Aussie analytics start-up SWOOP into Workplace

SWOOP Personas
SWOOP Personas

Organisations have invested heavily in employee engagement and collaboration initiatives to drive organisational performance. But is it working? SWOOP Analytics enables the entire organisation to measure engagement and collaborative performance.

SWOOP is a solution for businesses wanting to drive employee engagement and improve collaborative activity through behavioural analytics. SWOOP started big in Australia, with Westpac (35,000 people) and Telstra (45,000 people) as its first clients and hasn’t looked back. Three years on, they are the only global analytics partner of Workplace with clients now in North America and Europe too.

Cai Kjaer, Dr Laurence Lock Lee and Marianne Kjaer founded SWOOP Analytics in 2014 in response to a request from Microsoft to help a client with Yammer. “That’s when we realised we had quite a niche with our collaboration measurement,” explained Kjaer, who is clearly an enthusiast for his work. “We had worked together since 2006 on more than 100+ social network mapping and analysis projects. We love the idea of measuring the ‘black magic’ around collaboration with methodology rooted in the evidence-based science of behaviour.”

Making measurement meaningful

Speaking to Kjaer, it’s impossible not to feel the excitement behind what they are up to: it’s obvious that they deeply understand people, whether that’s helping employees understand their communities, their own collaboration behaviours or helping senior managers get in tune with what their people want. SWOOP really thinks about relationships and how they drive performance. “Measurement has to be meaningful,” says Kjaer. “It needs to be about much more than activity and volume. It’s a bit like a GPS for business. If you know what behaviour and outcomes you want to see, SWOOP can tell you what to look at to get it right with different widgets suitable for different stages of maturity along the digital adoption journey.”

Collaboration is a contact sport

Measuring the right things for an enterprise social network is rather different than what we are used to in the consumer space. “We are interested in Connections, not Collections” insists Kjaer.  And one of my favourite quotes from him: “Collaboration is a contact sport!” by which he means that, “merely consuming and sharing content is not enough. That’s all about broadcasting. Pushing messages out far and wide. It’s a start but it’s not ambitious enough and it won’t transform your business.”  Inside a business, a collaboration platform like Workplace allows us to engage with others and interact with them to get stuff done – like Starbucks, who famously launched a new beverage in just 24hours – a definite business win!

Most platform analytics can tell you how many users you have, how many are posting on the platforms, and what time of day they’re posting, but not much else. As such, the analytics that come with Workplace are great for initial roll out but, once you’ve got basic adoption numbers sorted, a business needs to know more about the relationships that drive performance. SWOOP widgets are based on well researched indicators that will tell you the things that matter: the things that will enable you to improve collaborative behaviours and genuinely drive improvements in your business. SWOOP enables you to identify influencers and assess the levels of engagement between executives and front line staff. You can see which departments are well networked and identify your strategically most important groups to make sure they are working. In short, you can map your networks and start drilling holes in siloes.


Another thing that makes SWOOP stand out is that it is, like Workplace, transparent. It mirrors the access controls on Workplace so that every individual can understand their own collaborative behaviour in real time. These analytics are not about compliance monitoring or reporting but designed to shed light on what is actually happening across an organisation in terms of the connections and relationships that are in action.

The analytics are designed for use by the whole organisation:

  • Personal analytics provide privacy protected data to individuals, allowing them to reflect on their own collaborative behaviours, over time.
  • Business Unit analytics allow the formal lines of business to view how they are interacting with the organisation at large.
  • Informally created cross-organisational groups are able to monitor how they are engaging with staff across the organisation, on their topic of choice.
  • An enterprise-wide view is available to all employees.

SWOOP consists of analytic widgets suitable for each of these four levels (Personal, Business Unit, Group and Enterprise) and are aligned with the various stages of collaboration maturity from initial roll out and adoption through to agile innovating excellence. SWOOP’s analytics go further than any other analytics  provider we have come across, most of which are primarily focussed on activity levels.

SWOOP Analytics Team
The team at SWOOP


Find out who creates organisational value

The team at SWOOP have identified 5 common personas that characterise interaction behaviours in online social networks. These are a great way to generate interest in how individual employee’s behaviour can impact an organisation. The three critical personas to an organisation are:

  • Engagers – Engagers are the engine room for collaboration networks. They connect and sustain relationships. The higher the number of engagers in your organisation the better.
  • Catalysts – Catalysts energise the network by attracting responses. They seed lots of conversations that lead to a lot of replies and likes.
  • Responders – Responders prefer to react to conversation rather than initiating them. They will often reply or ‘like’

Then there are two other types commonly found in organisations too – in terms of creating business value through your social networks, these folk have little impact.

  • Broadcaster – The ‘Broadcaster’ persona is self evident, as someone who sends messages but does not engage much with the groups and communities.
  • Observer – The  ‘Observer’ is someone who consumes some of the content from the system but as they do not actively participate in the interactions they are unlikely to be creating organisational value.
SWOOP Analytics Personas
The 5 SWOOP Personas

How can IC benefit from SWOOP?

Kjaer again: “While digital can move at the speed of light, digital transformations often require the more measured approach. SWOOP’s real-time analytics dashboard has been designed to shepherd organisations along their journey providing the metrics needed to see what’s working and insights on how to improve things. IC need to shift to a coaching role where they can play a big part in shaping how conversations happen across the business, particularly in how senior leaders engage with their people. Armed with the detail from SWOOP’s analytics, IC managers can share insights into general community health, they can locate the informal community leaders and see where departments and groups are engaging successfully across the organisation. They can identify where the conversations in the business are having a positive impact and where siloes may need to be broken down.”

This level of detail is gold dust to IC professionals who are keen operate more strategically and prove their worth to the C-suite.  With a free two week trial for Workplace perhaps it makes sense to look a little more closely at SWOOP.

By Alison Boothby


  1. Great insight into an interesting company. Glad to say that Cai Kjaer, the CEO of Swoop is flying in from Australia to appear at smilelondon on November 20th. Looking forward to interviewing him onstage.

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