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HR analytics experts prioritise 4 critical factors; just 7% HRs rate themselves as analytics PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 03 March 2017
Study shows HR analytics experts distinguish themselves with strategic positioning, business impact, clear processes and optimal use of data  

Most organisations do not focus enough on HR analytics to make it successful
Less than one third of HR professionals rate themselves as either ‘Advanced’ (24%) or ‘Expert’ (7%) at HR analytics
Findings from a joint global study by Top Employers Institute and Bright & Company HR Strategy show trends in HR reporting and analytics
HR analytics is most successful when it is positioned strategically; is focused on business impact, supported by key roles and capabilities; is captured in clear processes and responsibilities; and makes optimal use of available, high quality data.

These four key success factors, based on data-driven research and analysis, are rated as ‘most critical’ by organisations that classify themselves as experienced HR analytical users.

This is the conclusion of the Top Employers Institute and Bright & Company | HR Strategy report, Organising for HR analytics success: Results of the 2016 HR reporting & analytics study.

The study surveyed more than 200 HR executives in 36 countries, exploring trends and developments in the organisation and execution of HR reporting and HR analytics.

Although maturity in HR reporting is correlated with maturity in HR analytics, in practice, most organisations do not focus enough on HR analytics to make it successful. Less than one third of the respondents rated themselves as either ‘Advanced’ (24%) or ‘Expert’ (7%) at HR analytics.

Rob van Dijk, leading expert HR analytics at Bright & Company, said: “Only when organisations take HR analytics seriously with senior management support, can they make it a sustainable success. By demonstrating business impact through HR analytics, HR is able to claim a place for data driven HR at the core of strategic decision making.”

James Gooding, Director of UK Operations at Top Employers, said: “These four success factors can be directly allocated to a high level of HR analytics maturity. Strategic positioning of HR analytics is by far the most important of the four elements.”

He added: “At the same time, HR analytics experts gain the most, in comparison to beginners and more experienced practitioners, by having clarity on processes, roles and responsibilities.”

Besides reporting on the key success factors, the report also provides tips for organisations on how to take next steps in HR analytics.

Creating value by proving business impact
HR analytics is a strategic tool, and experts position it as such. They organise all HR analytics efforts to optimise the impact of HR interventions on their business and increase the chance of successfully attaining business objectives. For instance, experts know what issues business management are facing (80%) and have strong senior management support for data driven HR (87%).

Building the right crew and capabilities
For getting the right analytical insights, specific roles and capabilities are needed. Analytical capabilities, IT capabilities and management capabilities are all important, but experts acknowledge the importance of the HR business partner as a linking pin between business and HR (93%). Many organisations struggle to attract good analytical talent in-house (38% possess such capabilities), while others benefit from a company-wide central analytics function (42%).

Managing processes, roles and responsibilities
Successful execution of HR analytics requires good governance and cooperation. Developing and documenting guidelines on execution is an important step in creating a more data driven mindset in HR.

All key players and other stakeholders are on board and involved, know what to do, and understand the relations and interdependencies between roles (38% of total respondents agree).

Dealing with data and IT issues
Data is the most important fuel of any analytics project. Having access to high quality HR data is often a no-brainer. Yet, it does not mean most organisations got a perfect score in this respect, on the contrary (e.g. on average, experts outperform practitioners 83% versus 48%). Plus, many HR organisations cannot fully rely on their IT function and are lacking support from their CIO in promoting and implementing HR analytics in the organisations.

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