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Part 3 of 5: Getting started with people analytics, 10 common questions


In our last two blog posts, we covered five of the most common questions and concerns HR professionals raise when considering getting started with workforce analytics.

So far, we’ve covered:

  1. I don’t have the time to start another initiative right now.
  2. We don’t have the skills needed for robust HR and Business Analytics.
  3. I don’t have the budget.
  4. Can’t my HR systems provide these analytics?
  5. What about IT, isn’t analytics their turf?

Now let’s move onto two more questions and concerns and how you can overcome them.

6.  My data isn’t clean. It needs work before we can start.

It’s a common myth that before getting started with workforce analytics you need to spend hours and days in the daunting task of data clean-up. That’s enough to turn anyone off but it’s not the case! Sure, if your data is a real mess you might need to devote some time to it, but it’s important to recognize that your data isn’t perfect and it never will be.

A good approach is to accept this and get started in spite of it. We find that once the data is represented visually it is easier to identify the areas that need immediate attention. That’s right, instead of spending time beforehand trying to fix the data, let the data direct you to the areas that need fixing.

7.  We’ve just installed a new HRIS (or we’re just about to…), shouldn’t we wait?

Making an HRIS system change (really any system change) is typically a major undertaking. With all that’s going on, it might seem like the best course of action is to wait for the change to be complete before getting started with workforce analytics. But…in fact, it can be beneficial to start your analytics journey sooner rather than later and here’s why:

  • When you change systems, conversion of data from the old system to the new one is a critical – and often painful – experience because it typically involves some serious data clean up. However, if you’re up and running with analytics, you can take advantage of the simple, easy to digest visualizations of your data to quickly and easily find anomalies or problem areas. This provides an opportunity to sanity check data as it is converted in the new system – and, in the end, you not only have validated data, you are ready to kickstart your analytic journey.
  • Getting started with workforce analytics you gain valuable insight into the data you need to support and achieve your business objectives. This information is especially useful as you design your new HRIS system – you will be able to build the system to capture data to meet both operational and analytic requirements.

Stay tuned for our next blog where we’ll cover more on our list of the 10 common concerns and questions. We’ll discuss how to bring others on-board with your decision to start with workforce analytics and we’ll help you alleviate those feelings of being overwhelmed by it all.

Note: This is an excerpt from the eBook Getting Started with People Analytics | 10 Common Concerns and How to Overcome Them.

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PeopleInsight Workforce Analytics

Workforce Analytics at PeopleInsight
John Pensom is CEO of PeopleInsight with 20 years’ experience in the "people" business and gained deep knowledge in how technology, information and analytics drives business and culture change. PeopleInsight is a Canadian company delivering cloud-based workforce and business analytics; it connects and unlocks traditionally disparate HR, talent, engagement, business results and external market data to deliver rich insight through analytics in clear, visually appealing and actionable ways. Read more
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