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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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The HR long game

For many in the human resources function, every day is a series of reactions and responses to events. The experience of work is the constant juggle of urgent demands to hire people, sort out employment issues, deal with grievances or conflicts, resolve pay demands or other requests. All of these activities are important and urgent and place an immediate call on our attention and action. This experience creates a habit, where new information is reviewed with a bias to action or crisis. If there is nothing urgent or important here then the information can be ignored—there is nothing to do…

 

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