In this article, we discuss the advantages of online assessment reporting for IO Practitioners when making talent decisions. Online and dashboard reporting is fast becoming the dominant mode of representing data in most business disciplines, but IO Psychology and especially assessment reporting have lagged behind this trend.
In part, this is probably due to the prevalence of single-instrument rather than integrated reporting and because hand-written reports are still occasionally preferred by some.
However, times are changing. With the institution of data protection and privacy acts across the globe, IOPs have had to revisit their commitments to old fashioned paper and emailed reporting. To ensure true data security, assessment data needs to be represented in a more online, access-controlled manner.
In addition, there is a growing need for assessment providers to provide more integrated, easy-to-understand reports that give a holistic view of candidates. In addition, reports need to be easy to understand by business end-users without the need for expert-level training.
Finally, IOPs are increasingly skeptical of producing lengthy, hand-written reports that often include clinical, rather than mechanical judgements. Indeed, the wealth of data supporting the advantages and accuracy of mechanical judgement (see for instance, Kuncel et al’s 2013 meta-analysis) has prompted the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology IO Psychology, SIOP to consider classifying the making of clinical judgements by IOPs in talent decisions an unethical practice.
Integrated reporting that use scientifically credible algorithms to estimate role fit are therefore far better at helping clients make better talent decisions as well as satisfying the rigorous standards of the IOP profession.
Given the above, what are the key advantages that online, interactive reporting hold for IO Practitioners?
1. Online, interactive reporting is more secure
As mentioned above, the advent of policies like GDPR and similar data security laws around the globe has sensitized IO Professionals to the heightened need for keeping assessment data secure and private.
Unfortunately, the main modality of sending reports to clients, email, is perhaps one of the least secure channels for communication in the digital world. And while such documents may be secured using passwords, the reality is that providers seldom do so, and if they do, such passwords are easily broken with basic methods like brute force hacking.
An additional risk is sending reports to the wrong recipient. It is remarkably easy to mistype or autocomplete the incorrect email address when sending communications, and once sent, such messages are virtually impossible to recall (assuming the error was noticed to begin with).
Given these limitations, switching to a more online, interactive reporting platform that applies best practices of data security seems warranted.
At TTS, we have developed a state-of-the-art online and interactive Talent Match Reporting and Merit Listing platform, the TRM-i and ML-i.
Using the latest developments in securing digital data, proctored access of information, and the ability to audit access logs for such information, our online reporting is a truly secure assessment reporting platform that eliminates the need to email reports or merit lists. The platform makes sending reports to the wrong recipient virtually impossible, and allows for full user access auditing should there be privacy or data security concerns.
Over the course of the past few months, we have also ensured that all our digital systems are fully GDPR compliant, including the TMR-i and ML-i. We are confident that using this platform will ensure that our IO Practitioner and talent management clients remain concurrent and compliant with current and future data privacy and security legislation.
2. Online, interactive reporting is integrated and encourages better talent decision-making
As opposed to individual provider reports, the TTS online, interactive TMRs and Merit Lists integrate aptitude, competency, behavioral and other assessment data inputs into a cohesive, meaningful whole. Doing so adheres more closely to best practices in talent decision-making because it follows a compensatory, algorithmic judgement process.
In addition, our online reports allow end-users to fully explore both high-level fit statistics (i.e. match to role) as well as more granular, specific data on candidates (i.e. specific results in selected assessments).
Given that end-users are able to interact with assessment data using the TMR-i and ML-i platforms, line managers and assessment professionals alike can freely explore data and see how such results integrate to inform their talent decision-making.
To this end, users can switch between job-focused views of assessment data that emphasizes fit, and person-centered data views that focus more on candidates’ total assessment profile.
3. Online, interactive reporting is easier to understand
While great strides have been made to demystify assessment results and reporting, conventional, non-interactive reporting still have inherent deficiencies.
For instance, end-users generally only have one pathway through a PDF document, from start to conclusion. Skipping sections or not reading others may result in confusion and misunderstanding.
Online interactive reporting however, is quite different. By using contemporary web-based technologies, end-users can now access detailed definitions of assessment variables when they hover over results, something that is obviously impossible in offline reporting.
In addition, results can be explored in depth using interactive data drill-downs, therefore preventing confusion of where and how assessment results fit together or inform the larger talent decision to be made.
Talent experts can also prepare interactive Merit lists for consumption by non-experts by applying interactive filters, creating subgroups in the assessment data pool and other data manipulation functions found in the platform. Therefore, non-expert end-users can consume actionable data that makes sense to them and that meet their business objectives. Of all the advantages of online assessment reporting, this is perhaps one of the most powerful.
Future developments will also allow our end-users of the TMR-i and ML-I to input data like interview notes, video and audio data to further enhance the end-user experience of assessment reporting.
Over the last few years, TTS has invested in exploring the future of assessment reporting. We are optimistic about the potential that modern web applications and technologies hold for revolutionizing the way IOPs report on assessments. What is more, such advances will increasingly allow end-users to consume assessment results in more practical, more secure, and more accessible ways.
The advantages of online, interactive assessment reporting will benefit our discipline immeasurably and ensure that assessments remain central to organizations who want to make more objective, scientifically defensible talent decisions.
For more information on our TMR-i and ML-i platforms, or if you are interested in accessing online, interactive reporting for your function, drop us a line at email@example.com
Kuncel, N. R., Klieger, D. M., Connelly, B. S., & Ones, D. S. (2013). Mechanical versus clinical data combination in selection and admissions decisions: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98(6), 1060-1072.