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Talent analytics: What you need to know

OneTest's Dr Peter O'Hanlon and Paul Barbaro of The Clarius Group discuss the impact Big Data and talent analytics can have on not only HR but wider business practices too.

Video transcript below:

Dr. Peter O’Hanlon, Chief Analytics Officer, OneTest
Dr. Peter O’Hanlon:
 Being able to get a new sense of what performance looks like, to be able to do that real time, rather than the annual or even monthly review.  Big data provides really new ways of looking at these questions and there is a lot of value to be had in those.  

Reporter:  Big data and HR have been a huge talking point this year.  But what exactly are the benefits of talent analytics for business?  Dr. Peter O’Hanlon, Chief Analytics Officer of OneTest explains that there are many.

Dr. Peter O’Hanlon:  Data analytics can deliver lot of value to HR departments, firstly through calculating return on investment at a really granular level.  Many of the activities that HR departments undertake, it’s very difficult to gauge at a meaningful level what impact it’s having on the business.  But by being able to assess the impact of changes such as new policies, new systems, changed management such as restructures at a really granular level, it provides an opportunity to calculate those benefits.  There is a range of questions that HR professionals are generally interested in and Big data provides an opportunity to answer those in new ways and not relying solely on surveys and assessments.  Questions such as productivity in the workplace, staff engagement, both at an individual and team level, right throughout the organisation.

Reporter:  Despite negative perceptions of data analytics, it’s actually a huge positive for talent management.

Paul Barbaro, EGM, Clarius Group
Paul Barbaro:  
People think that HR analytics is quite negative, because it’s actually removing the human element, it’s not doing that at all.  It’s actually analysing the human element, using more science and enabling managers to make decisions about predictive outcomes in the future.  And understanding whether the type of individuals they have got working for them are appropriate or whether the skills that they need to look for have to shift, because markets and trends have changed substantially.  So HR analytics is actually a really powerful way of companies not only measuring their existing profit, but looking at future profit based on the talent they’ve got working for them and making predictions using more scientific measures, as distinct from the traditional gut feel.

Reporter:  O’Hanlon suggest that any company wanting to get involved with data analytics, should consider a few different ways to do so, because it’s important to make the right choice for your company.

Dr. Peter O’Hanlon:  If you wanted to tap into the benefits of Big data, one approach would be to create an internal team whose sole focus is to do that and that comes with costs, finding the expertise, software, hardware, getting the data and doing that in a time frame that makes sense to the business.  The second option would be to source that expertise externally, either by products or services and of course both make sense.  You can do one and it helps with the other.  I think it’s really coming up with a strategy that makes sense for your business.  It’s really important to make sure that the technical doesn’t outweigh the business and vice versa.  Setting the expectations right, so that you can actually benefit from all of the potential that analytics provides, but doing so in a meaningful way that makes sense to the business and it’s interpreted through filters that the business can actually understand.

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