Companies that are successful in harnessing the power of
analytics generally rely on targeted technology investments, cross-functional
teams and strong partnerships between HR, IT and
operations. Analytics is a positive disruption for HR. It offers an
opportunity for HR to take a leadership role in identifying and
solving problems that drive impactful business results.
Indeed, it’s critical to the future of HR to show how talent
analytics brings value to business leaders. Some examples of high-value
solutions seen in the marketplace include:
■■ Understanding what makes high-performing salespeople
successful, which assists companies to attract and select better
■■ Understanding what factors truly motivate high performers to
stay or leave, which helps companies to make more targeted
decisions about how to structure compensation packages and
build cultures that maximize performance
■■ Identifying work-related factors that contribute to fraud and
accidents, enabling managers to focus proactively, not just after
the fact, on reducing loss
■■ Developing analytics models that help predict turnover so
managers can more rapidly change work conditions to promote
2014: THE YEAR FOR ACTION
A transition of this magnitude cannot happen overnight – and for
many companies, it must seem like a frightening leap into the un-known.
It will take a wide variety of skills to build this new, yet
critical, capability. It can take three to five years to build a strong
talent analytics function and the same time or longer to develop a
culture where people make decisions based on data and not just
instinct. That’s why it’s important to lay the groundwork now.
In 2014, companies should take action to build HR and talent
analytics capabilities, to conduct pilot projects focused on critical
business and talent problems and to invest in developing the ana-lytics
capabilities that can drive HR in the future. This is the year
to move from talk to action.
First steps include looking for skilled analysts to lead the analyt-ics
team and adding other data experts, such as econometricians
or demographers, who have deep experience with numerical anal-ysis
and generating insights from data. It’s also critical that HR
professionals become better versed with data analytics to better
serve their leadership. Successful companies also build close rela-tionships
across the HR, IT and finance functions, as well as with
the business directly.
Companies should not be afraid to experiment or allow the per-fect
to be the enemy of the good. While it is true that analytics
without good data will likely fail, it is equally true that insisting on
100 per cent data quality means that a project may never begin. By
using the data that does exist to identify and address specific busi-ness
challenges, companies are likely to see improvements in data
quality over time as experience grows.
Technology has already transformed the workplace. Now, by
leveraging analytics and big data, HR can position companies to
outperform their peers when it comes to winning the talent game
– and driving overall business results. ■
Jason Geller is the national managing director for human capital con-sulting
at Deloitte Consulting LLP.
phipatbig/Shutterstock 32 ❚ SEPTEMBER 2014 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL