Data That Generates Discovery

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HR analytics, also known as people analytics, is the analysis of data to make better decisions about all aspects of a company’s HR strategy with the goal of improving performance.

We’ve all heard the saying, “Our people are our greatest asset.”  While these words illicit a feel-good response, the reality is people are not assets in the strictest sense, not like a building or a piece of land.  If you think about it for a moment, you may be able to spot another difference.  As it is with some companies, NOT ALL, more emphasis is placed on the maintenance of buildings or land, but not employees.

That’s where data comes in.

Big Data

Using data to make better, informed decisions about a company’s human capital is nothing new, but data is changing, specifically the amount.  There are huge quantities of it.

And it’s easy to get data-greedy as a result.

RELATED:  Big HR Data Is Here:  How Do You Use It?

HR professionals need to analyze data that generates discovery, not bigger data.

Analysis of HR Exchange Network data shows the majority companies have not found the needed balance yet.  There is a small group, however, that seems to have found the so-called “Goldilock’s Zone.”

















Gathering data is a tedious task, as is its analysis.  A misreading can lead to a failure to execute a particular strategy or complete a goal.  The correct reading can do the opposite much to the benefit of the company.

That said, analysis of our data indicates a continued desire by companies to be talent-oriented, especially when it comes to recruitment optimization.  But getting them in the door is only half the battle.  Keeping them is also significant and the data proves that as much of its focus is on growth and development and, certainly, turnover risk management.



















For example, let’s take turnover risk management.  Most data from that area reveals limited insights that help retain employees.  But if you take the data a step further in the analysis, you can determine what high performers, or HIPOs, do differently.

According to Michelle Parks, the Vice President of Talent Management at Cox Communications, this leads to powerful discovery.

“People data, in terms of the information that would have race, gender, tenure with the company, and generation is cross-referenced with data that goes with the person; with the high potential data,” Parks said.  “So, when we have meetings we present the data together.  We show them [C-Suite leaders] a full picture of the workforce.”

In summation

Even with the focus on data, HR professionals should know people analytics is not a substitute for strategy or critical thinking.  Simply think of it as another took in the tool box.  With the right measurements in place, companies can use data to improve and grow the business on every level from talent acquisition to cyber security.


NEXT:  Finding the Bridge People


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