Manager, Decision Support and Analytics, Global Risk Management Division
A Big Thinker with Intellect to Spare
For John Toczek, the statistics are the easy part. Turning the data into digestible, presentable information for clients is where the innovation lies.
John Toczek manages the five-person decision support and analytics team, part of the global risk management division at ARAMARK Corp. It's a small team but it has companywide impact.
"Our goal is to enable other departments to make data-driven decisions," he said.
Although Toczek brings a statistics background to his job, he realizes that one stumbling block is the discomfort many people have with data.
"In general, people don't like to look at a lot of data," he said. "They want something they can interact with."
This understanding, that the crucial information provided by the data needs to be conveyed in a more interactive and easy-to-grasp manner, led to the development of Interactive Risk Simulators (IRS).
The simulators are tools that visually portray statistical relationships between business metrics like employee tenure, employee engagement, a trained workforce and account tenure, and risk management metrics such as Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) incident rates, workers' compensation rates and customer injuries.
The simulators use gauges and interactive sliders to answer questions such as how more employee engagement tends to lower the OSHA incident rates. "Once you understand the links, you can control your risk better because you know which actions are going to be most effective at mitigating that risk," he said.
Toczek said the risk simulators meet the challenge of making complicated material accessible for a lay audience.
The work that led to the creation of the simulators began a few years ago during a discussion with Andrew Pelcin, director of decision support for global risk management, about the relationship between actions taken by front-line managers, food-service directors, district managers, and general managers in the field, and the effect of their decisions on ARAMARK's risk metrics.
"There's a lot of collaboration where we'll sit in front of the whiteboard and say 'What could we do with this information we have, and how do we deliver it to the people who are going to consume it?' " Pelcin said.
Pelcin said Toczek excels at translating complicated statistical information into easy-to-understand material. "He's phenomenal at delivering this information. It's one thing to make a statistical model, but the challenge is making it so the information can be consumed by anyone at any level almost without an explanation. You can't have an innovative solution if it can't get accepted as well."
Ken Bowman, vice president of safety risk and control at ARAMARK, raves about Toczek's abilities. "He's one of the smartest people I ever worked with. He's really interested in the next big challenge, in figuring out what the business problem is,'' Bowman said "He really likes to have things to think about and to solve problems. He is extremely customer focused and a good listener. He's resonated very much with our field population and been able to really use their feedback to enhance tools they've developed."
September 15, 2011
Copyright 2011© LRP Publications