January 10th 2018
What challenges is HR facing with people analytics?
Listen to our short interview with Alec Levenson, Economist and Senior Research Scientist at USC Marshall School of Business, discussing the challenges HR faces when implementing people analytics initiatives.
Understand why starting with the data at hand is not the way forward and the importance of asking the right business questions first to draw the most benefit from your HR analytics efforts.
[00:00:00] What challenges is HR facing when it comes to workforce analytics and how can the function overcome these?
Alec Levenson [00:00:11] One of the biggest problems that HR has when it comes to work for us, analytics is starting in the wrong place. Almost everybody who works in this area is typically going to the data that you have at hand and asking what are the things that we see there? It's very tempting because you can see that there are interesting patterns. You might have turnover data, you could have headcount data, you've got interest, you get information on performance ratings, whatever it is. And it's a very natural tendency to say, what is it that we can find in that data? Because first of all, it's available, it's free. And if you use the data set in your systems, then you're helping to justify why it's there and showing that you can provide value. But the problem is that this is the kind of mistake that people make all the time when it comes to thinking about what drives motivation, behaviour and performance. People who do research in these areas learned years and years ago that starting with the data at hand is not useful in terms of timing where to go, because at best it might tell you something marginally interesting, but won't necessarily tell you the bigger picture around was actually driving behaviour, motivation, performance. The key things we want to know for the business.
Alec Levenson [00:01:27] So the answer is to start not with the data itself, but to start with the key questions. So what is it that we want to know about that motivation? What is it we want to know about performance? Where is it that we need to see things improve? And that's where you want to focus your attention with analytics. And that starts with defining the right questions. Making sure you're actually focused on business issues that matter. And then only after that, taking a look at the data you have in hand. And sometimes that data will help to answer the question, but it never has a full answer in and of itself. And you've got to cast your net more broadly. You have to look for what other kinds of information is available, not just in the data systems in front of you, but by going out, talking to people in the organisation, understanding where it is, where people are aligned and working on together where they are not, because that kind of qualitative interview based information is usually as useful, if not many, many, many more times useful than the hard data set in your systems. And you need to do both. But it starts with the qualitative data and the questions like.
You May Also be Interested in
April 30th 2019
CRFCast - HR Insights from the Corporate Research Forum: Developing Talent Acquisition Strategies to Win the War for Talent with Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic
Finding and hiring talent is a key business priority, but competition for top talent is fiercer than ever. To succeed, organisations have to develop robust resourcing strategies, using reliable assessment tools and sourcing methods to attract, select and retain the best candidates. In conversation with Professor Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, we discuss the latest technology and trends in resourcing and explore how organisations can make better hiring decisions.Listen to Podcast
March 6th 2019
HR, AI and Bias
How do we address bias in the age of AI? Nigel Guenole discusses.View Presentation
February 18th 2019
Speed Read: Developing Commercial Acumen for HR Function
The HR function is often criticised for its lack of commercial acumen and business savvy. The aim of this Speed Read is to define commercial acumen as a skill and give HR professionals the necessary practical information to develop and demonstrate this business critical skill.Read Executive Summary
December 3rd 2018
Progress - Issue 6: Amongst other things, people analytics demonstrates HR's value for top management
Within the sixth edition of our e-magazine - Progress - Dave Milner, Founder of HRCurator explores why it is important for HR professionals to demonstrate the strategic value of HR activities and how HR analytics can help with this.Read Article
May 15th 2015
Technology, Big Data and HR Capability
Technology has changed the way people communicate and connect and the way we do business. At the same time, there has been an explosion of data available to businesses. As a result of this, the role of HR continues to evolve and change. How should success of HR be defined, and the value of HR capability demonstrated?View Presentation
January 10th 2018
How can workforce analytics capability be improved?
Are you looking to begin your workforce analytics journey? Perhaps, you are looking to improve your organisation's current HR analytics processes? Listen to our interview with Alec Levenson for some tips on both.Watch Video