HR leaders recognize that they should be using analytics to support decision making. However, how to do so is often a bit of a mystery.
Since many HR leaders don’t have a good sense of how to get value from analytics, they move it off their plate by passing it to the HR reporting team or to some newly hired data scientist. Not surprisingly, HR leaders are not familiar with the role the average HR professional plays in analytics so they don’t involve them at all.
Here are why these mistakes are detrimental to analytics success:
Mistake 1: Asking HR Reporting to do analytics without sufficient resources
When organizations are unsure how best to approach analytics, the accountability for analytics is put on the people already handling data — the HR reporting team. It might make sense to combine analytics and reporting; however, the reality is that most HR reporting teams don’t have the mandate, tools, or skill set to do analytics.
Hoping that a team already up to their necks in producing routine reports can suddenly start doing sophisticated analytics, such as predicting turnover or using machine learning, is unrealistic.
Mistake 2: Hiring data scientists and asking them to “do people analytics”
Some organizations are willing to invest in analytics, but don’t have a clear idea how analytics are supposed to impact business decisions. They presume that people with Ph.D’s in data science will know what to do so they hire them and ask them to start analyzing.
The problem with this approach is that while data scientists understand data, they do not understand the business problems that data is meant to address.
Data scientists will be happy to work with the IT team on integrating data sets and playing around with a data warehouse in the hope they’ll bump into something interesting. This kind of wandering around in data is both expensive and unlikely to yield helpful results.
Analytics needs to be closely tied to business issues. This means the people leading analytics must be business people who understand the goals and key performance indicators of the organization – rather than just analytics wizards.
In fact, it makes sense to have analytics as part of the HR strategy group because this ensures it focuses on the most important issues.
Mistake 3: Overlooking the role of the average HR professional
Even companies with effective analytics teams and effective HR reporting teams sometimes make slow progress because these groups are not closely connected to the average HR professional.
The analytics team can only do so much and they’ll quickly be overwhelmed if the average HR professional cannot handle everyday analytics on their own.
Similarly, the HR reporting team may produce crisp reports and clean data, but if the average HR professional doesn’t know how to use data then those reports will sit in a drawer unread.
If you are serious about analytics then you need to recognize that the average HR professional plays a critical role in making the whole department “analytics savvy.”
Click here to continue reading David Creelman’s article.