Posted on November 30, 2014

As “Big Data” takes over the business world, HR is not immune from feeling the pressure to use data to drive strategic decision-making.

It’s no longer enough for HR departments to go by feel or instinct; executives are expecting their people teams to come to the table with numbers and objective information.

The ‘Datafication’ of HR

This isn’t entirely new, of course. Forward-thinking organizations have been using electronic applicant tracking and performance management systems for years. But now the shift is toward strategic analytics, turning data from recruiting, learning and performance into talent management and workforce planning onward to predictive modeling.

The goal is to proactively bring together HR data with business data to empower managers and leaders to make better decisions. How’s that going so far? Research from Deloitte shows:

* 56% of HR teams are still in Level 1 reactive mode, doing operational reporting. Data still is isolated and difficult to analyze.
* 30% are more proactive (Level 2) and are doing advanced reporting for benchmarking and decision-making using multi-layered analysis and dashboards.
* 10% have moved into Level 3, advanced analytics, developing “people models” and understanding the cause and delivery of actionable solutions.
* 4% are performing Level 4 predictive analysis around scenario planning, risk assessment and integration with strategic planning.

Most organizations struggle to get beyond Level 2 because the effort to do so starts to outpace the value. That’s the result of disconnected systems, poor data, lack of reporting tools, skill gaps and data dis-integration.

Overcoming all those obstacles requires a multi-disciplinary effort that connects HR with IT, finance, operations and executives. Of course the entire effort begins with having the ability to collect and aggregate high-quality data, then make sense of it and visualize it in a way that tells a story and drives change. Reporting software designed for human resources teams can do just that.

The bottom line is … the bottom line

What’s the real day-to-day takeaway of all this data? How does it bring science to a people process?

It busts HR myths that for years have informed the way we think about hiring, retention and leadership development. (For example, the guy with the fancy college degree isn’t necessarily destined to be your top sales rep.)

Consider that Level 3 and 4 organizations have seen their stock outperform the S&P 500 by 30 percent over the last three years. That’s a case of data having a direct effect on the bottom line.

How powerful are your data reporting tools? Take a look at Paycor’s Reporting and Analytics solution, which enables you to report on anything you wish to track, from overall compensation to employee birthdays and shirt sizes! In seconds, you can create customized reports and schedule them to be sent regularly to others in your organization. Spend less time building reports and more time analyzing your information and making it work for you.

Source: Deloitte Consulting LLP