In this Talent economy that we are currently in, employee experience becomes a key differentiator in attracting and retaining talent. In order to do this, companies must have systems in place to communicate with their employees on a continuous basis. nFactorial Analytical Sciences was formed in December 2014, as a bespoke HR Analytics company. The idea was to come up with a SaaS product that would enable data-driven decision making for managers.
Organizations base their employee engagement decisions over the next year on just the data points gathered at the end of the year. This is as preposterous as expecting a sales or a marketing lead to make their business plans based on the previous year’s balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flows. While we would certainly be pilloried, and rightly, so for suggesting the latter, companies don’t find anything wrong with the former.
nFactorial’s continuous employee feedback platform n!Gage enables managers to listen, understand and act on employee feedback in a proactive manner. nFactorial is beneficial as it is easy to use, mobile/desktop/email based platform, does away with survey fatigue since questions are sent one at a time, has randomized times for the popups, customizable questions and categories, multilingual support, real-time dashboards, real-time insights, deep expertise in statistics and analytics including predictive analytics for attrition prediction, and integration with other HRMS systems as and when required.
Ongoing Trends in Analytics
nFactorial is at the cusp of a revolution in analytics and moving into territory that even a mere 25 years ago was thought of in the realm of science fiction. The biggest change that’s happening is the explosion in the generation, collection and analysis of data from all spheres of life. nFactorial believes, “We are now more dependent on decisions we make in our day to day lives on analytical insights derived from data than we have ever been in the past. The Internet of things (IoT) will only hasten the pace at which change occurs. The proliferation of deep learning algorithms and distributed computing systems has socialized the access and use of machine learning approaches. Anyone can now come up with applications using machine learning algorithms to build predictive models.” This is also revolutionizing cognitive computing and the goal of eventually realizing Artificial Intelligence.
The Founder of nFactorial
Dr. Arun Krishnan is the Founder and CEO of nFactorial Analytical Sciences. The company’s flagship platform n!Gage is a pioneer in the area of real-time, continuous employee feedback and analytics. Dr. Krishnan obtained his undergraduate degree from the Central Electro-Chemical Engineering Institute and a PhD in Chemical Engineering specializing in advanced control algorithms from the University of South Carolina, USA in 1998. After working for a year in a controls company in US, he joined Silicon Graphics in Singapore. He then moved into active research in high performance computing and bioinformatics with the Bioinformatics Institute in Singapore.
Dr. Krishnan was also an adjunct Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore in the Computer Engineering Department. In 2006, he moved to Japan as an Assistant Professor for Computational Biology at the Institute for Advanced Biosciences in Keio University.
In 2008, Dr. Krishnan returned to India to join Monsanto and set up their Computational Biology unit. He held various positions with Monsanto with his last position being the R&D IT India lead. In 2012 he joined ISB Hyderabad’s PGPMAX program and completed his MBA in 2013. After gaining so much of experience, Dr. Krishnan started nFactorial Analytical Sciences in December 2014. Dr. Krishnan is also a visiting faculty at IIM Ranchi where he teaches a course on HR analytics.
Benefits over Peers
nFactorial uses deep expertise in statistics, computing, analytics and machine learning to build statistically valid models. n!Gage is built on a solid foundation of advanced statistics and analytics. Some of the predictive capabilities are listed below:
Time series predictions – Predict the employee’s mood and engagement indices based on historical data.
Employee segmentation – Identify profiles of the most engaged and disengaged employees.
Sentiment Analysis – Identify sentiment scores from the textual feedback.
Advanced text analytics – Identify conversation themes from employee feedback.
Cognitive Analytics – Natural Language Query processing resulting in a SmartSearch feature that enables organizations to dig into the data the way they want.
Intervention Analysis – Identifying the impact of interventions.
Churn/Attrition Prediction – Use advanced Machine Learning / AI algorithms to identify churn probabilities.
nFactorial’s Journey towards Success
nFactorial has faced nearly all the challenges that young startups face along with challenges specific to B2B businesses. The company started off with an initial product that was even licensed out to large US-based IT Services Company. However, they realized that making it scalable would be tough and had to pivot mid-way to their current product. nFactorial believes, “Attracting the right talent is a huge challenge especially for small startups given the limitations in compensation and benefits. When we started up the job market was good with the result that salaries were high. Finding people who believe in one’s vision and willing to join the firm was tough.”
Finding early customers to do a Proof-of-concept is the challenge faced by the company. For HR products, finding companies willing to try out a radically different solution is always tough.
B2B sales cycles are slow and especially for HR Technology products. It takes time to build a sales pipeline. The trick is in holding on till it is done.
nFactorial has its own plans in place for all of these including integrating with personal wearable devices, using deep learning for cognitive computing and predictive insights through machine learning and artificial intelligence.
nFactorial’s vision is “to be an end-to-end employee experience solutions provider” and it starts with a 360 degree employee experience feedback including anonymous organizational feedback and continuous employee performance appraisals.