Every HR trend report I have read this year has a focus on analytics and data as one of the top 5 trends. Having helped this field emerge over the last 5 years this was rewarding to see. At the same time I was struck by the gap between the level of expectation about the returns from HR analytics and the current level of practice that we see. In short, to meet the expectations of business leaders in relation to HR analytics we are going to need to get very focused and very effective, quickly.
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.
The momentum behind measurement in HR is growing and what I learned from the trip indicates that one of the drivers of change has shifted.