Shawn Bergman

Dr. Shawn Bergman

Innovation and occupational safety: The role of big data and analytics

The promise of using big data and analytics is everywhere, with commercials and business executives stating that analytics will unlock the secrets of your company’s “big data” to increase sales, keep people safe and help employees work smarter, not harder. And while there are numerous stories of how big data and analytics have successfully worked together to drive innovative thinking, up to 40% of companies’ analytic initiatives fail to live up to the hype of big data and produce underwhelming results. Much of this is because applied data analytics requires some innovative, counterintuitive thinking and requires people to consider the end at the beginning.

While there are number of well‐known methods for ensuring that big data and analytics return the promised benefits, these techniques and methods have not been widely used in occupational safety. This presentation will clarify the buzzwords of “big data,” “analytics” and “business intelligence” and demonstrate how, when used properly, organizations can use evidence‐based practices, data and analytics to look at issues from a different perspective and improve Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) programs. The presentation will also highlight the importance of how people, collaboration and applied data analytics can be used in concert to reinvent how companies look at their HSE processes and identify ways organizations can innovate these programs and keep their employees safe.
Shawn Bergman is the founding director of the Office of Research Consultation, the director of the HR Science research team, cofounder and associate director of the Center for Analytic Research and Education, and an associate professor in the nationally recognized Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Human Resources Management (IOHRM) Master’s program at Appalachian State University. Before coming to Appalachian State, Dr. Bergman worked as a research consultant with the Fors Marsh Group, applying quantitative, measurement, and analytic methods to solve issues for a wide variety of private and public sector clients.

Dr. Bergman’s teaching and research focuses on the application of measurement, quantitative methodology, and analytics to solve applied issues in the workplace. He has been an author of 26 peer‐reviewed academic articles, 3 edited book chapters, and over 50 applied research reports and executive summaries and has made over 75 presentations at professional conferences. His research has been featured by prominent national media outlets, including Bloomberg Businessweek, Harvard Business Review, Discovery Channel’s Discovery News, Time Newsfeed, and The Atlantic.

In 2015, Dr. Bergman became a member of the Faculty Hall of Fame, received his second Department of Psychology’s Psi Chi Excellence in Teaching Award, and earned one of Appalachian’s Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Awards.