Four ways to action your people analytics data

It's all very well gathering data and crunching it via a fancy analytics module, but how do you use it to make a real difference to your organization? Ultimately, analytics data feeds into your decision-making and so, to put it simply, if you’re just making the same decisions, based on the same factors as before, then your analytics efforts are probably being wasted. All that new information should help you understand your employees and organization better and therefore make better, more nuanced decisions. Here are four disparate approaches that should help you do just that.

Do you know what’s real?

As the old phrase goes, “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Which is to say that data and numbers can be misleading and while you may collect large quantities of information on your organization, it’s another question entirely to know which information is actually important. Sophisticated data analysis techniques (such as logistic-regression and unsupervised-learning models) can help identify the drivers behind the results you want; i.e. if customer satisfaction is your goal, proper analysis can determine what organizational factors really have an impact.

Find out all the benefits an HRMS analytics module can bring to your system with our guide

Myth-busting

Part of the difficulty in acting on your analytics data is that it may tell you something counterintuitive. We’ve all worked in organizations in which we know what’s wrong, in which the necessary action is obvious. But is it? Most organizations come with their own mythology: if only we had more resources… market conditions are against us… we lack the right technology… etc. But now your analytics data can be used to test these hypotheses to find out what would really drive success. A lack of information can be a barrier, but so can (senior) preconceptions.

Retention of employees

The key to keeping your best people is not only to measure the usual metrics (turnover, resignation, dismissals, etc.) but to do so continuously and over time establish a more sophisticated picture of the trends, linking the turnover picture to business outcomes. If you know which turnover, in which business units, affects which outcomes, you have the information to address the problem effectively first time.

Linking pay to performance

It’s common for higher performers to receive higher levels of reward for their efforts. But are those efforts really contributing to your strategic business goals? Your analytics data should provide an organization-wide picture of compensation which can be linked to performance. You can see where your money is going and also where your results are coming from. Are they aligned?

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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