May 25, 2020

How Data Scientist Tomeka Hill-Thomas Achieved Integration at Ernst & Young

One of the business goals I’ve heard on repeat is “integration”—its repetition in the corporate and consulting worlds reaches the magnitude of myth. This is why it was refreshing to learn about an actual case of successful integration, as it pertains to data, shared by Tomeka Hill-Thomas, a People Analytics Expert and Senior Data Scientist at management firm Ernst & Young, in the latest webinar hosted by data-skills school Promotable. Tomeka initiated the huge task of building a desperately needed employee database—modernizing it and, most of all, integrating it with more relevant types of employee-related content. This bringing-it-together effort encompassed these dynamics:

Inheritance to Improvement
The starting employee data set was your basic garden-variety, consisting of standard facts: birthday, gender, cultural heritage and so on. Fundamental but lacked density. It was expanded into a more muscular body of data in sync with the employee’s business domain, job performance and more.

Separate to Singular
The data inherited was fragmented—documented in mixed ways and housed across different sources. It was centralized for common findability and access.

Minor to Major
The initial employee data set was underwhelming—adequate for satisfying rote initiatives, for example, noting work anniversaries. It was advanced to enable better applications, far more strategic ones—like employee retention.

Kudos to Tomeka for sparking and leading the charge of making a big project happen—one that benefits in dividends. The integrated database established by her and her team* began as a short-term boost but ultimately plays the long game. Proverbial advantages have been realized and are advancing—such as time savings and efficiency gains, along with data accuracy, on-demand reporting, in-depth analytics and more. All of these benefit Ernst & Young’s workforce. They also qualify a business template of optimizing other, if not all, areas of the organization, company-wide.

Superficial as it sounds, this long-standing wish intensifies as a modern directive: integrate or… evaporate.

Thanks again to Promotable who align their virtual workshops with relevant perspectives through their organizing of regular talks online! Explore their channel on YouTube.

* During the Q&A session after her presentation, considering the growing quantity and quality of data collected and visualized, I asked Tomika if UI/UX designers were on her team. She confirmed their involvement. Great to know that they are integral to the project’s marathon-success. 👍

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