Do you trust your organizational culture with more data?

I came across a fantastic social data analysis tool that an organization can use to get greater insight into Yammer usage. The tool will help organizations target the best business cases for Yammer, so that they can focus our efforts on the best opportunities for success and learning.

It was interesting how the tool works with email data - to find great use cases to replace reply-to-all situations with Yammer messages. There also is sentiment analysis to gauge feeling in the organization.

Even more impressive was the way an organization could tie in HR, LinkedIn and other social data to build up employee social profiles to help find their most active users to ask for (and offer) help and support.

The software was fantastic. But then I had a thought that we all should consider:

How far should you trust an organization with this level of data on their employee’s lives?

It all comes down to culture - too many organizations are not open and transparent enough to be trusted with this level of data. Is mine….? Is yours...?

While you may trust your close team's intentions and integrity, what if your organization has an older, command and control culture? What if fear of social is high?

You must consider the balance between wanting the insight tools such as these offer and not wanting it to become a control mechanism that could further deteriorate employee engagement. Might this of data analysis become spying on employees? Or might it help open minds to the possibility of further transparency and accountability - and the blurring of lines between inside and outside the organization.

Would you trust your organizational culture with more data?