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HR Data - A data gold mine

HR Data - A data gold mine

- Sheara Emerson

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Data at scale is already being used to identify fraudulent transactions, to target marketing to the demographic that will love your product and to power chatbots that talk like humans. I wanted to paint you a picture of how I can see data analytics transforming HR.

Imagine a world where you know that a particular division is performing sub-optimally. You consult your integrated HR and Sales tracking system to get an overall view of the division’s performance. You’re able to quickly pull up a report that suggests to you that the commissions being paid in this division are a higher than average percentage of income. An alert next to the report notifies you of a handful of outliers which you click to look in to. These outliers are poorly structured commission agreements that result in your salespeople getting commission for deals where no sale has actually happened. You quickly adjust the parameters of the search to be a little wider and notice that the issue has happened many times over the past quarter and you resolve to go get it fixed.

Sounds simple, and in many cases you rely on the people you’ve employed at management levels to catch things like this. But at higher levels of a company, some of these details can sometimes become lost. But advances in data analytics tools gives us a huge opportunity to bring top level management the important details in a way that’s easy to use and helps inform business decisions.

The next day this same system might prod you with an alert that one of your key legal staff members is at high risk of leaving the company. How did it arrive at an alert like that? It cross referenced current average salaries with retention statistics at your company and general trends in the employment market. You take him out to lunch to check in with him and make sure he feels valued and motivated in his current role and assess whether there is anything further you can do to retain him.

Most HR teams are sitting on a data gold mine. But the data alone isn’t useful. It’s the algorithms that we build on top of them that bring it to life. We need people building tools such as reporting that can identify underperforming staff that need performance evaluation, analytics to help you map the employee skillsets and suggest the optimal allocation of resources to projects and quick and easy feedback mechanisms to make sure your staff are happy and stay that way.

We need innovators and data miners, transforming our HR data in to HR gold.

- Sheara Emerson -

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