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Moving Forward: Using HR Data To Improve Your Business

  • Posted by Adam Hoff
  • 09 July 2018

Most business owners are nowadays making use of large data tools to make decisions that affect the day to day running of the business operations and in preparing your business to  growth. Such organizations include banks that trace the transactions of clients before giving out loans, marketing organizations that use research data to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors and even optimizing company operations to reduce costs and expense. 


Such data analyses and various modes of interpretation allows the business to craft external policies that are sound and make sense. Looking inwards, the same criteria can be applied to the same business to determine how the internal affairs of the business are conducted. And one area where this can find application is the human resource department. Careful collection and analysis of HR data can have a far-reaching impact as to how each department in the organization can improve its operations and performance. 


The only problem with this approach is that not much data has been gathered and used in this department. Many companies are lagging behind as far as the collection analysis, interpretation and application of HR data is concerned. This is in spite of the exponential growth of the use of such big data in the other sectors of company management. It has actually been established through research by the Deloitte Company that a measly four of the entire 480 large corporations are capable of performing predictive data analysis. But even the four percent are yet to develop the capacity to perform prescriptive analysis of data.  


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This presents a major challenge to company owners. But it can also be an area of opportunity for the enterprising organization to seize the advantage of using HR data. If this kind of information has aroused your interest in how to use this data, then please read on to discover more. 


Types of Human resource data analytics


If you wish to successfully launch a campaign to make use of HR data analytics, then you need to understand what kind of data you are aiming at and which the best way to use it is. You can’t for instance, start making complicated predictive evaluations regarding appropriate staff sizes and overtime working before you, first of all, specify what type of data you will be working with and how you will collect it. Essentially, you will have to learn how to crawl first before you know what walking is all about, and running as well. The four kinds of HR data analytics are listed below:


  1. Descriptive analysis: Deals with what is taking place currently as can be deducted from the collected data.

  2. Diagnostic analysis: Refers to the consideration of previous company performance to determine if there’s any change and the reason behind such change.

  3. Predictive analysis: An analysis of the various probable scenarios and what they might mean for the firm. 

  4. Prescriptive analysis: Looks at what actions need to be taken to deal with a particular problem. 


All these types of data analysis feed off each other. The previous analysis always sets the basis for what comes after it. You couldn’t for example, be able to predict and prescribe what should be done in the future unless you had a pretty good idea of what is happening right now, which definitely is affected by what happened in the past. When you are carrying out the four analytics, you can consider adopting the following steps:


•    Start from your current position

Some business owners might get quite ambitions when they hear of such HR data analytics. They may want to try out everything at once, the result of which will be failure and frustration. When you realize that you need HR data analytics in your firm, it’s important to start right where you are. Be content to start in a small way, and keep growing in size and scope until you can deal with the big data like the larger corporations. This will usually take some time. 


•    Consider the kind of questions you will need to ask

Think about the type of questions you need to ask yourself and the entire management team. The right questions will definitely yield data that is useful for making important decisions. In case you have no alternative, you can consider the following questions for each type of analytics to start you off. 


For Descriptive analytics:

  • What is the average interview rate for each applicant at your firm

  • How many interviews are you conducting for every worker on an average basis?

  • What is your current rate of interviewee offer?

  • What is the average cost of recruitment per worker?

  • What is your average retention rate for workers?

  • How long, on average, does a worker remain at your company?

  • What is the average value of your performance appraisal?

  • What amount of investment are you making for each worker in training and development?

  • What are the average demographics of the workers at your firm?


For Predictive analytics:

  • Why is there a higher turnover in some departments and not others?

  • What’s the reason for the leaving of top performers in sales department while underperformers stay longer?

  • How come the average performance appraisal ratings are not going up?

  • Why is the offer rate for interviews declining?

  • Based on the data from the past, how will turnover be like in the future?

  • What steps can be taken to prevent or reduce the churning of crucial staff?

  • Is it possible to tell beforehand which candidates are likely to depart before their time during the interviewing stage?

  • What are the factors commonly shared by workers can contribute to success? 


For prescriptive analytics you can use the data collected to do the following:

  • Schedule worker training programs to coincide with predicted seasons of decline in productivity

  • Give better incentives and compensation to top performing workers to prevent their exit.

  • Minimizing the number of positions to only those that can deliver the best performance.

  • Come up with a model of the best characteristics that can be applied for success to all teams. 


You need to have an analytics mindset. 


You will need to develop an analytics mindset if you hope to succeed in this endeavor. You should become quite comfortable with inquiring about the trends of performance being witnessed in your firm. And get all your staff to buy into this idea and run with it. Endeavor to reward those who corporate in some way and ensure that you incorporate their suggestions into the program as well. 


In case you lack the in-house capacity to implement such a program, then you can consider partnering with freelancers to help you carry it out. In this way, you will be on your way to ensuring that your company grows to fulfill its goals and objectives.