Get ready to see this job ad a lot in the near future. 2016 seems to be the year when HR Analytics hits the windshield of our corporate bus. There is an increasing demand from organizational leaders for evidence-based decision making.
Unfortunately I think it will take a while for our certification programs in HR to fully integrate these needs into the supporting training.
At present we can end up with a situation where we have lots of data but unfortunately, it isn’t the data we need, or it isn’t accessible in a meaningful way.
So, to be successful at HR analytics what do we need?
- We need a real business problem to work on. Sometimes people work on a problem because it is one that we have data for, but it doesn’t really solve an organizational need. To be successful, the first thing you need is a business or organizational problem where analyzing data would help provide a solution.
- We need to choose the right tools. Unfortunately if the only tool we have is a hammer, all problems can look like nails. So it is necessary to have several analysis methods in our tool chest and know which one to use in which circumstance.
- We need the analytical skills to select the data we need and draw conclusions from it.
- We need to be able to decide how to present the information to people who haven’t been living with it.
- Lastly and very importantly, we have to be able to use the data to tell a story. Data without a story will not be acted on. A story without data won’t be believed.
If all this sounds daunting, it shouldn’t. It is a matter of breaking it up into small enough bits to not be intimidated, and then putting the bits together in a coherent way.
The ability to do HR analytics work is soon to be an essential part of every HR professional’s toolkit.
Want to learn more? Check out the new Queen’s IRC HR Metrics and Analytics program.
About the Author
Paul Juniper (MA, Geography (York); CHRL; SPHR; SHRM-SCP; Honourary Life Member, HRPA) is the Director of the Queen's University IRC. As a leading and respected figure in Canada's HR community, Paul has over 30 years of experience in human resources and association leadership. Paul is particularly sought for his views on the future of the human resources profession. He speaks regularly at conferences on trends in human resources, and the ways in which individuals and their organizations can continue to raise the bar on HR. Paul developed and designed the Queen’s IRC Advanced HR Certificate to meet the increasingly complex professional