No one wants to invest a ton of money in people analytics only to be reduced to basic reporting enhanced by pretty dashboards.
You employ analytics because you want to make sound, informed decisions fueled not by hunches but by irrefutable data.
To be practical, you must make it part of your company culture and day-to-day processes.
While it’s not an easy task and will take time, we would like to offer some savvy ways of using people analytics to help you navigate these data waters and get the best bang for your buck.
1. Be Agile
Change happens. That’s one certainty you can count on. Recent events have underscored the value of flexibility, as the operating environment can change rapidly.
As a result, two things need to happen:
- The capabilities and technology that manage and transform the data must be increasingly flexible
- You must create a continuous feedback loop of evaluation and improvement.
When these conditions are present, your business can reassess needs and adapt to evolving requirements. In addition, they can smoothly and nimbly upgrade to new technology, alter existing infrastructure, and maintain consistent standards throughout the organization.
Whether you leave it to an expert software partner or have the capability of designing in-house, your dashboards are the key to making your insights sing.
Dashboards translate data into a form that is accessible, understandable, and useable, so you must design with people and their specific goals in mind.
Your dashboards should be uncluttered and straightforward, with no extraneous components. They should be user-friendly, showing at-a-glance summaries. They should also guide significant trends through creative formatting and highlighting.
A well-designed, comprehensive, interactive dashboard can turn an analytics novice into a data-savvy leader.
3. Hire a Data Scientist
A high level of data expertise means your analytics team can significantly impact and provide the advanced insights needed to support strategic decision-making on complex issues.
Your data-science talent may be in-house or hired contractually. They may be specialists or all-rounders, but they must operate cross-functionally and nimbly to meet your needs.
4. Establish a Center of Excellence
If we take the talent aspect further, larger organizations can set up a Center of Excellence for people analytics.
This team of subject matter experts is dedicated to guiding and accelerating the data-driven transformation of the organization using tools and research, learning, standards, and governance.
The concentration of ability and competency coaches and supports all departments to ease progress through communication and collaboration.
Their job is to improve efficiency, focus on long-term strategic goals, groom the data culture, and remove barriers to progress.
5. Link Data Sources
The most successful teams in people analytics go beyond the core HR systems and use additional internal data sources for advanced functionality.
An excellent example of this is linking HR data with finance data to create richer insights.
It’s also valuable in survey strategy for monitoring employee sentiment. The people analytics team can create multidimensional models by integrating survey data with other data sources.
6. Be Creative
The best teams get creative with data by exploring other sources or combining existing ones in innovative ways to solve current problems.
For example, you can link time-sheet data by activity or project codes to better analyze collaboration and teamwork.
Savvy organizations recognize the importance of exploration and innovation and allow their people analytics teams freedom to experiment with new ways of visualizing data to equip business leaders with the insights they need for decision making.