As SAP’s Qualtrics acquisition ripples through the business and tech world, one clear message is being sent to leadership. At least in SAP’s mind, operational data (the process based data you collect in your ATS and other systems in your HR tech stack) has only limited value.

Operational data would loosely be defined as the kind of hard data that is gathered when a system completes a process where data relationships can be isolated and analyzed.

For example, 1,000 candidates reach interview stage and 78 of those reach hired stage. That’s operational data. One dimensional and devoid of any deeper data that might explain why or how.

SAP's Qualtircs acquisition ripplesThat’s right, your ATS analytics are only telling you a small portion of the recruiting story. SAP is so convinced of this, they spent $8 Billion for Qualtrics, a company that was set to go public for a fraction of that value.

SAP is putting it’s money where its mouth is and screaming “your operational analytics are not good enough! You need experiential data to overlay your operational data for it to have full meaning and value.”

SAP’s Qualtrics Acquisition and Real Time Experiential Data

Hey, I’ll go a step further. In order for your analytics to have full value (the kind of value SAP is willing to pay 20x revenue acquisition costs for), that experiential data needs to come in real time at defined steps of the process.

Whether it’s consumer interactions, supply chain transactions, HR or recruiting processes, gathering experiential data in real time, at defined stages of the process, provides huge value because you can tie it back to the defined operational data.

Survale client, Tony Suzda of Dent Wizard said this much in a recent case study:

“I can run a bottleneck report in my ATS, but having a candidate tell me specifically ‘why’ was much more helpful.”

How much more helpful? Appears to be $8 billion more helpful.

Real Time, Full Circle Feedback

Clients like Candidate Experience Award winner, Workiva, plus Nutanix, Kimball Midwest, Dent Wizard and many more are already applying SAP’s value thesis to their recruiting departments.

Whereas Qualtrics doesn’t automatically deliver surveys at defined steps of a process, Survale clients have a tool that will handle the workload of sending out surveys automatically in real time. This allows organizations to be gathering experiential feedback from candidates, recruiters, hiring managers and more, just by using their existing ATS as they always have.

Each time a candidate’s status or stage gets changed in the ATS, the feedback bots go to work gathering experiential data about what’s really happening behind that time to hire number, or that applicant to hire ratio – you name it.

They know exactly when and why candidates have poor interview experiences. They know exactly why candidates accept or reject their offers. They know why candidates do not apply in larger numbers. They know exactly how much their employer brand affects recruiting outcomes.

Recruiting can learn a lot from SAP’s Qualtrics acquisition. Many recruiting organizations have begun heading down this road already, but the writing is on the wall. If you are not pursuing a strategic model that leverages operational AND experiential data, I would bet about $8 billion that you will be left behind.