BersinInsights: Reinventing the way HR Executives and Professionals Work

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This week we introduced one of the most exciting new offerings in the company's history: BersinInsights® – the first integrated information platform designed for the daily needs of HR executives and professionals.

How many times have you tried to quickly find information to help you do your job?  Type "best-practices in performance management" into Google and you get an entire page of advertisements from HR software companies and consultants.

BersinInsights® solves this problem by giving you – the HR or L&D executive or practitioner, an integrated information platform with access to trusted content and tools which makes your job easier every single day.

Some History

Since 2003, we at Bersin & Associates have been rigorously studying best-practices, benchmarks, and vendor solutions in all areas of HR and talent management. Through interviews and surveys with tens of thousands of organizations, we developed a vast library of best-practices, tools, case studies, and educational material – all developed with one goal in mind: showing you how to make your organization's people practices better.

Our WhatWorks® methodology not only identifies approaches that work, but also produces visual frameworks and our unique maturity models that let you, as an organization, identify precisely where you are and what you need to do next to improve. Our research identifies what to do, how to do it, and the impact of making these changes. As we rigorously study all these practices, we also look at vendors and all the solution providers you need to bring your solutions to reality.

We also understand that your job as an HR or L&D leader is not just so "learn" but actually to "do." So over the years we have developed hundreds of tools, checklists, buyers guides, and roadmaps which you can immediately put to use. Using our Lexicon® and BersinBasics (our library of more than 100 e-learning modules on all aspects of talent management), you can quickly educate yourself on a topic and immediately "catch up" on the many changing areas of HR, recruiting, training, leadership development, and other areas of talent management.

Our entire focus for nearly ten years has been focused on three things: quality, service, and integrity. Our research and tools are designed to be "solutions to problems," not just "interesting findings." We hold ourselves to a high degree of integrity: if we produce a tool or finding that "works" we stand behind it with research and examples of precisely why and how it would work for you.

As we continue to perform this research and produce these wonderful tools and models, we also consult with clients. So over the last nine years we have engaged in more than 400 different consulting projects which help us bring real-world experiences to this body of knowledge. We produce presentations, workshop guides, webinars, and many case studies of "WhatWorks" for companies of all sizes and in nearly every industry.

Fig 1:  BersinInsights Dashboard

The Bersin Content Architecture

Those of you who are Bersin & Associates members already know how valuable this information can be. But perhaps the most important innovation of all is the underlying content architecture we developed.

Every document, tool, video, webcast, or other asset in our library is arranged and tagged using a well-defined architecture designed for the needs of HR and L&D professionals. We currently offer five practice areas (HR, L&D, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, and Leadership & Succession) and within these practices we develop content in more than 40 distinct subject areas. All the materials are carefully designed to work together and are published into clearly defined asset types: case studies, industry studies, illustrative models, frameworks, Factbooks, videos, webinars, and more.

Fig 2:  Bersin & Associates Subject Areas Today (these are constantly expanding)

Much our innovation is in the content architecture itself (and there is no other such content architecture in the market). What it means is that our members can rapidly locate and find precisely what they need in seconds (without the need to "search").

For example, suppose you are asked to put together a leadership development strategy for your sales team. In only a few seconds you can access the Bersin & Associates Leadership Development Framework, look at dozens of case studies for leadership development solutions in your industry, review the Leadership Development Maturity Model, and walk away with a clear roadmap for developing your plan. If you need to find a vendor, you can quickly browse and search our library of 350+ solution providers and look at the top leadership development vendors in your industry.

And you can rest assured that anything you read has been carefully vetted and reviewed by our analysts. In fact, our business model is built around client intimacy – members can call the analyst directly to discuss questions. We stand firmly behind the integrity and quality of our content – that's why everything we produce has an author and we expect you to call us for support. (And you will never find advertisements or sponsored content in our entire library.)

If you are ready to ask specific questions about your leadership development program (ie. how much should a company of my size be spending?) – you can quickly browse our "Ask-the-Experts" database of 1300+ questions and expert answers. You will find the answer already there. And the answer itself will point you to related research and tools which make your answer complete and ready to use.

