Why HR lacks clout with data analytics

While analytics is known to be an essential part of both HR and business strategy, too few HR executives are actually skilled in this area

While roughly three in four HR executives use analytics to anticipate workplace needs, only 31% provide data across the enterprise that supports and drives the business.
This number drops to 24% for firms in highly developed economies, according to The Digital Transformation of People Management – a report by SAP and Oxford Economics based on a global survey of 250 HR executives.
The report also found gaps in how data was used across the surveyed businesses. While two out of three companies focus on employee satisfaction, less than half actually offer analyses of employee skills and skills gap assessments.
There is only one way to boost these numbers and change how data affects business outcomes, Dr. Christian Schmeichel, global COO of HR at SAP, told HRD: “We need to modify the way we leverage data in HR!”
It is HR’s responsibility to carefully analyse patterns, provide insights and offer guidance on people and organisational matters using the data available, he said. However, this is easier said than done for some HR departments.
”As things stand today, HR often lacks both the clout and the tools to get the job done.”
In fact, only 42% of HR professionals know how to extract meaningful insights from available data, Schmeichel said.
“If HR professionals want to be frontrunners, they need to be skillful and experienced in effective and efficient data sourcing, thorough analysis of the information, and strong in communicating a compelling story behind the data.”
This latter skill is often overlooked yet is vital in enabling the business to make fact-based decisions, he added.
Schmeichel went on to say that people management will need to become more strategic and evidence-based overall. This will allow HR to accommodate workplaces which are becoming more flexible and diverse day-by-day.
Related stories:
Putting HR’s head in the clouds
How recruitment can sabotage your HR analytics
Are your assessment tools to blame for poor talent management?

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