People Analytics Roadmap

Roadmap

Preparation

Creating a vision and mission is the first step towards data-driven HR. What do you want to achieve and where do you envision your company to be in 3 years?

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Data-driven HR requires a fundamental change in how HR operates. You cannot do this alone, so you need support from senior leadership to get everyone in HR on the same page. You also need a sponsor for your first analytics project.

After you’ve built support you need to keep everyone happy. Managing stakeholders is the most important role of any people analytics team lead. This is a constant and never-ending process.

 

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Creating a high-level roadmap and business case (w. goals, budget, timeline). This is often referred to as ‘building a business case’. As a data-minded person, you are thinking about numbers and ROI calculations. Relax, the leadership just wants the main goals, a rough estimation of the budget, and a timeline. Remember: always under-promise and over-deliver!

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Garbage in, garbage out. Achieving data quality is an essential – and often forgotten – step in achieving a data-driven culture. This often starts at analyzing global HR practices and how they influence data-entry. In addition, you need to optimize your HR systems for high data quality.

Making your data-entry processes foolproof is a necessary step to ensure future analytics success. And do you have all the data you need? You’d better find out!

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Even US businesses can’t hide from GDPR. And did you know that US regulation might influence your UK employees? Privacy and ethics also has to do with transparency and communication. Do this wrong, and people analytics will never take off.

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Do you have the right people on your team? Which skills are you missing and how will you replace them? How capable are your HR business partners when it comes to HR analytics? You need to determine where you start.

Now the fun part begins: building your team. Your first hires are crucial to your analytics success, so choose wisely.

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Implementation

You thought you were doing HR analytics? You’re managing a change process that’s tediously slow – but very rewarding when done well. Change takes time – and 70% of organizational change fails. Make sure that you don’t.

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Having the right metrics in place is the first step towards analytics. Reporting on these metrics through HR dashboarding is often the first priority when companies want to start with people analytics…

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…but do you really know what you’re focusing on within HR? Most HR organizations haven’t explicitly stated what their key performance indicators are. Good luck ‘doing’ data-driven HR if you don’t know what you’re aiming for.

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After getting your metrics right and selecting your KPIs, you can start to provide insight into data. This is done through reporting and dashboarding.

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You don’t want to exhaust all your analytics resources by just making weekly or monthly HR reports. You want to push for analytics – so you need to automate data aggregation and reporting practices. This requires input from all your stakeholders but if you pull it off the right way, your path for value adding analysis open.

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Active use of dashboards is a critical part of a data-driven HR culture. To enable this, you need to train your business partners to understand data and work with it. Your business partners need to understand how they can leverage data to help managers make better people decisions. The only way you can achieve this is through training.

All of the previous steps come together at this point. You need to create a data-driven culture where people understand the importance of data and proper data practices are rewarded.

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People Analytics Project Cycle

Every analytics project starts with a business problem. Just like HR, analytics should serve the business. What business problems will you solve with analytics? This is a mostly qualitative process that requires you to speak to business leaders, line managers, and employees to really understand the problem.

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Now you know the problem you’re solving, you need to define the data you need to solve this problem. Do you need to collect additional data to solve the business problem?

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Now you know your data requirements, you need to aggregate it, clean it and pre-process it. HR data is dirty and data cleaning should take place in your original source systems, otherwise, you will import the same dirty data the next time you make a system extract. This means that this process might take some time…

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This is where those boring stats classes in university come in handy… Depending on your data and the business problem you need to choose your analysis. Afterward, you need to analyze your data.

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Choosing the right visualization to display your data helps in communicating your results and convincing the business. This is an essential step in towards the implementation of any findings.

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Findings without any action are useless. You need to implement your findings, define actions to tackle the business problem and KPIs to measure progress.

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Measuring the progress over time will ensure that new policies institutionalize.

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Only the really advanced organizations think about how they can let their HR technology work for them. By smart aggregation of data capturing you can build an invaluable warehouse of data points that track the entire employee journey from beginning to end – and that help you optimize it for performance.

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I’m sorry to say we’re doing the same damn thing again… Implementing data-driven HR and analytics is a process that requires you to visit every single step multiple times. Off you go!

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