Much as it’s changed the landscape for marketing and finance, Big Data can transform any business unit into a strategic powerhouse. Many experts say that Human Resource Analytics and Systems — basically the workforce-related metrics that can offer companies valuable information about their talent pool — is the next to undergo such a transformation. But HR professionals aren’t known as the most tech-savvy bunch — so are they ready to assume a more data-oriented, technical role?
What can analytics do for HR and how can a business analyst help enhance its outcomes? In using some of the more sophisticated tools, such as Oracle or SAP HR, within their entire ERP system, HR will be able to harness data in ways that allow it to make better decisions and view trends in ways they’ve not been able to do before. Just some examples:
- Mine the pool of resumes for the top skills needed for a specific position with pinpoint accuracy.
- Find out the underlying causes of turnover and percentages, along with historical trends. This means there’s no more relying on exit interviews alone, which are only as good as the information departing employees will share.
- List top retention incentives based on an analysis of workforce data and metrics.
- Analyze complex compensation and benefit trends by region so that practices are attractive to candidates within a specific area/locale.
- Automate labor and related compliance filings in much the same way tax e-filings are handled these days.
- Mine and analyze relevant, strategic company or industry staffing data, which in turn can help beat out the competition for top talent.
- Create ranges of performance effectiveness for different business units, such as how many completed calls a help desk staffer must handle each day.
- Develop system models to predict which employees are best suited for promotions, based on their performance history. In other words, use hard data as well as more subjective performance reviews to determine advancement and compensation.
- Stay on top of current labor, healthcare and other legislation via alerts, legislative updates or news feeds.
An HR manager or HR Business Analyst who’s skilled in data interpretation will be the one most able to spot trends. By studying large sets of data over time, they can identify relevant trends, come up with appropriate courses of action and make recommendations to management as to the most effective way to address business problems. These roles then change the dynamic of Human Resources from a cost center to a strategic contributor, capable of realizing new opportunities for savings and revenue.