Businesses know that big data is big money. Whether it's gathering information about your consumers to improve interaction and engagement or tracking the progress of social and other marketing strategies, data can make a considerable difference to your company.
However, people often overlook HR when it comes to implementing data programs to track success. Talent analytics is something that is taking off in the business world, as more managers become interested in how HR data can improve decision making.
Investing in this data has proven positive effects on talent management so it's clear to see why more businesses are prioritizing this area.
But how can you go about improving your own HR analytics?
Make sure you're focusing on the right area
If you're tasked with 'improving data analytics in HR' it can seem like an impossible feat. Focusing your efforts can make sure you are prioritizing the right areas, and gives you the best chance of making tangible progress that you can show to those above you.
You should start by deciding what areas are the most important for your HR department and then finding or implementing the data that will help track progress. It's essential that you do it this way round, instead of trying to make data fit your goals.
If in doubt, you start with the analytics that will be the easiest to implement so you can immediately get people bought into the power of data, and how it can effectively improve internal departments.
Some of the most common areas to measure are employee satisfaction, brand awareness, length/cost of recruitment, and interview satisfaction.
Create benchmarks for success
When you create any goal in business, it's important that it's realistic. There are various ways to do this but one of the most common is to adopt the SMART principles. Once you have a better idea of what makes a good target, you can start identifying what areas of HR you want to use data to improve.
Human resources is wide-ranging, which can make it difficult to come up with goals, but try asking yourself:
- What are the organization's key goals?
- What areas are most important for HR?
- Where can the most improvements can be made?
Upskill people in HR analytics
Once your stakeholders are sold into how critical analytics can be, you need to ensure that you have the right skills within your department to better understand the information you are collecting. You may find that one person in your team is able to deliver all of this expertise or that you need to rely on multiple professionals to ensure that all your bases are covered.
Although it can vary between businesses and is dependent on the information you are collecting, broadly speaking you need someone who is
- Able to challenge the current business model and identify ways that HR can improve overall goals
- Confident with integrating databases and different sources to collect data
- A 'data analyst' or someone with similar skills to effectively sort the information into digestible accounts
You may find that you have to outsource some of these skills and identify third-party companies to do it for you, at least until you have the backing to employ specialists yourself.
Upskilling people in analytics doesn't stop with your own HR department, as it's important that those you have sold into the idea continue to be invested in it.
This means it's a priority for you to discuss the goals and metrics you're using, and why, with stakeholders and decision-makers in the business. They are far more likely to support ongoing HR analytics if they feel as though they have influenced decisions.