Unlock the Power of DEI: Tech Powered DEI

Written by Explorance.

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Reading Time: Less than 5 minutes

Synopsis: Our third blog in a series examining the use of the latest technological solutions to facilitate the work of DEI leaders, this post examines how specific digital tools are already being employed by DEI trailblazers. Read our earlier blog posts here and here.

DEI leaders are increasingly leaning on technology to keep up with the demands of the work. With more than 100 vendors in this targeted market, there are numerous opportunities to build a tech stack that relieves workload and helps deliver meaningful outcomes.

At the same time, the plethora of options makes it more important to understand what each technology can (and can’t) do, and how they fit together to serve an organization’s unique needs.

How DEI Leaders Use Technology

Knowing technology can never fully replace human expertise, DEI leaders lean on technology to address a host of challenges. You and your peers are likely relying on technology to:

  • Eliminate unconscious bias.
  • Remedy a lack of existing DEI analytics or insights.
  • Address inadequately diverse talent pipelines.
  • Rectify company culture that is not adequately inclusive.
  • Make companies adequately diverse.
  • Improve employee knowledge / insight.
  • Be seen as responsive, rather than quota-driven.

Technology reliance is heightened by a constellation of forces making DEI work more challenging. Many people are working toward DEI in a newly remote or hybrid workforce. There is also a growing need for efficiencies in recruitment of gig and contract workers. Meanwhile, employers are tasked to take more responsibility for employee health and wellness even as pandemics and other disruptions intensify challenges inside and outside the workplace.

As amplified focus on DEI unleashes a wave of tech solutions, any software should reduce complexity in the tech stack, not add to it. And, unfortunately, the available solutions do not match the areas of greatest need. Even though employee engagement and retention is a major DEI success measure, the largest percentage of solutions focus on talent acquisition (43%). Only 12% focus on engagement/retention.

The ability to understand employees’ open-ended comments is critical to decision making for DEI. BlueML is an artificial intelligence (AI) technology that uses machine learning (ML) to perform in-depth analysis of open text comments in seconds. Comments can come from any source, internal or external. At the center of the DEI tech stack, BlueML reveals a unified story among multiple conversations, enabling definitive, effective action.

Tech that Works: A 38,000-employee multinational company serving a diverse audience wanted to assess existing strengths. Within hours, Using BlueML, the Head of Leadership and Culture ran a comment analysis on the entire year’s worth of data, identifying four major themes and the top four opportunities for improvement. After segmenting results by region and demographics, they were able to assess the effectiveness of employee resource groups, and understand how employees experience them.

What is AI/ML, and What is Not?

Despite the name, ML is pattern recognition, not cognitive learning. Humans can learn by reading a definition once, while a machine needs to see the pattern over and over. That repetition is what makes BlueML effective; it has been trained on over 500,000 employee comments, across the spectrum of learning, development, recruitment, onboarding, exit, wellness management, and more. It continues to “learn” as more user organizations contribute to the background data set.

When joined with organization-specific data, such as onboarding surveys, online employee reviews, and internal data from other software, BlueML gives unparalleled insight into the meanings and motivations behind employee comments. BlueML augments human expertise. It completes — in minutes — text analyses that would have taken hours or days to complete.

Importantly, people’s natural bias tendency is replaced with bias-free, actionable insights. Diversity leaders and managers in any department can analyze data based on criteria such as demographics, rated questions and more, depending on your needs.

BlueML: A Powerful Tool for DEI

BlueML is the only machine learning HR-to-HR tool using employee comments at foundation. It does not detect “isms” associated with age, gender, race, or other issues, but rather the sentiments and emotions associated with them in over half a million comments it was trained on. As such, it allows for objective decision-making at scale and speed.

BlueML can draw on data gleaned from open-ended responses collected from other software. Employee interviews, assessments, learning management, performance management, onboarding/offboarding, and wellness management are also potential data sources. BlueML evolves as it gets more data. It becomes better at reading things like misspellings and punctuation issues, and learns how to better read the comments.

The algorithm also improves in response to your feedback and guidance, evolving as quickly as social and workplace DEI trends emerge. Created and continually maintained by a diverse team at Explorance, BlueML protects machine outputs from potential human bias via algorithm annotators and DEI subject matter experts.

Alternative Text Technologies

Unscripted employee responses are crucial to assessing every aspect of DEI experience and efforts within an organization. However, the methods for  making the most of  those comments vary in ease and effectiveness.

Systems created in-house require a costly annotation process. HR software that tracks only the frequency of terms used misses important flags like attrition and minority voices. Dictionary-based analytics require exact spelling and cannot identify information that is not already in the static dictionary. Most options are based on just a few dozen hours of training. As such, they can only yield analyses, but cannot offer recommendations.

Technologies Comparison

Human readers Text analytics – fixed dictionaries General purpose ML HCM suites with ML modules BlueML
Introduce misunderstanding in interpretation Requires ongoing maintenance Insights are powerful but lack detail Helpful for predictions e.g. risk of attrition Identifies multiple emotions and levels of emotion
Introduce bias based on notions or desired outcomes Lacks context, requires exact terms and spelling Cannot identify root causes Unable to discern multiple levels of meaning Discerns recommendations within comments
Does not scale Does not scale Does not scale Based on what is already known Scales quickly and easily
Read more on our blog post on this very topic.


Every technology that enters the DEI tech stack needs to do more than simply complete a task. It should enhance the effectiveness of the entire tech investment, while creating a more manageable experience for DEI leaders. Only those built specifically for DEI can handle the complexity of information being input and deliver insights that can lead to real gains.


Learn More About BlueML’s Groundbreaking Comment Analysis Capabilities

BlueMLDEIEmployee insight solutionsOrganizational experiencePeople insight solutions

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