools and manual processes when it comes to their people and thus surface only a fraction of the valuable insights.

Traditional business performance tools come in many shapes and sizes, but the fact remains that most are focused on looking through the rear-view mirror. Today, managers want to leverage data to better lead their teams, but they lack the time to sift through and glean the insights they need about each individual employee. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a game changer for managers in that it can take the leg work out of sifting through all the data that teams and companies are generating, and making it easier to surface insights managers can act on.

Performance management tools powered by AI and utilizing machine learning give organizations the ability to make predictions and look through the windshield. AI-powered tools are all about providing insights you wouldn’t normally have discovered and, in most cases, shouldering the burden of repetitive tasks. This makes it easier for managers to be better in their crucial role by giving them the ability to lead with a front foot advantage. The potential impact of leveraging AI and machine learning in the employee experience is tremendous – consider the implications of understanding your team and their behaviors in real-time, finally being able to be proactive in your approach to management, and truly leading with data-driven insights. Those are game changing moments.

A similar game changing moment is the fact that 75% of the global workforce will be comprised of millennials by 2030. This group is already comprised of managers or will quickly become managers. They expect to manage – and be managed – differently than previous generations. They want to be understood on an individual level and to be managed to their strengths and personality. This generation also has much broader access to insights and data than ever before and companies are generating more data, and faster, with their extensive use of cloud tools.

Arguably, the biggest struggle a company goes through while growing is building a great set of managers that consistently get the best out of their teams. In fact, 70% of the variance in team engagement is explained by the quality of the manager. We liken it to running around with your shoes untied – the probability of a fall is high. It’s the same situation for growth-mode companies – they’re trying to run fast, but if their managers and teams aren’t well trained and well equipped, they will likely trip up and fall on their journey.

As companies scale, they inevitably add departments of people and along the way implement some sort of technology to support them. It could be a customer relationship management or support system, a project management tool, or even an applicant tracking system. Very often the people within those departments are using the tools for their group as well as tools that have been provided to other departments. This leads to a huge abundance of data, but makes it nearly impossible to manually compile and analyze it across all systems. Managers don’t have the time or often the data skills to derive useful insights from this data, so it just sits idly in the background. The digital footprint an employee maintains is incredibly valuable, but organizations must find a way to surface the powerful recommendations and insights for both managers and employees that help them save time, be more productive, and perform better.

Peoplelogic.ai exists to bring the power of people analytics for SMBs to small and medium sized businesses. The platform surfaces the insights already being captured in their systems to help managers be more effective. Our mission is to help their teams become higher performing and help the company continue to grow with less risk as it scales. In small companies, part of the reason managers fail their people is because they’re trying to be a manager and individual contributor. So, we built Peoplelogic.ai to help them be better at both.

About Peoplelogic.ai

Peoplelogic.ai gives managers actionable recommendations and insights that help spot and correct problems on your team and between the other teams you work with, before you miss your goals. Get started with your first team free, forever.

This post first appeared on Peoplelogic.ai website here. Check out more posts written about People Analytics for SMBs on our blog here.