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Using Advanced Analytics in HR

Source | | Caroline Styr

The HR function is ripe for reinvention. Research from IBM shows that 70% of HR executives agree. Talent executives plan to double efforts to upskill their HR teams in new capabilities over the next two years. Additionally, 67% of leading organisations plan to link reward programmes with skill attainment, and 74% of leading organisations plan to invest in advanced analytics to understand the skills of the workforce.

Not only does HR have to transform itself, but it has a significant role to play in guiding the organisation through digital transformation. The function is under pressure from all corners of the organisation to deliver a people strategy fit for the digital age. Over 60% of HR leaders report pressure from the CEO to ensure employees have the skills they need in the future.  At the same time, 69% of HR leaders report increased pressure from employees to provide development opportunities that will prepare them for future roles, compared to three years ago.

The role of analytics in the evolution of the HR function

In research conducted by Insight222 in 2020 into a new People Analytics Operating Model, the role of ‘Data Scientist’ had the highest predicted growth, with 57% of companies surveyed predicting an increase in headcount. This suggests a shift to undertaking more advanced and sophisticated analytics.

The Data Architect/Dashboard Developer role, on the other hand, is stabilising. While 58% of the firms surveyed state that they currently have this role, most companies surveyed (72%) predict either no growth or a decrease in headcount in this role. It is interesting that 42% of companies surveyed don’t have this role, indicating that they have either migrated basic data/dashboard work elsewhere in the organisation or automated it. This cements the idea of people analytics decreasing investment in tactical and operational analytics.

How to move from data to insights that drive results

Consider the eight-step model for integrating advanced analytics into people projects and decision making in HR. It is critical that organisations do not jump straight to analysis, or to adopting the latest technology, without understanding the business problem they are trying to solve.  

While step four covers advanced analytics, there is a critical stage before this: framing business questions and building hypotheses.

Another way to consider the context surrounding Advanced Analysis is to understand the value chain that all people analytics projects should operate along:

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