5 tips on how to improve your HR analytics

Using data is the buzz skill in HR and (buzz word of course). But is it here to stay?

thinking hr data

Most definitely yes. People data has long the most sought after set of information, the holy grail of organisational decision making, to make choices based on data, real information.

We do it with our customers, but we've only played amateur games with it before, because we've never had real tools and no-one had faith in the information that came out of it and probably we didn't measure the right things. Absence of course is at the top of my list on this subject.

So moving away from traditional notions of HR data...how can we get better at finding it, using it and deploying what we know about it?


1) Decide on what you want to measure
This primary goal is at the heart of all ROI issues and failure to act. Get stakeholder buy in. Stop making decisions from your desk and embolden them with real life agreement and interest from your key stakeholders. Use them consistently. Your partners in finance don't change their measures every few months. Choose wisely and stick to it.

2) Remember data is more important than tech
HR analytics success does not require investment in costly specialist software. The basic tools for measuring, monitoring and reporting on HR analytics are already at the fingertips of most HR professionals. “Excel is your friend.”

3) Get buy in
You can't go further from analytics to action without the engagement and say so from other functions around the business. Engage them first, then collect, then present, then act. It's the only way. Ask what your stakeholders are interested in knowing. It stops you investing your energy in stuff no-one really cares about.

4) Skill up
Get used to the software, get used to the concept, look for patterns amongst the detail, these are the new skill sets of HR in the digital age. For example Virgin trains all its HR teams in analytic skills. Excel isn't really that complex.

5) Shift your mindset
Whether you like it or not, data is here to stay. It's vital part of the HR or L&D toolkit, that proves value and justifies action. It's a way to galvanise momentum with stakeholders to make changes and solid decisions. Get passionate about the need for data as you are about people.