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People analytics for business: In high heels and backwards

fred astaire and ginger rogers ballroom dancing

Business measurement and analytics has been growing in importance for many years. It has spawned a whole new type of management thinking about evidence-based strategy and decisions. The sophistication levels keep increasing. Here is an example; an online retailer takes real-time data from their customers browsing habits. They pass this to their suppliers who can then can anticipate sales volumes. The suppliers link this to production schedules and to raw material purchasing leading to a a truly integrated supply chain. There is a real elegance to these systems. They move like a dancer in perfect time and balance, leading to performance excellence.


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Does your company use a human resources management system?

Human resources management systems (also known as human resources information systems) exist “at the intersection between human resource management and information technology.” Usually, this means taking previously disparate HR information and automatically integrating it in such a way that users can gain a clearer picture of what is happening in the company—in a more efficient way than if HR had to gather all of the information from its various sources, and analyze it manually.

This diverse information includes payroll, work hours and overtime, benefits administration, recruiting and development, training and learning, performance records and more. You’ve probably already automated one or more of these services, either internally or via an external service provider; companies commonly outsource payroll and benefits functions, for example. But even so, can you imagine what you could do if all of those functions were integrated and all of that information could be compared with little effort? That’s the promise of human resources management systems.

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