Unleashing the power of advanced analytics
Est. Read Time: 3 min.
Many of the most important decisions taken by a business take place in the HR department. HR decisions determine whether staffing and operational needs align, employees are fully supported and equipped to do their jobs properly or due diligence is applied in areas such as risk and compliance.
Indeed, what HR does – and how effectively it does it – impacts all aspects of an organisation and its smooth running. And this is often dictated by decisions made in budgets, planning and strategies 12 months before.
In this age of data and analytics, all business departments have an opportunity to make more informed, targeted and strategic decisions. And if HR is to be a true business partner to the organisation, it must take a similarly data-driven approach as well as institute key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help it to demonstrate the value it brings to the business.
Businesses face some tough decisions in the post-pandemic era in areas such as serving the needs of hybrid remote and on-site workforces, health and safety, risk and compliance as well as other issues that will shape the future of work. To find the right answers, it will be necessary to drill far deeper than standard metrics to unlock revealing insights into practices and processes. HR will also need to be much more agile and responsive in order to serve the needs of employees and the business in a changing world and data and analytics will provide both the ability and confidence for the function to do this.
Tools such as advanced analytics features can extract information from HR systems and, supported by real-time dashboards and easy-to-read analytics, provide HR professionals with actionable insights to identify issues and tackle them. Advanced analytics tools are designed to help HR leaders track every single process or request in their HR service delivery (HRSD) platform.
Advanced analytics report on available data, analyse it from historical sources for insights on successes and failures and develop a course of action or solution.
Having such tools in its armoury is immensely powerful for HR and cuts across a number of areas: they enable HR to report back on what is happening in the business and identify problems influencing decisions in areas such as headcount and budgeting; they report on HR service delivery and identify issues, enabling it to increase its own efficiency and effectiveness; and they tangibly show the value HR brings to the business and, crucially, the company’s bottom line.
Analytics in action
So how do advanced analytics work in action? If we focus on the area of employee experience, one of the key battlegrounds in the war for talent, it is easy to see how they could identify issues and bring improvements. For example, a report could be run on how well employee requests are answered against service level agreements (SLA) or KPIs set within the HRSD system. If these fall short, the advanced analytics tools can be sent in to find out why such as identifying a bottleneck in a particular process. HR can use this to track the most commonly used keywords by employees and this could highlight a topic that is causing concern among the workforce.
Having established what the problem is, HR is then empowered to devise a strategy to tackle it and use the tools to put in place further KPIs that continue to monitor performance.
Compliance and risk are other area where advanced analytics could be used to monitor performance as well as alleviate stress for the HR function. Manually managing compliance widens the margin for human error and, as we all know, non-compliance with laws and regulations can lead to hefty penalties.
HR can work with the legal and compliance department to create customisable dashboards and use data visualisation and other analytics tools to closely monitor this area without draining resources. It is particularly relevant to critical HR documents that are missing and may be due to expire. HR can then proactively request updated documents from employees, or other departments and be prepared at all times.
HR practitioners that continue to pursue manual processes and reporting are running a serious risk of not just being left behind professionally but also of lacking accurate data and intelligence required to make key decisions for the organisation going forward.
As the future of work and workplaces continues to evolve and reshape, these tools are no longer just a nice-to-have but rather essential and they help HR realise its long-time mission to demonstrate the value it brings to the organisation as a true business partner.
For more information on Advanced Analytics you can listen to our on demand webinar here
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About Scott Beagrie
Scott is a freelance journalist, specialising in the areas of management, HR, career development and the workplace. He has over 23 years' magazine writing and editing experience, largely in the field of business-to-business publishing. He is co-founder of Curly Pow Media Limited, a Dorset-based editorial and copywriting services company. While working on the staff of a number of business magazines throughout his career, Scott has earned a reputation for editorial innovation, most notably the introduction of the Top 40 Power Players in Personnel Today, which is now in its 12th year.