What are Productivity Analytics and How Do They Help Your Business?

What are Productivity Analytics and How Do They Help Your Business?

Productivity, in its basic definition, is an economic measure of output per unit of input.

Most productivity enhancements come from technology advances, automation, machine learning, supply chain and logistics improvements, and increased skill levels within the workforce. Interpreting the differences in productivity data in human resources, project management, manufacturing, logistics, accounting, and the many other factors often obscure the relative productivity of companies.

Nonetheless, if a business is a lot less productive than a competitor, it most likely has a real problem keeping up with its more optimized competitors. 

It is essential to measure productivity appropriately. Many companies that want to raise their competitiveness are investing a lot of money and faith in methods to track their teams and offices’ efficiency. Companies that take productivity seriously will reach out to experts in cost accounting, statistics, and economics to help define and design these productivity systems.

Productivity Analytics provides a multidimensional view of workforce and project and production productivity data. This data visualized, helps companies interpret disparate data across multiple systems so they can optimize, increase efficiencies and forecast performance with more certainty.

What Can Productivity Analytics Help With?

A comprehensive productivity analytics system should provide a single source of insights for everyone in the organization to help:

  • analyze the past

  • visualize the present with real-time data

  • predict the future of a single project, all projects, a single human resource, the whole workforce or the whole business

Productivity analytics should help drive global operational efficiency, growth planning, workforce planning, project planning, production optimization, profitability and strengthen competitive market advantage.

Common Pitfalls of Homegrown Productivity Measurement Systems

Productivity measurement programs encounter frustration and confusion when they are first set up.  Understanding the factors of scope, KPI's, time, and relevance can make or break your productivity analytics program.  

It is extremely important to fully understand the business KPI's of a specific business when setting up the framework of a productivity measurement program. Often, companies implement their own productivity measurement systems by mimicking other companies examples or with the help of outside consultants. Unfortunately, this often leads to failure because the productivity index framework used was not tailored to their unique business  KPI's.

Related: How to Avoid the 4 Biggest Business Intelligence Software Mistakes

Time is another major factor to consider when implementing a productivity measurement system. Without a productivity measurement system, companies are losing opportunities. So, consider the amount of opportunities being lost over a period of time to evaluate the value of what a performance measurement program can provide your business.  Also important to consider, is the time and cost associated with developing a comprehensive productivity measurement system.

You can read more about avoiding the Business Intelligence Software Mistakes from this earlier SlideShare presentation from Allocable.

Another crucial but often overlooked aspect of a productivity analytics system is understanding whose performance is being measured. In other words, the relevance of the data is lost if you don't account for all the people contributing to productivity. Engineers, supervisors, project managers and other employees and contractors make significant contributions to production productivity but few systems measure their roles.

If You Can’t Build it, Buy it

You may decide to “buy” a solution and opt for a brand name software tool. Be careful not to fall in love with brand names because many top shelf Business Intelligence software vendors offer a one-size-fits-all analytics tool that requires heavy customization to fit it to your unique business needs. Some customization efforts take months to years to coordinate business users requirements with data visualizations that fit your business’ unique KPI’s.

Perhaps the best solution is to choose a business intelligence tool that has been designed to provide productivity analytics related to your business. These are vertically integrated BI solutions designed to help you “plug & play” into your business workflows. Allocable is such a platform as the software was architected for professional services organizations to integrate and unify disparate data sources and systems into a single source of insights for everyone in the organization, based on the most common roles and reports related to these roles.

As you look for the right productivity analytics platform for your company, we hope you will consider Allocable.


Allocable is a cloud-based automated time tracking and business intelligence (BI) software platform that provides  a complete visualization of your workforce and project productivity data empowering you to turn information into actionable insight to optimize and forecast performance with more certainty.


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