2013 HRMS Trends So Far: HR Analytics

Go to your favorite search engine and spend a little time researching HRMS trends for the coming year. The chances are, you’ll find that every year, the pundits and commentators include HR analytics on their list of predictions…, and 12 months later, those same experts are saying that HR has once again missed the opportunity to really get to grips with what analytics can offer.

The Benefits Are Clear

As HR continues to strive to prove it has a sharp strategic focus, the benefits of better, more accessible information should be obvious. There are many potential positives of real-time and predictive analytics in the hiring and performance management processes (not least the increased transparency and greater involvement of managers in HR matters). But not only that, the anytime access (and with the right mobile apps, anywhere) to reliable, detailed and accurate HR information and insights is essential for the C-suite taking top level business decisions and the individual worker taking a personal decision.

But the Execution Is Faulty

However, 2013 research suggests that HR aren’t providing this sort of analysis to the business due to three number of historical factors that must be overcome. Firstly, the data is often scattered and spread across too many systems all recording aspects of employee activity and information. Integration is a key priority. Secondly, when data is crunched, analysed and served up to the business, the HR reports fail to link to the key business priorities which means that it is perceived as lacking relevance. Of course, it may be highly relevant but if the report doesn’t make that clear… Thirdly, HR professionals may lack the necessary skills for statistical analysis (which may go some way to explaining the second, and even first points).

Perhaps when we reach the end of the year, 2013 will be shown to have been the year of analytics - Tweet This

The Technology Is Here

The ongoing HRMS trend of integrated HR systems with embedded analytics (improving all the time) should by now be offering the necessary tools for the job. So, why do the experts so often ‘carry over’ their predictions for analytics to the next year, and the next? It could be argued that HR is still largely focussing its reporting on metrics such as organizational turnover, cost per hire, training cost per employee and so on. Whereas what HR analytics offer is the chance to do something with the information that we are constantly gathering… chop it up in different ways, according to different criteria and identifiers and produce new information, new insights. That is the nettle that so far has not been grasped.

Maybe This Year…

Perhaps when we reach the end of the year, 2013 will be shown to have been the year of analytics. It’s too soon to tell right now but pessimistically, the HR technology commentary so far this year still seems focussed on persuasion rather than implementation or embedding which is, probably, not a good sign. As stated above, this issue has always had two requirements: the right tools and the right skills/attitude to use them. The tools are here.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall