TrustSphere: Accelerating Digital Transformation With Relationship Analytics

Manish Goel

“Passion for inclusive collaboration and reducing bias from corporate decision-making using data,” is what inspired TrustSphere’s CEO Manish Goel to set up TrustSphere. By using technology to ethically and appropriately solve complex organizational challenges around the Future of Work, Manish is leading his company to break new ground in fast growing People Analytics sector.

As the pioneer in Relationship Analytics, TrustSphere helps organizations leverage one of their most valuable assets – their collective relationship network – or Relationship Quotient (RQ) as the company refers to it.

Relationships have always been at the bedrock of business.  You are probably familiar with the saying “it’s not what you know but who you know”.  An individual’s relationship network is an important predictor of their career success. The same is true for a company; relationship networks are one of a company’s most valuable collective asset which help deliver its success.

How people actually collaborate across various digital platforms underpins the way in which business actually gets done. To date this has been hard to measure and visualize. Yet this is more relevant today than ever, with more agile teams and increasingly digitally enabled workplaces. The ability to leverage real-time intelligence from employee networks and use it appropriately can add to employee effectiveness and an organizational competitiveness.

TrustSphere’s technology is enabling a new depth of insights into how teams are actually collaborating, who are the influencers, surfacing hidden stars, etc.  Similarly, as awareness of the value of diverse teams grows, Relationship Analytics is being used to measure team ‘inclusiveness’.

Relationship Analytics is sometimes also referred to as ‘passive’ Organizational Network Analytics space (ONA), the study of how work and collaboration actually occur within the modern enterprise. TrustSphere creates an ‘organizational MRI’ which enables insights around relationship networks, collaboration patterns and information flows between staff and also the strength and depth of relationship networks with external organizations, such as customers and business partners.

TrustSphere is different from social networking tools which map ‘connections’ between people.  Think of Facebook friends or LinkedIn connections. TrustSphere’s algorithms are able to distinguish between actual relationships and mere connections by analyzing the underlying communication patterns between people – without ever analyzing content. Whereas someone may have 100 connections, TrustSphere can determine the top 20 ‘relationships’ based on observed communication patterns.  This helps distinguish ‘signal’ from ‘noise’.

The company works extensively with clients in industries where employee relationships & customer relationships are built and maintained using corporate communication platforms including financial services, professional services, life sciences and the public sector etc.

These insights are delivered in real-time, at enterprise scale, whilst respecting employee privacy.


Relationship Analytics – An Emerging Category of Organizational Insights

Industry analyst group, Gartner identified Relationship Analytics as one of the five key trends in its 2019 Hype Cycle for Analytics and Business Intelligence.

TrustSphere’s approach to Relationship Analytics is to analyze communication and collaboration data – never any content – to build and maintain the ‘graph’ of business relationships which can be used to generate a variety of insights. These insights can be applied to harness significant value and help achieve organizational goals in employee experience including Leadership Development & Talent Management, Diversity & Inclusion, Sales Team Effectiveness.

By generating insights from its proprietary Relationship Analytics platform, TrustSphere has developed solutions that enable organizations to unlock the inherent value of their people-based networks, much of which still remains trapped in corporate IT systems.  Such people data helps organizations better understand their own DNA.

Accenture estimates the ‘trapped value’ of this data at approximately US$3 trillion – and refers to unlocking this value as the ‘Trust Dividend’. This is available to corporates to utilize to improve performance and competitiveness – provided they can build and maintain trust with their employees about the use of this data.

TrustSphere’s unique Relationship Analytics technology is helping companies claim part of this “Trust Dividend” by unlocking value from this trapped data and leveraging it across different business processes in the customer and employee spheres. Its solutions are also designed to ensure that benefits accrue to both employees as well as the business.

In almost every function, from sales to engineering, new generations of leaders are placing increasing emphasis on collaboration to support innovation and cross-functional teamwork. TrustSphere’s technology helps organizations measure a leader’s own RQ. By generating insights into their relationship networks, TrustSphere provides a new lens for leadership to understand their own collaboration behaviors and uncover any unconscious biases.


Mission to Deliver Customer Relationship Insights

TrustSphere’s mission is to enable enterprises to fully leverage the ‘relationship networks’ which underpin their organizations to better understand and navigate their digital transformation efforts and reduce bias in decision-making. Its insights are consumable and actionable for real-life problem solving, making its solutions “systems of insight” and not just “systems of analytics”.

Aragon Research named TrustSphere a 2019 “Hot Vendor in Revenue Intelligence” because of its impact on understand the relationship networks between organizations and their customers.

By identifying neglected accounts and finding hidden cross-functional client relationships, TrustSphere is helping its clients reduce customer churn, increase cross-sales and increase overall revenue.

It also integrates these insights into and SugarCRM for sales professionals to better manage their customer relationships.


TrustSphere’s Pioneering Journey

TrustSphere was initially established in 2011 as a network security player. Following the early days, the company pioneered a new category in Relationship Analytics generating network based insights to enable “people decisions”, carving out a niche as a leader in the passive ONA space.

The company is now recognized as a pioneer and leading player in the Relationship Analytics market. It has assembled an exceptional advisory board of experts and thought leaders including HR analyst Josh Bersin, Wharton Business School’s Prof. Adam Grant, social network analysis pioneer Dr. Karen Stephenson, Harvard Business School’s Prof Boris Groysberg, People Analytics influencers David Green and Jonathan Ferrar.

Leading consulting firms view TrustSphere as a key enabler to drive their increasingly data-driven consulting practices. The company is working with many Fortune 100 companies to address their sales and people-related business challenges. It has also received wide acclaim from industry analysts. TrustSphere is also the subject of a Harvard Business School case study which examines the unique way in which TrustSphere has created this new market category for Relationship Analytics.


Proactive Leadership Driving Growth

Manish Goel is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of TrustSphere under whose stewardship, the company has achieved exponential growth including successfully partnering with many of the world’s leading technology platforms such as and Visier. Manish has over 15 years of experience in the software and services sector, having started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Strategic Change Consulting practice. He then went on to become an Investment Director at PwC Venture Partners, the firm’s London based principal investment unit where he led the Investment Selection team and built a specialization in the FinTech sector. Manish believes strongly in contributing to the technology ecosystem. For several years, he Chaired the Online Trust Alliance (OTA), an industry alliance formed to promote individual privacy and enhance trust in e-commerce globally.

Manish is committed to supporting teams develop solutions that leverage technology and data analytics to improve decision-making and help drive digital transformation for enterprises and governments around the world.


The Future of People Analytics and HR Transformation

People Analytics is becoming a core competency for HR and has the potential to make it one of the most analytical functions in business. For services organizations in particular, 60-70% of the cost base is in people.  Understanding and appropriately leveraging this significant corporate asset is increasingly vital. HR departments are beginning to make use of advanced analytical methods such as predictive and prescriptive models, and others are starting to use  artificial intelligence. However there is still much progress to be made.

By measuring and analyzing social capital and network metrics TrustSphere’s ONA solutions are being used by HR and People Analytics teams for a previously unavailable level of insight into the “actual” behavior of employees affecting their productivity and engagement.

In line with this, the company recently launched a new Diversity & Inclusion data driven tool. Known as the D&I MRI, it is a market first, providing meaningful inclusiveness measures using passive ONA signals. The product has received an overwhelming response from HR practitioners, HR analysts and thought leaders and other HR analytics providers, and several leading organizations have already implemented it.

The use cases for Relationship Analytics insights across the organization are still emerging and TrustSphere is leading the charge to identify new areas where such rich insights can be leveraged whilst ensuring the technology is used in an ethical and legally compliant way.