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Harnessing your organization’s collaboration and sentiment data

Drawing the fine line

With the rise in remote work, companies have acquired a treasure trove of collaboration data from their employees’ exchanges using business communication platforms. As firms tap this data to mitigate risk and improve workplace experience, they must also commit to ethical data use through employee privacy controls and transparency in sentiment analysis. Putting these necessary guardrails in place is key to driving more effective decision-making for the benefit of the entire organization.

Aware and Deloitte are both advocates of employee privacy and rights. As such, this piece explores how to balance the importance and effectiveness of the potential insights with ethical and sustainable usage: the “fine line.”
What's in the Report

Using your existing collaboration conversation data effectively and ethically to drive critical decisions

This transition to remote work accelerated the adoption of collaboration tools that enable workers to communicate more efficiently, boosting productivity and engagement. About 61% of organizations surveyed as part of the 2021 Deloitte Human Capital Trends report said that they would focus on reimagining work and leveraging technology differently going forward as opposed to 29% before the pandemic. On a recent earnings call, Microsoft announced that the number of daily active users of Teams skyrocketed 260% to 115 million between March 2020 and October 2020. Facebook recently announced that the Workplace collaboration platform has 40% more paid subscribers in May 2021 compared to May 2020. Zoom had 30 times growth in daily meeting participants, from ten million in December 2019 to 300 million in April 2020. Slack announced a 42% increase in paid customers from 2020 to 2021.

Aware’s own customer research showed that users sent an average of 184% more messages across collaborative platforms compared with March 2020.

Simultaneously, the increased use of these tools unleashed a treasure trove of collaboration data that can create meaningful and actionable insights to build resilience against the negative implications of COVID-19 and its effect on the workplace.

The intentional, ethical use of collaboration data is critical to building and maintaining organizational trust.

Data privacy is one of the most important components in supporting the ethical use of this data. To build trust with workers, organizations should start by transparently sharing information regarding what data is collected, what it is used for, and why. Organizations then need to define clear data privacy controls and processes for employees to opt out (or in). This includes making sure any analytics tools include functionality to fulfill a data subject access request and/or complete an individual’s request to exercise their right to be forgotten, as outlined by the European Union’s GeneralData Protection Regulation (GDPR).

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