How Data-Backed Insights Can Ensure Talent Drives Value Creation

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Summit Leadership Partners’ Kevin Impelman recently spoke with Juan Nuñez, the Director of Data & Analytics at Micro Strategies Inc. (MSI), as part of an insightful web session titled: “Unlocking Data-Driven Insights To Drive Leadership and Organization Performance.” They discussed some of the unique ways that Summit leverages data analytics to create value for clients by creating valuable insights, boosting productivity and enhancing overall organization performance.

3 Levels of Peak Performance

As the Director of Consulting Services & Analytics at Summit, Kevin and our team of consultants work with clients at three levels to unlock peak performance: individual leaders, management teams and the overall organization.

  • Providing leaders with assessments, insights and coaching that can significantly develop their leadership abilities and ability to scale.
  • For management teams, especially those in private equity-backed companies, it’s critical to ensure alignment and accountability in decision-making to effectively drive value.
  • And across organizations, delivering insights into organizational design structure, operating model, culture, and the workforce.

Like many of the consultants at Summit, Kevin uses his doctoral background as an industrial and organizational psychologist to better understand how people approach work and their unique leadership styles. Unlike operational and financial data, it can be more challenging to consistently quantify human capital data. Harnessing and understanding human capital data – which represents a substantial organizational investment – can be instrumental in driving value creation.

Leveraging Data and Advanced Technology

Summit worked with MSI to create a data warehouse and leverage artificial intelligence (AI) that enables the team to access, analyze and visualize human capital data across different levels and dimensions. With rapid advances being made in AI, such as large language models (LLMs) and more, Kevin knew the value of capturing both structured and unstructured data, as well as individual data, to inform their analysis. He also points to the critical steps of assessing AI models for data protection, potential bias, and accuracy of outputs to ensure they are functioning securely, responsibly, and effectively.

In particular, private equity clients are very focused on quantitative metrics to help drive value creation and get the most out of their investments. Increasingly, those investors recognize the pivotal role that management teams play in executing the value creation plan. That’s why data-backed insights that can illuminate performance and alignment in portfolio companies are so vital for private equity clients.

4 Critical CEO Capabilities

For example, one of the data initiatives Summit undertook in recent years was a survey of both portfolio company CEOs and PE executives who are primarily involved in the sourcing and selection of CEOs. That survey identified four critical CEO capabilities that influence whether a portfolio company CEO will be successful:

  • Relies on data to drive decision-making.
  • Builds a high-performing executive leadership team.
  • Alerts PE sponsors early to problems.
  • Takes input or recommendations willingly.

Summit continues to hear from colleagues and clients about how relevant those findings are today. That’s just one example of the power of data-backed insights in supporting value creation, especially during turbulent macroeconomic conditions. These essential CEO traits are used in Summit’s talent assessment process now.

Accelerating Performance and Driving Value

There are also future opportunities for using data and AI in the human capital domain, such as incorporating even more performance data and behavioral data from team interactions, as well as using generative AI to further augment efficiency and creativity. That data can build upon Summit’s team diagnostic and benchmarking to provide even more meaningful insights.

At the same time, data is a two-way street in client engagements. Summit has ample data insights that they’ve collected and analyzed as part of their service offering, but it’s also critical to have clients share their own data to uncover targeted insights about progress on their value creation plan. That’s why Summit often works with a client’s portfolio analytics team to understand what data they have and how they’re currently using that. Then they can help connect the dots and layer human capital data on top to provide an impactful predictor that supports value creation and drives performance.

Ultimately, data and analytics are tools to assist in reaching the desired outcome. That’s why it’s so important to work with clients from the outset to understand their unique challenges and goals and leverage Summit’s resources and experience to address those. By combining the science of organizational psychology with increasingly powerful data insights and technology, Summit can drive significant value for clients — even amid a challenging climate for growth.

You can read more from Kevin in his previous blogs, including: