HR Analytics

A 6-step-approach for People Analytics

By | Christian Otto | Senior Manager People Analytics

It’s not a secret. Many People Analytics projects fail. And a lot of People Analytics self-service solutions are implemented but rarely used.The main reason for this underutilized potential of People Analytics is the missing People Analytics mindset within HR. Analytics does not come naturally to most HR experts. How are they supposed to make use of something they don’t know? Or even request analytical insights before making decisions? The analytics deficit within HR is well known. But just referring to this missing mindset does not solve the problem. We need to bring it to HR.

So, what does it actually take to think and decide analytically? And just as important, how can we best communicate this way of thinking? To answer exactly these questions my colleagues and I at Infineon’s People Analytics team developed a 6-step-approach. The steps are designed to ensure a scientific, analytically driven, fact-based approach to decision making. Yet the approach is easy enough to be understood by people who are not familiar with this kind of mindset. In the end we realized that this type of approach is much more effective in establishing the right mindset than just talking about something as fuzzy as a mindset or teaching statistics skills.

1.    Clarify the problem

This sounds more like a formality but it is fascinating how often it is missed out. In this step you make sure that you have a clear understanding of the problem. And a written problem statement can help a lot to double check one’s own understanding of the matter with that of others. Much too often we seem to agree on something just to find out later that this something was interpreted very differently by each person.

A problem statement also reminds us that we actually want to solve a problem. It happens quite often that we already have a solution in mind without understanding exactly what actually the problem is that we want to solve.

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