Workforce Data Analytics: Issues and Solutions

workforce data analyticsOne of the fastest growing product lines in the HR technology industry is workforce data analytics solutions. According to Brandon Hall Group’s recent Workforce Management Survey, HR still owns the workforce management process in most of the key areas such as employee records, benefits, leave management and time and attendance. These are the key data-heavy areas that the solutions are being designed to address. The key is understanding how technology can help HR provide more strategic service in these areas based on knowledge you can obtain when you know how to gather the appropriate data for analysis.

Workforce Data Analytics on Slideshare

Multiple vendors are building tools that incorporate data integration and the related workforce data analytics and reporting so that organizational leaders can get the right data at the right time to make the big business decisions. Regardless of the desire organizations have to utilize one system for all their business needs, we will continue to have disparate data.  One thing you should know is that you will always have data problems. The real key is knowing this, then focusing on how to improve what you have.  How can you learn to do this?

Recently, at the Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Conference, I led a panel of Workforce Data Analytics experts in a discussion of how HR leaders can focus on, understand and use data.  My co-presenters; Mike Psenka, Steve Boese, and Edward Pertwee, shared their views on data and were able to give real, usable examples for the audience.  I’d like to share some of the best, most relevant points with you:

  • Mike Psenka from Equifax said there is a tendency with workforce data analytics to use them for too much.  This is a pitfall! Pick ONE thing to measure or focus on and use that to show how it impacts the organization.
  • Don’t have too many criteria for what you’re trying to measure or achieve. Steve Boese, program co-chair for the HR Technology Conference, gave a great example using the Steve Miller infographic for the song The Joker. This was used to illustrate that if you have too many criteria for the perfect hire, you may be limiting yourself to only one person on earth.  It’s a little extreme but drove home the point that it’s ok to only focus on the most important criteria, not your entire wish list.
  • Ed Pertwee from BT, had a running theme of simplicity and tenacity when addressing organizational data.  Ed said you need to have a plan and stick to it.  Be simple with it and don’t let it bog you down.  Predictive analytics can be a wake up call for your business.  The key is not being scared of them.

You’ll see that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ideas of how to address finding, gathering, analyzing and using your organization’s workforce data analytics.  For more information, Brandon Hall Group members can read our Workforce Management study.  If you’re not a member, check out our trial membership.

Trish McFarlane, VP and Principal Analyst,
Human Resources, Brandon Hall Group

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