• Service: Advisory, Management Consulting
  • Type: White paper
  • Date: 2/19/2013

HR analytics: The current issues 

HR Analytics
HR professionals have been working hard to earn their place at the leadership table, but for the most part they have not been successful. This is largely because HR has been attempting to apply general best practice models when they really require tailored approaches that are relevant to their organization’s business strategy. This flawed use of generic HR models is most acute when it comes to how HR uses data.

Most employers maintain at least some basic HR metrics such as workforce demographics, staff turnover rates, absence levels, training investments or cost-per-hire. These ‘transactional’ measures may be useful, but they are only a rear view mirror of HR’s activities.

What is stopping HR from unlocking the full potential of analytics?

  • The data is too fragmented or dispersed – there is a tremendous amount of employee related data available, but it isn’t always consistent and may be in several different places, making it hard to get at or use.
  • HR is asking the wrong questions – the HR data that most organizations collect holds little value. To be effective in analytics, HR professionals must first form some hypotheses that are linked to business outcomes and worth exploring to create deeper business insights.
  • HR lacks the right skills – in many cases HR lacks the skills required to carry out the sort of complex statistical analysis required to unlock the power of HR analytics.

It is not surprising, then, that recent Economist Intelligence Unit research commissioned by KPMG International (Rethinking HR in a Changing World) indicates that 85 percent of respondents believe their HR teams do not excel at providing insightful and predictive analytics.

This is a true call to action. There has never been a better time to plan and implement a more advanced yet practical approach to collecting, analyzing and communicating the business insights that can be gleaned from the right HR data.


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People are the real numbers