The BersinInsights Technology Platform

Which leads me to our new platform. Three years ago we started development on a new information platform designed to bring this information to your fingertips: BersinInsights.  The system is an integrated, personalized, smart platform built on the world's most modern cloud technology (it runs on a network of servers around the world in the Amazon Web Services network). The user experience was designed in partnership with our clients, and already we have more than 4,000 HR executives and professionals using the system.

Fig 3:  BersinInsights Ask-the-Experts

The platform has many unique and innovative features.  First, it is fully personalized. When you first login you tell the system your role and interests, and it automatically shows you information, tools, and research relevant to your role. Second, it is amazingly fast. If you want to browse for case studies in social recruiting, you will find them in less than a second. Third, it uses an amazing amount of "data science" behind the scenes to continuously recommend and suggest tools and information relevant to your search.

Every time you click on something the system gets smarter, and immediately recommends "related research," "related Ask-the-Experts," and "related tools" to your current view. So rather than "search" and "select" information, you literally "browse from place to place," continuously finding more useful information to make you an expert on a topic.

The Lexicon and Solution Provider library are fully integrated with all other content – so any time you look up the definition of a term, you see case studies and examples of where it is used. When you browse a vendor profile, you see all related research and case studies about that vendor. The Bersin & Associates Solution Provider library has been built over years of research and is continuously updated, giving you full access to the latest vendor information in nearly every market for HR software, tools, content, and services.

 

Fig 4:  BersinInsights Solution Provider Library

Today we maintain more than 350 solution provider profiles, and we constantly update them with new research, case studies, product information, and analyst insights.

BersinInsights is Powered by Data

We understand the power of data science in our business, and we have designed BersinInsights to be smart. Every day our systems process more than one member interaction per minute. This database of interactions shows us the patterns of usage among our users and members.

What we have done is build a "Data Science Engine" which looks at this data and provides you with recommended new content whenever you login. Just like LinkedIn recommends "people you may know," BersinInsights recommends "recommended research" or "related ask-the-experts" based on your activity.

Our goal is to try to prevent you from having to search for information. While we have one of the fastest and most powerful faceted search tools in the marketplace, we actually find that our members browse for what they need, and let the system show them what materials are most likely to be relevant. Over time this database gets smarter and smarter, making BersinInsights an even more powerful tool the more you use it.

Fig 5:  Recommendations Based on Data Science

Reinventing the Way HR Executives and Professionals Work

Our clients tell us that BersinInsights reinvents the way they work. The platform is your personalized information system, powered by your own personal "research department." And every week we add dozens of new materials to the system, providing you with up-to-date, timely information and new research.

Rather than search through Google, our members quickly find what they need or ask questions online whenever they need help (depending on the level of membership). In our next release we will be launching a professional development system, which lets you enroll in collections of research and track your progress (or the progress of your team).  Soon thereafter a very exciting set of social features will be launched.

Our clients have already told us that this tool "changes the way they work." Whenever a new question or issue comes up, the team can "look at what Bersin says" and immediately get smart on a topic and rapidly move toward a world-class solution. And because the system is fully personalized, it works for top level executives, mid-level managers, and HR specialists, trainers, and recruiters as well.

Our goal with BersinInsights is to be the "indispensible tool for HR professionals" around the world – and more than 500 global organizations have already signed up.

In our upcoming releases we will be introducing carefully curated professional development as well – so you can use your Bersin membership to develop your own personal skills. Many of our members tell us today that the research and tools we provided them gave them the perspective and credibility to take major steps forward in their own career – and for me personally this is one of the most gratifying value of all.

I won't spend more time telling you about the product, but let me just say that this is one of the most exciting offerings we have ever developed, and there is much more to come. You have to see it to believe it.

How do you get BersinInsights?  Your organization can join our enterprise membership program.  You will be in good company.

We will be conducting regular demonstrations of BersinInsights in the coming weeks, go to our website for more information or sign up to see BersinInsights in action.

Josh Bersin

Advisor

Josh founded Bersin & Associates in 2001 to provide research and advisory services focused on corporate learning. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and a popular blogger. Prior to founding Bersin & Associates, Josh spent 25 years in product development, product management, marketing, and sales of e-learning and other enterprise technologies. Josh’s education includes a bachelor of science degree in engineering from Cornell, a master’s of science degree in engineering from Stanford, and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

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