Maximizing the effectiveness of your HR analytics dashboard

In a world of automated analytics and Big Data (well, big-ish data), your HR analytics dashboard is an important tool in applying HR information to your business strategy. What is an HR dashboard? It’s basically the on-screen interactive display of your HR reports and analytics. However, unlike an equivalent set of paper reports, a dashboard offers flexibility and the capacity to combine datasets, drill down into particular results to further define and analyze the information, and all presented in the form of an easy-to-navigate user experience.

The key benefits of using an HR dashboard are:

  • HR monitoring – track your KPIs and important workforce metrics in order to spot and anticipate trends.
  • Management information – good quality management depends on information and the right dashboard can equip your managers to do a better job.

Determining which HR KPIs to monitor

Each organization needs different key performance indicators, depending on the relevant people issues. Experiencing high turnover? Then measure turnover levels and the reasons behind them. Low worker job satisfaction? Track the results of your satisfaction surveys and the action plans that result. All KPIs should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timed) and may relate to either short or long-term goals.

While it may be tempting to set a KPI for every aspect of human resources (just think of all that lovely data!), it’s better to limit the number and focus on the most important HR issues for your organization. There’s no golden number but as a guideline, between 5-10 KPIs is manageable for most businesses.

Setting up your HR analytics dashboard

Dashboards come in different flavors. The three main types are:

  • Operational – monitoring real-time activities within teams or departments, an operational dashboard is focused on current information and may offer instant alerts to problems or non-regular information.
  • Strategic or executive – information focused on department-level activity, allowing insights that can lead to longer-term improvements.
  • Analytical – this is where the trends are identified from deeper dives into the data and influencing factors.

Many dashboards will be hybrids of two or three of the above types, their exact specifications and contents determined by a) your organizational priorities, and b) the role and specific responsibilities of the person using them.

What metrics are best to measure

Having read this far, you know that the answer to this question is: it depends… However, as an initial starting point, the following metrics are common (and useful) to most businesses:

  1. Employee turnover – the high cost of salaries and other staffing costs means that turnover tends to receive a lot of attention, drilling down to explore relevant data for specific teams, length of service, and level or position within the organization.
  2. Flight risks – retention is cheaper than recruitment and being able to predict who is likely to jump ship next can be an invaluable advance warning, allowing you to consider appropriate remedies and incentivization.
  3. Skills matching – you know the skills and experience you need to deploy in order to deliver your projects and other business priorities, but who is the best fit for the job? This is basic resource management for your most valuable resource.
  4. Inclusion – diverse teams perform better and the data in your HRMS offers you all you need to know about staff skill sets and backgrounds.
  5. Employee satisfaction – engagement is a significant performance factor, often tracked by means of staff surveys. The results of such surveys provide valuable data which you can access, track and explore via your HR analytics dashboard.

For more on HR analytics dashboard metrics, check out another HRMS World article: Designing your HRMS dashboard: five HR metrics to include.

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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

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