People data – using evidence from the past to make good choices about the future

Nigel Dias, 3n Strategy, and NGA HR analytics partner

By maturing your approach to people analytics

There are many challenges ahead of defining ‘success’ in people analytics. There are even more before declaring you’ve reached ‘maturity’.

What does success look like? It’s when you can translate data into actions that could change the way your HR decision-makers make HR decisions. And, when you’re really mature, finding from the analysis of your people data can be integrated into planning business strategy

How do we use people data analytics?

When different specialists talk about people data analytics, they tend to have different approaches in mind. I can give you a live example. Currently, we have participants registering to join our, ‘releasing the value using people analytics’ webinar on 24 July.

Each registrant is invited to put forward questions to be answered within the context of the webinar. There is no model to the questions. They are as varied as the backgrounds of the people asking them. So far, the demographic tends to be either HR practice or HR technology-based, and either European or American. Further down the line, the data might tell us why this is.

During the webinar, we aim to achieve two things

1) To understand what people analytics is

Contrary to popular belief, people analytics is not about number crunching or creating visuals images of data. Neither is it a form of artificial intelligence or data transformation. At its core, people analytics is about using evidence to make a decision.

Using evidence from the past improves the chances that we will make the best choices about our workforces in the future.

How this is done?

By process. Collating data. Transforming it into an analytics platform to look for insights that decision makers can use. As NGA HR’s CTO, Stuart Curley recently said in an article published in CIOReview, “domain knowledge experts can really explain the meaning of data.”

2) To think about people data in a new way

Rather than talk in generic ‘maturity’ terms, i.e. Descriptive vs Diagnostic vs Predictive vs Prescriptive value, we will look at an alternative way to evaluate your organisation’s strengths and weakness as a people analytics function.

When we think about functions, we will discuss the framework used by The HR Analytics ThinkTank research. This considers readiness for people analytics from both technology and HR practice perspectives.

When we look at it through these lenses, we find that not only are organisations more ready to begin the journey than they think, but they’re able to make more informed decisions about how and when to invest in the future.

It is by no means a simple topic, but it is far easier to understand and scope the benefits when we look at it from a user rather than concept perspective. Watch this space for more on data analytics from my contemporary at NGA HR, Karri Koski, and from me, as we lead you on a journey of people analytics discovery over the next few months.

Register your webinar seat by clicking the button below: