More data was generated in 2017 than in thousands of years of human history combined, and researchers expect the trend to continue accelerating. However, a recent worldwide survey found that 91 percent of organizations have not reached a “transformational” level of maturity in data and analytics.
This means that the gap between the potential of analytics and the realization of their use is still quite wide. HR should be especially poised to make a difference. It’s where the function can deliver utmost value by more effectively mining what’s available or could be with the right solution in place.
Advanced analytics support automation advantages, which depend heavily on proper impact assessment today. If you don’t move in a data-driven forward-thinking manner, you’re likely to face a workforce with obsolete skills and declining productivity as well as other unwanted outcomes.
Modern business intelligence solutions can help turn descriptive analytics – the interpretation of historical data – into predictive insight while also taking transactional data to transformational levels. All companies typically want to foster and develop environments that get the most out of their people, beginning with hiring right, followed by practices and processes that yield peak performance year-round. Now HR can have a data edge to literally “bring out the best” across the entire enterprise.
At a minimum, HR needs to gain insight on what drives engagement, how to secure productivity and retain – as well as re-skill – top talent in alignment with overall organizational objectives. The “big 3” focus areas should be engagement, retention and productivity.
Factors and facts
Talent acquisition improvements. Turnover reduction. Employees reaching their maximum potential. Succession planning that’s conducted properly and effectively. These are among the many ways analytics can go bigger and deeper into related details that were previously unattainable. Think about how these questions can be appraised in the new light that analytics sheds on them:
Where are we truly sourcing our best talent from? Are we effectively retaining top performers? Who is at high risk of leaving? Where is human capital deriving the least and most value?
It’s always best to start with a set of questions or a problem that needs solving, of course. The latest analytics capabilities get to the bottom of the trends faster and in a manner that’s easier to see across all dimensions of the employee equation — from onboarding and development to the results achieved.
Know where to look
It’s not just about asking the right questions; it’s about finding the right answers. HR professionals need to capitalize on the benefits of contemporary analytics tools to sharpen their talent management decisions, process improvements and much more.
Predictive analytics, for instance, can bring to life terms like “grit” and “fit” that never would have been quantifiable in the past. By connecting measurements of efficiency, effectiveness and outcomes, predictive analytics help HR make a real impact on the bottom line, proving to the c-suite the need for a greater share of the organization’s resources. This takes smart, creative HR professionals.
Today’s top solutions simplify this effort, laying out integrated data foundations, clearly defined metrics and peer benchmarks, along with compelling interactive visualizations, to help enterprises truly utilize their data.
Make the case
All of this is much easier said than done, of course. Budgetary constraints can get in the way, for example, and you may not feel confident charting your analytics destiny alone. We understand the challenges and how to most cost-effectively proceed, as an extension of your own capabilities, delivering the relevant services you need based on where you want to go in your analytics journey.
It’s a journey that will define your organization’s vitality or vulnerability in the digital world.
Why? Because overall performance literally depends on how well your people adapt. Automating processes and functions should be a keen focus, yet with an understanding of how to methodically develop your people along the way. They need to see the meaning, purpose and value in what they do amidst these sea changes. At the same time, you need to understand each individual’s capability and role today, and how it may – or should – change in the future.
With no insight to understand what to do or how to track progress, organizations cannot be fully productive. Someone needs to claim leadership. There’s too much at stake in this increasingly complex GDPR-charged gig-economy shifting landscape.
Who better understands people and the trends shaping the workforce of tomorrow? It’s time for HR to turn potential into realization – with a solid analytics foundation.
Sven’s responsibilities at Zalaris focus on value creation and go-to-market strategy for the company’s cloud HR/talent management business as well as its global advisory relationships. He joined the company in 2014. You can follow him on LinkedIn Sven Hultin and Twitter @klingerii.