HR analytics is an important tool for HCM professionals; not only does it help your HR team do its job more effectively, but it helps align HR with overall business objectives and keeps HR in executives’ sightlines. However, the question has come up in many circles: who should actually own HR analytics?
HR expert Morten Kamp Andersen outlined both sides of the argument in his blog, but we have to say we are firmly in the “HR should own HR analytics” camp. Why? HR practitioners are the only people who are trained to understand how specific HCM strategies and tactics can affect business as a whole; we are the people who understand what we are measuring, and how to read those measurements and interpret them to the rest of the business.
So how can HR managers more successfully use their HR analytics? Two quick tips:
Focus on Strategic Issues, Not Just Tactical Ones
If you want to demonstrate the importance of HR to the business as a whole, make sure that you are not only measuring and reporting tactical HR process reports. While it can be great to demonstrate process-based metrics, such as the effect employee engagement has on employee turnover rates, it doesn’t help propel the company’s business strategy forward. Make sure that you tie your actions – and their – results back to the big picture for executives to truly demonstrate value.
Facilitate Data Visibility Across Departments
In order to demonstrate that value, you might need access to data from other departments, such as customer data or profit margins. However, since HR doesn’t collect or own those data sets, it might be difficult to access the info you need. That’s why each person/team responsible for analytics in each department should champion for collaboration and visibility between these functions so that everyone can access the data they need to complete the picture they are trying to create.
We say that HR analytics should belong to HR, but we know we’re not the final word in the HCM industry. Is your organization using HR analytics, or considering it? Do you plan on owning that implementation and its resulting data, or is a larger, more general business analytics team doing the work? Tell us what you’re doing in the comments – and if it’s working for you and your organization!
I think you brought up an important point about the need to collaborate with others’ analytical data – what’s interesting is that such an analysis will allow the HR professional to demonstrate how the state of HR is affecting other ares of the business. Importantly, it all starts will the ongoing measuring of the employee performance on a daily basis and having the right tools to enable the flow of feedback in real time.