Tuesday, February 21, 2012

10 Tips for Building a Rock Star HR Analytics Team

The time has come...your CEO and line management need more than just data. They have that, tons of it. They need insight and they need it yesterday.

What do you, Mr./Ms. HR do now?

You can dust off your old statistics books from college OR you can build your own world class HR analytics team. Even if it is a team of one. Here are some of my tips on building a team that will deliver business insights that lead to better decision making for the organization:

1) Is your business really ready for analytics? If your business doesn't have a clearly stated mission, with a clear a strategic plan with goals, what will you be providing insight on?
2) Define what services you want to provide to the business. Is it tracking data, plus reporting, and analytics?
3) What capabilities do you need to provide #2 and what do you currently have in your department. (analytical skills)
4) Make sure you have C-Level support. If you don't you can measure and provide insight but no ACTION will take place.
5) Become best friends with IT, Finance, Customer Service and any other person that you feel will assist you in your journey. You need access to other functional data to really provide valuable insights.
6) Start with low hanging fruit, solve a business problem with data and gain credibility.
7) Tell the data story in a way that everyone gets it. This will probably mean buying technology if you have a large company with a lot of people that need to see the data. The data also needs to be made available to all that need it.
8) What is the process for analytics? How do managers get problems solved? What is the request process? What is the reporting process?
9) Be an analyst and a consultant. You have to share the data but then be prepared to discuss what the implications of the data are and assist with action planning.
10) Be prepared to make hard decisions based on HR related data. The old adage is true, be careful what you measure. Sometimes, we implement programs that don't work. Learning from this insight is key.

I believe the key for any analytics team is the ability to ask the right questions, understand the organization's business, and be crystal clear on what drives success in the organization.

For those of you that measure, what tips do you have to share?


Barbara A Hughes said...

Great post. One big lesson from embarking on the Analytics journey is learning to make the business case; and that probably isn't the same for every stakeholder or group. At the end of the day, it isn't about HR but about the insights that are gleaned from HR data that support business outcomes.

Unknown said...

Huge lesson. Thanks for reminding me of that lesson. AS we know, creating the business case is a necessary step, but one that can be tricky.

Micky Jay said...

We have a regular monthly report that focuses on a set of metrics that measure the success of the people strategy and metrics used for senior management KPIs - 13 metrics on 2 pages with minor commentary, organizational trends, current divisional results.

We also have a one pager on a specific topic of the month. It could be topical, a deep dive, or a something specific to the business. They are all HR metrics but not always conventional. Sometimes they are designed to tell a story, other times to start conversation.

While the first 2 pages are more traditionally designed, the 3rd page is more informal and takes on a magazine or info graphic type feel to help tell the story.

We are in a good position in that we have good data and a charter to report, but I think that anyone can set up some good business aligned reports.

Unknown said...

I love the 3rd page of your report. A magazine style page is a great way to tell a story or start conversation. Can I steal that idea? LOL


Anonymous said...

What a waiste of reading. Old stuff in a new bottle.

Unknown said...

Dear Anonymous:

Sometimes we just need to be reminded on what's in the bottle. Since you think the ideas are old....what are YOUR new ideas?


Carl Schleyer said...

Thanks for the article Cathy. Since this is still a new space, I've taken the path of building rather than buying HR Analytic talent. I train on a "recipe" for maximum value. Every project is different, but generally we shoot for 30% Data, 5% Stakeholdering, 15% Analysis, 20% Storytelling, 20% Implementation and 10% Embedment.

Unknown said...

I love that "recipe" Carl. I hope you are doing well. You guys are always ding cool stuff. Tanks for reading and commenting!


Human Resources Management said...

Thanks for reminding me of that lesson. AS we know, creating the business case is a necessary step, but one that can be tricky.

Unknown said...

Whatever may be the consequences, HR department plays a vital role in the segment for a better understanding of the organization to end up with the process in a better segment as such to practically line up with the organizational procedure.

Overall HR department is the only department that has to be purely inclined with the terms and conditions to properly line up the standard apparently get threw qith. The HR compliance laws are the basic laws to be focused and considered there of for the better end up of the business process of the organization.