When we say analytics or workforce analytics, most people picture gigantic rows and columns of data that is too hard to collect and analyze, and therefore too much of an effort for them to take up. Moreover, they might not be sure of the usefulness of the analytics, and its added value for the organization.
In organizations, data analytics has been under the purview of scientists and analysts who sit away from the functional teams, and do their own analysis, which might never reach the people it is intended for, or, even if it does, not in the right time.
All of this has come to make organizations wary of using analytics. The opinion is that if they cannot do it right, they need not do it at all. This, however, is changing. Advancements in business software have democratized analytics, and made them accessible to everyone, hence increasing their usefulness and ensuring that everyone benefits from them.
As this article states, analytics work well for organizations, especially web-based ones, as data collection is easier for them compared to offline businesses, even in the same category. However, analytics can be useful for everyone, and we’ll see more about this in this post.
As mentioned earlier, we consider data collection and analysis to be the biggest challenges in analytics, because of the effort and expense involved in the same. Advancements in technology have made these the lesser difficult aspects of analytics though.
If you manage your HR function using an HRIS, you will already have all the data collected for you. Further data can be easily collected through surveys and questionnaires that can be sent online. Also, you have software that can import all your data and make the calculations – you simply need to enter the commands and wait for the results.
No, the real challenges in analytics lie in deciding on the strategy that you need to follow in analyzing data and coming up with insights and interpreting the results to gather insights for effective decision-making. Therefore, organizations need not be cut up over not being able to collect or manage data – the simple implementation of a web-based solution will do that for them.
What they need to be bothered with, is to see which data needs to be collected and whether they can derive any insights from the results of the analysis. So, don’t worry about the mounds of data – you have help there. Worry about how you are going to use the data – that is unique to your organization, and therefore needs your time.
How useful are analytics? Will they really contribute to the bottom line? More than most other aspects of the organization, in fact. Analytics ensures that decisions are not made in the dark. No guesswork. No gut feelings. No intuition. Clear and logical analysis of data will be the basis for decisions.
Apart from the obvious benefit of basing your decisions on careful analysis and interpretation, you will have the added benefit of being transparent and unbiased, which is an issue that HRM is often plagued with. If employees are not sure of how the decisions are made, or if they think that they can gain ratings because they have sucked up to someone, there will be dissonance in teams, which shows in their functioning.
Therefore, by showing them that it is only their performance-related data that forms the basis for decisions regarding their ratings, hikes, and promotions, organizations can ensure that such dissonance does not occur, and put people’s whims and fancies aside while making decisions.
Further, analytics give you insights which are actionable, which means that you can take corrective actions as and when necessary. For example, by analyzing your employees’ performance, you can understand where they are lacking, and if it’s something that is common to a bunch of them, you can eliminate that issue, and therefore allow them to perform to their potential.
Analytics also help you unearth any fraud or misdeeds that might be happening. Say a manager of yours colluded with some employees to give them hikes even as they are not performing. Since analytics are accessible by everyone, a simple audit by senior management will unearth this collusion. A robust analytics system would make any employee think twice before committing fraud since it is sure to be unearthed.
Which aspects of HRM do analytics help?
All of them, really. Analytics can be useful in all the aspects of HRM such as recruitment, performance management, training & development, payroll and benefits, and so on.
Take recruitment for example. With analytics, you can figure out how effective your last so many numbers of recruits were, and you can also figure out how effective your recruiters are in sourcing the best talent available.
In performance management, you can figure out which employee or business unit has performed the best, and you can figure out who the worthiest recipients of promotions and hikes are. Further, important HR metrics like retention rate, ROI, and so on can be calculated easily.
One of the best parts about using analytics with HR software is that you can get the analytics you want delivered to your inbox automatically whenever you need. Whether it is about employee time and attendance or aspects of performance like project status, the software can be programmed to send you reports periodically.
It is also a good practice to do so – if a manager receives data every Monday on the team members’ punctuality status, the manager will know if an employee is coming late and speak with the employee to rectify late-coming immediately. This automation means you save a lot of resources while being professional.
Reporting, one of the key responsibilities of an HR professional, is also made easier with the software. As mentioned above, the software can be programmed to send reports automatically. Reporting is flexible and customizable to the unique organizational requirements of all organizations.
Better service delivery
Human resource management is one of the most important business functions in an organization in that its scope is far-reaching, and encompasses the entire organization. There is a great need for collaboration among all the stakeholders involved for the process to be carried out efficiently and effectively.
HR professionals should be able to offer the best service they can to the other departments and contribute to organizational goals significantly. In knowing where the gaps in service delivery are, and how to plug them, analytics will be of big help.
Analytics help with process improvements and optimization, and enable better, more relevant, and measurable goals. They help with proactive planning and execution of best practices across the organization. Analytics provide support to both tactical and strategic activities, providing the basis for long-term plans that can gain the organization significant competitive advantage.
The barriers to adopting HR analytics have been lowered, and even eliminated over time. Now, they are available for access for everyone, and there really is no reason for organizations to avoid using them. It is best to use an integrated human resource software platform that allows you to comprehensively manage your entire workforce management operations from a single interface.
Since the solution comes with an integrated analytics module, you don’t have to bother with data transfer anymore. All the data is already available for the solution, and launching analytics on this data is simple and can be done by everyone.
Analytics are the way forward for organizations to improve the way they function – if you can effectively overcome the challenges and make them work for you, they will make a significant positive impact on your organization.
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