Two days ago I sat in on a webcast given by Google’s people analytics manager, Neal Patel. Yesterday I was a voyeur on HR Executive’s 4th annual Predict and Prepare webinar. What I got out of them? Refer to it in whichever way you choose – data, outputs, business-driven – it all surmounts to making decisions with data. Simply, HR analytics is the wave of the future.
To make data-based decisions, the data need to be transformed into relevant information. Data need to be collected, pulled from their source, analyzed, interpreted and reported in a way that the audience can make use of it. Speaking of reporting, an HR analytics group is not a reporting function; the staff goes far further than aggregating data and comparing groups’ scores in a benchmark-y kind of way. HR analytics is about having a question, translating it to a hypothesis, and testing that hypothesis empirically. We are talking about the scientific method applied to HR.
Both webcasts paused to touch on the obstacles to widespread use of HR analytics. Without a doubt, these obstacles are nothing to brush past. Between Google’s Neal Patel’s, panelist and HR tech soothsayer Naomi Bloom’s, and my own experience, here’s the list to watch:
Combatting the above is reasonably straightforward, although not easy.
The road to data-driven HR is full of potholes – some minor bumps, others sinkholes perhaps only marginally smaller than the Grand Canyon. Don’t spend the next year wandering around the bottom of the gorge without a compass. Hire an HR analytics leader and get them talking to IT – it will take time to import data, create new SQL tables and collect data in a different way (or collect different data altogether). I encourage you to take the leap: get started now and in six months you’ll be taking your first steps towards supporting a data-based HR practice: a practice that will support a more effective and efficient organization. What’s more, through the wizardry of analytics, you’ll be able to show exactly how HR’s data-based contributions have improved the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness. At whatever point you are on this journey, let me know if Bersin & Associates can help.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011 00:28
Excellent observations! One critical role of the HR and Learning professional is now to be a Social Scientist. Identifying, clarifying and predicting people trends brings the HR and Learning leaders into the realm of business partner. By using the "language of business" (numerics) facts are separated from opinions and give direction to leveraging an organization's human capital to meet business needs. Equally important is the boost in credibility it gives HR. It's time to step up.
Posted by Anonymous
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 15:29
In future real competitive value of a company shall also be having a part of its source in HR Analytic. Having good HR Professionals with research oriented mindset is indeed scarce competency on date.
I did a research in the start of 2011 where I found that people think they know their value system but they actually acted in a different way when they were put into scenario to test value system. Doing a good research is a tough job.
Just needed your small help. Can you please provide us link where webinar can be downloaded? We have missed it due to time zone differences.
Friday, June 22, 2012 14:34
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Brenda Kowske is a seasoned research analyst with expertise in HR, engagement, L&D and talent selection. Brenda has one objective: to get HR practitioners and leaders research-based information they need to make the best decisions possible. Brenda's favorite topics are utilizing HR analytics, impacting bottom-line through HR, and examining how work affects the lives of real people.
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