As I explain on the attached video, the buzzword is Big Data at the moment but HR is lagging behind other functions in the business in grasping this data and using new technology to its advantage.
Why is this?
Well, from my observations I see two things happening in the HR space:
Firstly, everyone is saying Big Data is the latest thing but very few people are explaining how to actually use data effectively or how to “eat this elephant”. i.e. What are the first chunks to get your teeth into as a HR Professional?
Secondly, there are a number of “facts” that HR use to help us to procrastinate and not get started. From my conversations with businesses, here are my top 5 “facts” about why we can’t do Analytics in companies and why they are myths:
“Fact 1”: The analytics project is too big
Myth! You do not need to boil the ocean to get insight from Analytics. As little as 25 well chosen data points can give great insight for your business as long as you have the end goal in mind when selecting them. External providers can organise this data for you with little hassle and can even help you select the right data leaving you to get on with other tasks.
“Fact 2”: I don’t see the benefits
Correct. However, that’s probably because you haven’t tried it out yet with your data. I have run workshops for HR Leaders to test drive predictive analytics tools and usually they walk in with these top 5 “facts” on their mind yet when the speed of insight on a people subject close to their heart is demonstrated you can literally see the “idea of possibility” in their eyes. My advice: go and try out an HR Analytics solution and see for yourself.
“Fact 3”: We do not have the expertise
Myth! What expertise do you actually need? With modern software the technical knowhow needed is no more than a good appreciation of data, like you have in your current reporting or Core HR system. What is more important is to start developing your teams commercial understanding and looking at how different levers affect business results right now. i.e. pay versus productivity, survey results versus retention, development opportunities versus internal promotion. It is the “hunches” from this observation that fuels the analytics tools to give the best insight. We know that HR needs to be commercially-minded. Analytics gives us a reason to really work on these skills.
“Fact 4”: Our data is not pure enough
Myth! As I say in the video, “I challenge any HR organisation in the world to say they have 100% pure data!”. The best analytics software actually can tell you the quality of the data and also can automatically reject poor data before giving insight.
“Fact 5”: I will not get the cost signed off
Myth! The route to HR Analytics can be broken down into smaller cost chunks. You may decide to implement it for only one part of HR initially so you can demonstrate ROI. The cost of HR Analytics can be broken down across all HR Centres of Excellence: Reward, L&D, Talent, Recruitment, Employee Engagement. This builds a business case. e.g. If the Recruitment function can get insight that either retains one Executive or gives insight to seek the ideal candidate directly once, how much does that save on agency costs? If Reward can analyse which Wellbeing benefits are retaining people and focus budget there, how much could that save in the budget?
Are you ready?
In my view, 2016 is the Year of HR Tech, when the automation of the people function comes together to allow HR Leaders to focus on Business Partnering and engaging people to get better productivity, rather than still being the Administrative Expert of the past.
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