Analytics and EBHR

Blog: Data And People Analytics Are Becoming An Important Focus For HRBPs

  • September 13, 2023

By Dave Milner, Course Director of ‘Impact Through People Analytics’

It’s over 25 years since the concept of the HR Business Partner (HRBP) was developed by Dave Ulrich. There have been challenges in adopting and evolving the role, but recent disruptions have reiterated the need for HR to get closer to the ever-changing business strategies that drive the increasingly demanding expectations of the workforce. 

The HRBP must become an even more crucial touch point for business leaders than ever before.  That means dealing with an ever increasing need to demonstrate value and commercial insight and ensuring that the largely tactical, administrative function of the past becomes the strategic ‘added value’ function that focuses on resolving priority business problems and building the capabilities of the workforce so that they can deliver and support the achievement of the business’s strategies.

HRBPs are in a unique position to help translate data and analytics into insights that business leaders can easily understand and act upon. They have relationships with both HR and the business, so they can serve as a ‘bridge’.  To do this effectively, HRBPs need to build their data literacy and analytical skills. They don’t need to become data scientists but having a solid grasp of basics like interpreting metrics, using relevant visualisations, understanding statistical principles etc will be increasingly important.

HRBPs can contextualise data for business leaders, explaining and clarifying what insights can mean for their department or team specifically. They can draw connections between data points that may not be obvious on the surface and reinforce these insights by creating compelling narratives that influence stakeholders and leaders to act. Using anecdotes and realistic examples will make the data more tangible.

Additionally, HRBPs can help define recommendations based on the data insights, namely suggested actions the business leader should take to address an issue that has been surfaced by the analytics process. This moves from diagnosis to action planning.

Two-way translation is key. HRBPs also need to communicate business needs/questions to HR analysts/analytical specialists to ensure any activities are clearly connected to the business priorities.  HRBPs can help drive greater adoption of data-driven decision making but it requires investment in upskilling on both sides.

If this resonates, then consider attending CRF’s ‘Impact Through People Analytics’ programme on 5th and 6th December where these challenges and many more will be facilitated through a wide range of case studies, examples and tips for improvement.

Dave also recently wrote about why HR needs to prioritise more effectively if we want to use data and analytics.


Impact Through People Analytics

5 – 6 December 2023: 09.00 – 17.00 (Online)

6 February 2024 (Online follow-on session)

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