Xinjie Qiu, PhD, Joins DiversityInc’s Data Team

August 24, 2016 2:43 pm

DiversityInc’s new data scientist discusses his career path and how data can shed light on a human-capital management success path for organizations.


By Eve Tahmincioglu

Xinjie Qiu, Phd, a data scientist and physicist who recently joined DiversityInc’s data team, has had a career focused on making data interesting, whether he was researching the universe, cancer patients, and now the workplace.

With a decade of experience doing data analysis in both physics and medical research, Qiu sees his work on DiversityInc’s 2017 Top 50 Companies for Diversity survey, opening on Sept. 15, as a natural progression given his passion to understand how things work and how to improve them.

Xinjie Qiu discusses how taking the DiversityInc Top 50 Survey can bolster human-capital management


Qiu investigated dark matter at the University of Minnesota; spent his post-doctorial career at Stanford University studying the properties of elementary particles known as neutrinos; and before joining DiversityInc, he did cancer patient research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

But there has been a common thread in his career. When examining the whole universe, each individual patient, or each individual company, he explained, “we’re looking to data and how data will tell the story of each individual subject.”

His work at DiversityInc has been focused on improving the company’s annual Top 50 survey, considered the gold standard for human capital management providing organizations with critical data on where they stack up against their competition and concrete and actionable feedback for workplace improvements.

DiversityInc’s data team has refined and enhanced the 2017 Top 50 survey, Qiu explained, developing more targeted survey questions and refining the wording of those questions for even more comprehensive results.

“If we want to understand how diverse our workforce is we have to use data to support our ideas,” he noted. The strength in taking our survey, he added, is employers can “compare themselves with their peers, benchmark themselves against more diverse companies, and see their standings.”

Tracking data is essential, he said, even though he acknowledged many people find data boring. “My job is to make the data very interesting,” he said. “The way I do that is present it in an interesting way. I look at the data in different angles,” he said, in ways that organizations that track metrics internally may not be considering because they don’t have the depth of universal data only an organization like DiversityInc can collect.

The data tells the story, he added, and he wants to help organizations act on and improve the story.

“If we do not track it we will be blinded,” he stressed.

The 2017 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity survey opens Sept. 15, 2016.