Without data you are just another person with an opinion said Edwards Deming, who is widely acknowledged in the field of quality.
Traditionally, the HR department of any organization always has an enormous collection of employee data. But since the beginning, they have always functioned based on their gut feelings and not on this huge amount of data they already possess. This is because this data is not converted to information and eventually into insights. Like separate vegetables are of no use until cooked together to make a dish, data is of no use until it is properly cleaned and analysed for deeper insights about your employees and the organization. People analytics is an important factor which will assist you in taking important decisions for your business and employ better strategies for the well-being of your company and employees.
A recent report from Deloitte found that 71% of companies view people analytics – the practice of collecting, cleaning, and interpreting data about employees to make better business decisions as their high priority.
So how does people analytics help? For example, one of your projects could emphasize on employee retention. Insights from this project will help you to identify common traits of top performers, new hires who might leave in the next year, and improved hiring techniques. Other projects could revolve around financial, cultural or other aspects concerning the organization. While the importance of conducting people analytics is clear, it is of prime importance to opt the right approach while doing so to receive the maximum benefit.
A relevant question or a business problem is how you start your analytics journey. Once you are clear of doing a people analytics project, which is extremely important, the next step is to decide the medium of conducting it. Before you begin to learn more about your people through a survey of employees, attendance records, salary and promotion history, demographic data, recruitment process and employee databases, here are few things to keep in mind:
A high-quality database
65% of the professionals report that data quality hinders the success of analytics (NTMN, 2016)
All that data collected serves no purpose if not managed by a proper database. An updated and accurate database of the entire data is needed before you even begin to analyse it. Companies that fail to invest in the initial period fall flat and perform poorly in the later stages. To survive in this data-driven economy, it becomes essential to have quality data. And to obtain quality data, the first step is to have a quality database. This will help the HR team to be analytically savvy and convert data into information in a smooth fashion.
Dawn Klinghoffer, Head of People Analytics at Microsoft said, people analytics is a privilege, not a right. A really good people analytics leader knows how to be innovative without eroding employee trust.
When you deal with the vital details of your employees, you are talking about their privacy. Maintaining ethics during such situations is crucial because without their trust, your project won’t achieve its goals and it would bring no good to your company’s reputation. Be completely transparent about your objective of using their information. When employees know the purpose of the analysis, they feel relieved that they are in safe hands. This sense of trust ensures a genuine connection between you and them and helps the company to grow rightfully.
Use the right tools
Once you have analysed important information from the collected data, the next step is to present it appropriately. The insights you obtain might be in a pattern which is easily understood by a statistician, but the goal is to make it reader-friendly for concerned authorities of your business. With the help of core human resource management system, visualization and presentation tools, you can present the data the way people would love to see – graphs, charts or pie charts!
You can change history
An important point to keep in mind while analysing past data is to not repeat the mistakes going forward. If you observe a biased pattern in hiring your employees, maybe it is time to rewire your hiring strategy and include more diversity. If you have always been a team of laterals, your future recruitments could include people who are beginning fresh and see how it works for your company’s growth. The point is, the results of this analysis is to give you an opportunity to enhance your strategies. So, learn, unlearn, be open to new possibilities and close the doors of your past mistakes.
According to Bright 2016, 81% of developed analytical organizations report at least one HR analytics project with proven business impact. This is because, the immediate impact of people analytics is on leadership, employee retention, performance and culture of the company. This means, this data-driven approach if done right will assist you in developing a new perspective about your organization’s performance and future prospects.