Human Resources departments big and small have long recognized the power of business intelligence and workforce analytics, though many organizations still lag behind in embracing the tools of modern technology. According to research by Josh Bersin, who analyzes corporate HR at Bersin by Deloitte, only four percent of employers are capable of performing “predictive analytics” on their workforces. 

4 Quick Tips for Unearthing Better HR Data

Human Resources departments big and small have long recognized the power of business intelligence and workforce analytics, though many organizations still lag behind in embracing the tools of modern technology. According to research by Josh Bersin, who analyzes corporate HR at Bersin by Deloitte, only four percent of employers are capable of performing “predictive analytics” on their workforces. 

When it comes to making strategic workforce decisions, there’s no question that HR departments are on the front-line and that those decisions have a direct impact on a company’s bottom line. HR professionals capture a tremendous amount of data at the transactional level, which can be turned into real business insight. Being able to access, analyze and gain real-time visibility into this critical HR data can be the difference between driving the organization forward or being left stuck in the mud. 

“Accessing solid business data by drilling down into HR analytics can ultimately help businesses control labor costs, improve customer satisfaction and grow revenue,” says Jayson Saba, vice president of strategy and industry relations at Ceridian. “Companies that aren’t making the most of their data are missing a major competitive opportunity.”

4 considerations for accessing better HR analytics

Because the buzz of big data is everywhere, it’s easy to get sucked into the mass of data and lose sight of the metrics that matter.

“The challenge with big data is that everyone wants it, but not everyone knows how to make sense of it in a way that will actually transform the business,” says Saba. “Relying on dashboard tools and technology that enables real-time reporting capabilities can help synthesize key data, clean up the clutter and allow for more strategic decision making.”

As you consider how workforce analytics and big data can make a difference in your organization, consider these four tips from Mark Collins at the Harvard Business Review Blog for gathering better data, rather than just gathering more data. 

  1. Relevant – In order for data to make a difference in achieving long-term and short-term business goals, it needs to be relevant to the business issue at hand.

Collins recommends that HR analysts take a top-down approach when applying data to a business issue, rather than spend a significant amount of resources mining data from the bottom up. Approaching the data from a strategic point-of-view enables you to more efficiently seek out metrics that will improve business decisions.

  1. Valid –Ensuring that you have access to quality, timely data is important. Trusting the source of your data and ensuring its reliability and validity can make or break the case you’re trying to make.

In addition, it’s equally important to educate decision-makers and leaders about the credibility of your metrics in order to give weight to your proposal.

  1. Compelling – Analytics in and of themselves don’t necessarily do a whole lot. You need to create a compelling story with the data in order to effect change.

Once you’ve boiled down which data adds value to your business goals, create a storyline specific to your audience that will help deliver conclusions to the challenges at hand. Simple dashboard tools can help tell a complex story in a simple, direct way by providing graphs and charts to easily share and digest the data.

  1. Transformative– The ultimate goal in accessing data is to turn it into actionable behavior.

Accessing transformative data is key to changing the decision-making behavior in your organization. By providing actionable, transformative data, you will help enable faster and better business decision-making on the fly, as well as shift long-term thinking related to HR goals and the business as a whole.

“For example,” Saba adds, “capturing data on turnover and comparing it, say at the regional level, can lead a company to identify best practices based on the performance of certain teams and the behavior of the managers.”

Companies that adapt the fastest have a competitive advantage. Agility is vital and visibility enables it. By approaching your workforce analytics plan with these considerations in mind, you can gain better visibility into key business drivers in areas such as HR, payroll and workforce management. By uncovering the best business data, you can reduce costs, minimize risk and spend more time executing strategic goals.

 

For more information:

  • Learn more about Ceridian Business Intelligence
  • View our infographic on the maze of big data