Building a Data-Driven Culture

It’s no secret that analytics has been a focus for organizations over the last few years. And it continues to be. In recent surveys, 73% of talent leaders say that People Analytics will be a big priority for the next five years, but 55% say they still need help putting basic People Analytics strategies into place.

But why is it so important? One reason is it allows organizations to make critical business decisions using data rather than just a “gut feeling.” But the lack of proper data insights causes organizations to struggle with making data-driven insights.

Some factors that can make this challenging are:

  • Data spread across numerous systems
  • Poor data quality and data governance
  • Lack of access and/or ability to use modern visualization tools with real-time access to data
  • A shortage of business acumen and influencing competencies in HR

To get to the heart of proper People Analytics, organizations need to formulate a comprehensive People Analytics program that is separate from other HR functions. Below, I have outlined a suggested guideline on how to do that.

  1. Develop a People Analytics strategy. Broadly consider what you want to measure to generate strategic insights to solve your unique business problems.
  2. Create a system roadmap to support the strategy. Understand your existing systems and available tools; determine what you need to add to meet your strategic goals.
  3. Create a human capital skills plan to support the strategy. Understand the skills and experience necessary to use new tools and effectively influence others with data inside and outside of HR.
  4. Execute the plan. Implement new systems and tools and train your team on the new tools and processes.
  5. Ongoing review and enhancement. At least annually, review business needs to ensure you are delivering necessary reports and analyses.

Organizations that take advantage of a proper People Analytics program will see ROI. Take Experian, for example. They have seen significant improvement across the business, including reduced attrition (decrease of 4%) and an increase of savings of over $14 million dollars over two years. Those numbers speak for themselves.

Are you ready to get started on your People Analytics journey? Let us help you.

About the Authors

Mike Hoekstra

Mike Hoekstra is a Senior Reporting and Analytics Consultant and a Human Capital Management (HCM) thought leader at GP Strategies. Mike has over 20 years' experience in software and people technologies, including HR, vendor management, and eCommerce systems. Using strategic and technical advice, he guides global HR teams on their people analytics journey, and he leads SAP SuccessFactors Reporting, Workforce Analytics, and SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) implementations. Mike's functional HR experience includes roles as an Analytics Analyst and HR Business Partner at a global consumer goods company. Mike maintains SAP SuccessFactors certifications in SuccessFactors Reporting, Workforce Analytics/Planning—Functional, and Workforce Analytics—Technical. He holds an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, and a BSE from the University of Michigan.