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Humanyze: “We protect data privacy as a first principle”

The technological boom has opened doors to huge amounts of data. Data of millions of users, research, new discoveries, upgrades, updates, etc. all generate high volumes of information. The most important thing with this high volume of data is securing and protecting it. The high rise of cybercrimes has got tech leaders giving their best to secure and protect the data and privacy.

We have with us Humanyze, a company that’s got data protection in their DNA. Straight out of the MIT Media Lab, Humanyze was established with its founders breaking through data science, behavioral science, machine learning, AI, and importantly, organizational network analytics (ONA). The founders used these technologies to uncover and improve how the work gets done.

With Humanyze, you can get clear insights on the dashboard and even export these stats and analytics into your own business intelligence tools. Human Capital Management dashboard is the star product of the company that can uncover patterns.

“Humanyze has been built with privacy in our DNA”

Back at the MIT Media Lab, the founders were completing their Ph.D. when the thought of measuring all communication content to get a complete picture of how employees worked. They gathered all the face-to-face conversation content, all text messages, and all subject lines in emails. Once the data was gathered, they realized that there was over 100 MB of data per person per day. Of course, it was difficult to extract communication patterns.

The first step the team took was to measure only the metadata like the length of face-to-face conversations, timestamps of emails, if communication flowed within team members– or outside to other teams. The result of this was that accuracy and preciseness which was actually negligible. Realizing this was unnecessary, the team pioneered ways of measuring social collaboration data at large companies, without intruding on employees’ personal privacy.

“We give organizations access to communication data that they’ve never had before,” says the CEO and co-founder Ben Waber. The research team put into starting the company has been groundbreaking. Together, they’ve built organizational metrics and an analytics software platform for global 1000 companies. This has increased the accuracy and speed of their operational decisions in real-time.

Data Privacy above anything else

The core principle at Humanyze is data privacy. The commitment to protecting personal privacy is so strong that it’s mandatory for Humanyze’s customers to abide by data privacy policies to protect employees’ personally identifiable information (PII) and private confidential information (PCI).

The data analysis is done in three steps:

Retrieve Metadata

All the communication data is prepared and gathered on-premise, but none of it measured. No personally identifiable information (PII) or private confidential information (PCI) is gathered. This step only indicates how the communication flows, the time, the duration, and the channel.

Anonymize Data

The data gathered is encrypted and then completely removed 90 days after project completion. The encryption key is always with the client. Data transfer to Humanyze is administered by the client through a secure FTP.

Aggregate Data

All the communication metadata and alias list are imported into the Humanyze Elements Platform. “Our platform aggregates all metadata at the team level and our algorithms analyze the data to uncover patterns on how work actually gets done,” explains Waber. “We present these insights at the team, department, or organizational-level,” he adds.

Fighting for a cause

At Humanyze, there are a set of values and principles that every employee follows. These values are:

  • Fighting for data privacy: This includes allowing employees to opt-in, aggregate and anonymize data, and not recording any content
  • Data-driven: At Humanyze, everyone is data scientists. The entire team is objective in their hypothesis, analysis, data measurement, and every work they do. This helps client organizations to understand how their employees actually work
  • Problem solvers: Humanyze helps clients answer specific business questions
  • Truthful, always: Humanyze is always factual, transparent, and reliable with employees, customers, and end-users
  • Challenging the status quo: Here, innovation for the company and customers are done by exploring why things are done and how they can be done better

Data privacy issues are increasing every day. Humanyze is set out to improve the data processes with its powerful analytics engine so that client organizations can make faster decisions in real-time.

Meet the Legendary

Ben Waber, CEO and Co-Founder

Dr. Ben Waber is the CEO and co-founder of Humanyze. He is a visiting scientist at the MIT Media Lab, previously worked as a senior researcher at Harvard Business School, and received his Ph.D. from MIT for his work with Alex “Sandy” Pentland’s Human Dynamics group. Waber’s work has been featured in major media outlets such as Wired, The Economist, and NPR. He has consulted for industry leaders such as LG, McKinsey & Company, and Gartner on technology trends, social networks, and organizational design. His book, People Analytics, was published by the Financial Times Press in 2013.

“We built our people analytics platform with privacy as a first principle.”

“We aggregate and anonymize all data. We do not record any communication content.”

“We give organizations access to communication data that they’ve never had before.”

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