GeneralHr Library

Analytics on HR Analytics: What Really Works

Source | LinkedIn : By Dave Ulrich

As in other fields, HR professionals often seek new shiny objects (ideas) that will help them better perform. For these new insights to shift from distractions to sustainable value-added practices, they need to be examined more rigorously.

Analytics has become a recent elixir that is believed to enable HR professionals to be effective. The analytics panacea shows up in conferences, speeches, and books intended to guide HR professionals. Before jumping on the analytics bandwagon, performing analytics on analytics will help determine what really works.

As discussed in other LinkedIn articles (Have HR Professionals Made Progress? The 30-Year Evolution of HR Competencies and The 2017 HR Competency Study & What It Means For You) and in the book Victory Through Organization, we have collected data with 22 global regional partners on 4,000 HR professionals as assessed by 28,000 associates in 1,200 businesses. We collected information on 123 competencies of these 4,000 HR professionals and 30 characteristics of the 1,200 HR business units.

Impact of the Individual HR Professional Analytics Competence on Outcomes

For the 4,000 HR professionals, the 123 individual competencies were factored into nine competence domains. We then assessed the impact of these individual competencies on three outcomes: [1] personal effectiveness, [2] stakeholder value, and [3] business performance (a six-item index of business results). One of these nine domains was “analytics designer and interpreter” and included the following eight specific competencies an HR professional might demonstrate:

  • Identifies important questions about the organization that can be answered with data
  • Uses data to influence decision making in $ORGUNIT$
  • Translates data into useful insights for $ORGUNIT$
  • Identifies $ORGUNIT$’s problems that can be solved with data
  • Effectively uses HR analytics to create value for $ORGUNIT$
  • Understands the limitations of data in ambiguous situations
  • Accurately interprets statistics
  • Excludes low quality data from decision processes

We then regressed this “analytics” domain on the three outcomes with the noted results:

  1. In predicting individual effectiveness, analytics is the 6th (out of nine) most relevant competence (explaining 8.2% of overall individual effectiveness).
  2. Likewise, knowing analytics has relatively low impact on stakeholders, including customers (10%), investors (11.4%), communities (7.6%), regulators (12.8%), line managers (8.4%), and employees (negative 6.8%).
  3. In delivering business value, analytics is the 7th most important competence(8.8%).

For individual HR professionals, knowing analytics has less impact on all three outcomes than other HR competencies (like “strategic positioner,” “credible activist,” “paradox navigator,” or “culture and change agent”).

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