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Dan George

Dan George

Dan George is an award-winning HR, People Analytics, and Workforce Planning expert. His experience spans roles in Fortune 100 enterprises and growing mid-sized companies that seek to better manage the performance and output of their talent.


George’s unique skill set uses components of data science, process transformation, and storytelling to unite leaders and develop executable strategies that drive competitive advantage.


He began his career in Human Capital consulting at Accenture, where he spent seven years integrating systems to create innovative solutions.


George went on to build and lead Bridgestone’s people analytics practice, designing and growing the team from concept to reality.


He then went on to become the Chief People Officer at JumpCrew, a sales and marketing outsourcing firm, and is currently the Founder & CEO of Piper Key, a data and analytics consulting firm focused on delivering services to HR, Finance, and Operations teams.

Tell us the story of how you got involved in HR/People Operations and leadership. How did your career lead you here?

Directly out of undergrad, I took a consulting job at one of the larger firms. My first project was an implementation of the SAP HR module for a massive company. 

At the time I was a little disappointed with the assignment because I thought it wasn't fully utilizing my skill set, but gradually became more intrigued with the work.

There was something so inherently obvious about using people data to improve operations, but so many companies overlooked or deprioritized leveraging human capital data for insights. 

In which industries, verticals or sectors have you focused your career? 

At this point, I've worked in almost every industry, which is rare for many professionals. I don't see myself specializing in any industry over another, but that's the best part because I can borrow best practices from across industry verticals. 

Why do so many companies struggle with making HR a priority? What are some common mistakes companies make?

I believe many organizations struggle with and ultimately deprioritize human capital initiatives for two reasons. First, people projects are far more challenging to predict in terms of outcomes (ROI/breakeven) when compared to other functional projects.

Second, they can often take a lot longer to execute and are difficult to track progress. It requires leadership to champion the transition over quarters, if not years. 

You’ve been selected to give a keynote address at a major HR and leadership conference. What topic will you discuss and what major points will you touch on?

I would probably look to speak about the importance of understanding how HR is competing for the same resources as other functions. Knowing how to pitch projects, influence other leaders, and partner for joint success.

Have you seen, firsthand, any impacts of AI on the practice of HR or people ops? What impacts are you expecting in the next few years?

Yes, aside from the quick comms, there's a couple use cases that make a lot of sense. For one, there's skill taxonomy and inference. Another is assisting with performance feedback. 

What skills have served you best in your career?

Curiosity by far. That is coupled with gaining the confidence to ask tough questions to the right people. 

What’s the best advice you’d give someone just starting out in their people operations career, or just starting to transition from a related discipline?

Work on as many different projects as you can. Understand why you like those projects. What about the work that is rewarding or interesting? Find 3-4 mentors that you speak to regularly.  

When did people analytics as a discipline pop up on your radar? How have you seen it evolve or change over that period of time?

In 2006 I was put on a large SAP HR implementation. There was so much opportunity to make it impactful to the people and the organization. The rest is history. 

What trend do you think will be most impactful in people analytics space over the next three years?

Performance has been a sustaining trend. I don't see that going anywhere. There's still so much we don't understand, especially with how to track knowledge workers. 

What’s your biggest “hot take” or “least popular opinion” about an issue within the industry? 

The HR team is only as good as the leader is at the c-suite level. If that HR leader isn't seen as an impactful executive, the whole of HR will always just be a transactional function. That leader needs to have a high enough business acumen to compete and negotiate for resources at the top level.

David Rice
By David Rice

David Rice is a long time journalist and editor who specializes in covering human resources and leadership topics. His career has seen him focus on a variety of industries for both print and digital publications in the United States and UK.