My Pet Peeve on Big Data – Stop Telling HR What to Do

One of my pet peeves on HR data analytics is that we are constantly being told WHY we need to leverage data for our business. We hear things like “data gets you a seat at the table, builds credibility, and helps you make better decisions” and the list goes on. We get it; HR is no longer evolving, it’s evolved! We get the problem that we are trying to solve for – now what?

Last week I attended a meet-up with 25 other HR and Talent Acquisition leaders hosted by PeopleInsight, a workforce analytics company based in Ottawa. It was great to see so many people investing in expanding their networks and knowledge through this type of forum.

The dialogue among the group was engaging and there was loads of great content shared. The topic for discussion was “what’s worked to get analytics integrated into your strategy”.

Here are 5 tips on HOW to get started and shift the conversation:

1. Find an internal champion somewhere else within the business. Find an executive in another area of your business that can not only provide some guidance but also sponsor you and back you up in meetings.

2. Don’t strive for perfection out of the gate. Start somewhere or you will never make progress. Data is a journey.

3. Tell a story back to the business in a way that they will understand.Package up the information like a marketer to explain the value proposition. Always tie the data back to dollars and cents.

4. Be visual. Executives need to be able to hone in on the story quickly. Using visuals like heat maps can help get your audience to where you need them fast.

5. Stop spending time on reports no one reads. Ask the business what information they want and work backwards. Reports are not the same as analytics. Find an internal guru or external vendor to help turn raw data into stories and actionable steps.

Leveraging data to drive better business decisions is no longer a nice to have. Let’s stop talking about why we need to use data and start focusing on what happens next.