An Inside Look at Kahuna and Hula Partners

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Posted by Amanda Cowles, Kahuna Intern at Hula Partners

My name is Amanda Cowles and I was given the amazing opportunity of working at Hula Partners this summer, specifically on their Kahuna Software Team. Hula itself has an amazing culture. A smaller company spread between an office in Encinitas and Houston, their use of cutting edge software and an open dialogue make for an active and self-motivated work environment no matter where you are located. The Kahuna team is no exception, balancing their time between development, implementation, and future ideas, my internship this summer gave me an amazing chance to learn about the process of implementing software as well as the importance of Competency Management in any field or career path.

From my background in Statistics and Psychology, I always understood on some level that businesses can only be successful when there are the right people in the right roles. Working at Hula showed me how complex it actually is to manage people correctly in more technical job roles. Kahuna, the competency management software that Hula implements to some of its customers, has an ability to load competency and training information into one place and organize it in a way that makes sense of a very flexible and complicated process. With features and analytics that make the large amount of data that Kahuna collects easy to read, I was able to understand in just a few short weeks how important this piece of software is. Kahuna keeps track of training and competency levels at an individual level, but also collects clear cut data about each operational job performed and makes it easy to compare any competency or user at the click of a button. The software, completely cloud-based, collects a massive amount of data. What is truly exciting about Kahuna is the type of information that a company can find when there is organized storage of this big data set.

With the information that Kahuna collects, companies may soon be able to have clear cut numbers that can answer questions often sought after by management but very difficult to calculate. Some of the analytics that are possible to find from the data Kahuna currently collects could be the time it takes for employees to become competent in their roles, the time to profitability of employees, whether there is any supervisor bias in competency assessment, or even what are the best competency and learning resources to be giving out to your employees. This seems like a long and maybe complicated list, but Hula already has the data and capability needed to find concrete and clear answers to many of these often unclear questions. Kahuna’s current functionality already includes many in-depth but transparent analytics, and these are continuing to grow.

In the more technical fields such as Oil and Gas, Healthcare, Aviation and more, the information that Kahuna can provide increases productivity but also safety and responsibility in the workforce. Safety is an important trait for technical workers to be competent in, and Kahuna has the ability to prioritize the safety-critical competencies in the workforce to ensure that all workers utilizing Kahuna are being fully trained in their specific job roles safety procedures. One of my projects this summer has been working on a Safety Survey to measure not just whether or not people have been trained safely, but if safety is actually a priority in the day to day workforce. The application of this survey could illuminate safety gaps for companies or highlight strengths and weaknesses in specific locations or job skills.

Kahuna was designed for how people do their business, but it will develop into something that not only manages the workforce but predict its future needs. As a young adult about to graduate from University and enter the workforce, I can only hope that any company I work for in the future will prioritize competency management in their business plan and utilize software like Kahuna.

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