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Part 2 of 5: Getting started with people analytics, 10 common questions

Peopleinsightimageapril16In our last blog post we covered three common concerns and questions HR professionals often raise when considering getting started with workforce analytics. We tackled time, money, and not having deep in-house expertise in analytics.

  1. I don’t have the time to start another initiative right now.
  2. We don’t have the skills needed for robust HR & Business Analytics.
  3. I don’t have the budget.

Now let’s move onto two more questions (4 and 5) and concerns and how you can overcome them.

4. Can’t my HR systems provide these analytics

This is a great question and it’s one that gets asked a lot. The short answer is no, HR and Talent systems on their own do not provide the insight HR Leaders require. The reason is very simple – these systems only capture a portion of the information required to understand outcomes associated with HR programs and activities.

HR Data Sources

When considering the depth and breadth of analytics that HR Leaders need to demonstrate business value, two key shortcomings of HR and Talent systems surface:

  • HR and Talent systems are designed to automate business processes. Analytics is not the core competence of these solutions and, although each system has “analytics/reporting”, the reality is these provide only basic reports on their individual process. These reports may be sufficient for managing the process (efficiency) but they don’t provide the insight needed for HR Leaders to make smarter decisions.
  • Each system captures its own data. The reality is that any reporting that comes from these systems is disconnected from the rest, and therefore limited in business value. It is difficult, time-consuming, and often futile to work in-house and try to make connections between the data sources.

There needs to be integration across the disparate HR systems as well as those that hold business results data.

5. What about I.T. …isn’t analytics their turf?

Well, the answer to this one is both yes and no. Yes, data integration falls within the domain of IT but there are a number of reasons why it can be challenging for IT to deliver a workforce analytics solution.

  • IT is often stretched thin by initiatives – and HR does not always top the list of priorities
  • IT is IT and, as such, they do not have strong HR subject mater and metrics experience – it’s not their forte, so creating a custom solution is difficult
  • The requirement for IT to support systems they have built in-house can often result in cumbersome and slow processes to get modifications done. The reality is, they’re busy, just like you.

You may worry you’ll get resistance from IT in bringing in a 3rd party analytics provider but interestingly enough, in our experience, once IT is brought up to speed with the requirements and the desired outputs they are happy to work alongside HR to bring the solution to reality.

With cloud-based solutions there are no changes to your infrastructure required, no software downloads, no burden on internal systems, no need for IT to learn HR data and metrics, and no need for IT to worry once they have assessed the security and IT capabilities of the solution.

Bring the key stakeholders from IT into the early stages and they’ll have access to the information they need to come onside, and guess what? – they can even become some of your biggest supporters in getting to a workforce analytics solution.

Stay tuned for our next blog! We will be covering more on our list of the 10 common concerns and questions. We’ll discuss data clean up and alleviate concerns of having to spend hours and days cleaning data before embarking on an analytics solution in HR. We’ll also face off with the barrier put up by those who have either just installed a new HRIS or are planning to, and show why getting started with workforce analytics can help in this initiative.

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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