Four steps to maximise the value of HR analytics

With the world of analytics constantly evolving, what can HR do to optimise the output that they get from this often overlooked field?

“Insight has become much more of a requirement of the [HR industry] than it was a number of years ago. I’ve seen a marked change, to move much more to a data and analytics based proposition,” said Lizzie Runham, vice president of HR for consumer and vision care businesses for Johnson & Johnson in Singapore.
Runham was talking to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) for their study, Evolution of HR analytics: Perspectives from Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
In the report, the CIPD looked at how analytics had changed in HR, acknowledging that – while analytics was currently a hot topic in countries like Singapore – HRDs still had a long way to go towards proper implementation.
The CIPD laid out four steps for HR executives to maximise the value they received from these types of analytical processes.
1) Hire in-house data specialists for your HR team
HR should recruit analytical experts from a range of sectors including finance, marketing and operations. Candidates should come from numerical or statistical disciplines and can be integrated into the HR team.
Once new recruits are hired, mentoring and cross-functional relationships should be commenced between HR and business partners to foster new knowledge and understanding. This can apply to new recruits learning about HR as well as professionals who are new to these analytical strategies.
2) Work across the business and externally with industry peers
Within the organisation, creators and users of HR data should partner together under a single agreement on standard measures and metrics. These should be reviewed on a periodic basis.
Firms should also network externally, establishing best practice and developing benchmark metrics for HR analytics throughout their industry.
“As our HR model has evolved, processes and systems have been standardised across the region, which has allowed us to build the right data that gives us a regional view of our business,” says Aarti Thapar, head of talent & engagement at Experian Asia-Pacific.
3) Champion better analytics to senior leaders and investors
HR leaders should encourage the rest of the c-suite to use these analytics as a core feature of all projects and proposals. Constant communication and robust reporting can easily land high value projects that impact the rest of the business.
It is important for HR directors to become proficient at explaining the different types of data collected as well as how these can provide quality output to the business.
“We don’t have to be paralysed by the need to have data every time but I think we should make it a bit more of a data-driven conversation,” says Manojit Sen, Asia-Pacific head of HR (DS Lubricants/SF) at Shell Singapore.
4) Develop analytics roles throughout the HR function
Analytical skills should be learned and applied throughout an individual’s HR career starting with junior roles. The implementation of mentoring programs both inside and outside of HR can develop skills and knowledge of analytics at all levels.
HR business partners should also improve their understanding of business and people data and nurture relationships between the analytics function of HR and other units within the company.
Related stories:
How to optimise HR data collection
Impact the C-Suite with your HR analytics
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