The amount of papers, white papers, webinars and conferences relating to HR Analytics is increasing exponentially. I would not be surprised if the reader interested in HR Analytics, is getting lost in all this talking, so let us be very down to earth. Let us look things from a very practical point of view.
The reasons for setting up a new HR Analytics task force should be clear by now: The world has changed. There has so much been written on this subject. In my opinion the main reason is the reduced annual world wide GDP growth rate. When growth reduces you have to optimise what you have been doing all along. Another important reason is the easy access to HR data itself. Tools like SAP HCM, LinkedIn and Google have made it easier for an organisation to access good quality real time data at a small marginal costs.
A multi-disciplinary expert team needs to be set up, made of experts from various parts of the organisation where Human Resources relevant data in broad sense are produced: HR, Learning and Development, Internal Quality Management, IT Help desk, Internal and External Communication, Sales and Sales Distribution, to mention a few, but with no presumption to have listed them all, as every company is different. What these departments have in common is having access to precise metrics on staff member’s performance: HR has access to working time entries and to the amount of hours effectively worked. L&D has access to training history and ability to learn and train others. IQM has access to data on staff compliance. IT Help desk and other support functions know staff member’s ability to cope with little help, which I believe is very positive in today’s world. Internal and External Communication have an idea on who is better at communication. Sales and Sales Distribution measure performance in the usual way. All these experts together shall be able to measure performance of teams and of all staff members of the organisation. An algorithm could be set up and refined over time. Also ‘non-google’ companies can do this.
Measuring performance and interrelations cause and effect are going to be the main task of all these experts, but not their only task. HR data require constant, intensive data cleaning and follow ups with staff to achieve 100% data completeness. Since Predictive HR Analytics shall be everybody’s ultimate goal, data collection need to be trustworthy and complete. The team members are going to be called ‘data stewards’ for their role.
The process of identifying interesting data is called data mining. Data mining is the computational process of discovering patterns in large unstructured data sets. The overall goal of the data mining process is to extract information from a data set and transform it into an understandable structure for further use. Good IT skills are key.
HR data have to be interpreted and presented at board meetings to identify possible recommendations on the course of action. If no action is taken, HR data gets quickly out of date, so all the data extraction and work to achieve presentable HR data have to be re-done again. Mastering quick data extraction, analysis and transformation in presentable results is key for success. A good presenter at board meetings is required.
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