Four do's and don'ts of people analytics
People analytics are a major bonus feature of a good HRMS. The management intelligence and better decision making that can be delivered justifies the extra cost and time effort of data entry. How can you be sure that your people analytics activity is aligned with your business requirements? Here are key do’s and don’ts that will help you to be sure that your actions in this area are paying off.
1. DO: track and log people analytics requests
How many scheduled reports are you running in a year? Can you list a number of ad hoc requests and how quickly they were delivered? Understanding what you are running and the value that it is delivering to your business partners is essential. Are you maximizing the potential of your HRMS or could you do more with additional staff? You need to know your delivery in order to answer these questions.
2. DON'T: accept every request at face value
Often a request will come in for a new scheduled report and it’s easy to deliver the output. Before you deliver any analytics data or reports always ask the requestor for a business reason and the expected value and time or cost savings that it will deliver. I have seen situations where a requestor asks for a new hire report for new employees above a certain grade.
The purpose is to inform the credit card vendor to issue a corporate credit card to the new employee. A better solution was designed to work with the credit card vendor to define and automate an interface that would send the new hires and the vendor would issue the credit cards automatically. It was a cost and effort savings for everyone but it was only realized through asking about the details and purpose.
3. DO: connect and reach out to make people analytics a key information source
Many companies struggle with making their HRMS the source of employee data. If an employee can be manually set up in a financial system it undermines the authenticity of HRMS data. When possible, seek to provide analytics to other areas of the company. If your hire and termination reports are seen as a source then HR and managers will be sure to keep the data current.
4. DON'T: track sensitive data or allow reporting on it without a solid business purpose
This item should be basic but it’s surprising how often sensitive data is tracked as ‘that’s what we’ve always done’. Even worse, it is used for something completely different than the original intention. If you do not track something then it is not available for reporting. Where you have a business reason to keep data be sure that those with access are aware of when and to whom sensitive data can be released.
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