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?
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