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How to master Big Data and HR Analytics with the right tools

As HR strives to work more closely to business and increasingly embrace HR digitization in their daily work, the curiosity to master HR Analytics and Big Data is increasing, along with the need to identify key metrics and ratios on the basis of pre-defined HR reports.



HR in the front seat – valuable to customers, line managers and employees

In the latter part of 2000s, HR transformation became a common topic among HR professionals. This referes to a development that largely involves the HR function to take a more specialized and strategic focus to coordinate and create value for the business. The idea behind the concept is that if the administrative HR activities can be carried out more efficiently and standardized, the time saved can be used to work on more value-adding activities in favor of the company’s customers, line managers and employees. An important key here, is to identify and create systemized processes that ensure efficiency and quality. HR is encouraged to show the business value of which their initiatives can create while finding efficiency measures to continuously reduce costs.

Based on this concept, HR has the opportunity to put themselves in the front seat in terms of development and business agenda. There are a number of factors that have contributed to this modernization and the fact that the concept of HR transformation now is well established in many of today’s organizations. The main reasons are; globalization, economic crises, political changes and not least new technology.

Focusing on the latter, namely technology, one can conclude that HR has new opportunities to ensure efficiency and quality in their work. By standardization and self-service with HR software, HR professionals can better focus on developing their services. Using HR software for managing various processes and data, HR simply enable themselves to become an invaluable function for strategical purposes.

For quite some time, there have been discussions about the value of being able to support critical business decisions linked to employees with HR Analysis and statistical reports. However, it is just recently that more and more companies have started to turn their attention to HR Analytics and the impact it could have on future innovation and competitiveness.


"There is no question that HR will start to really ”get” analytics in the coming years. Just as marketing, finance, and supply chain functions now rely heavily on analytics, so will HR"

Bersin by Deloitte


Mastering HR Analytics

As HR aims to work more closely to business and increasingly embracing HR digitization in their daily work, the curiosity to master HR data and being able to identity key metrics and ratios from reports is growing. One step further involves analyzing the presented data to predict future trends, needs and developments. With proper IT tools in place that compiles all valuable data, HR has the possibility to create both historical reports as well as predictive HR Analytics. The possibility of analytics can be divided in three dimensions:

Reporting: What happened?
Analytics & Monitoring: Why did it happen? What happens now?
Predictive Analytics: What could eventually happen? What are the risks and chances

Decisions based on data and metrics

Those HR functions that create a platform for mastering (big) HR data will likely make themselves an invaluable resource in the future strategic work. With analysis based on HR data, the organization can more easily keep abreast of the current situation, predict critical trends and make the right decisions. The CEO and top management are very much interested in numbers and facts with clear business relevance.

Some examples of HR initiatives that may be of particular interest to top management:

  • What drives high productivity?
  • What behavioral development do we see amongst employees?
  • What are the critical competence gaps for the business?
  • How high scores the loyalty amongst our employees?
  • What is the quality of the company’s leadership?
  • To what degree do we manage to retain critical key roles?

The more HR processes that are being managed with modern HR technology, the more data and metrics can be used for predictive analytics.

Question to ask yourself:
Is your organization properly equipped and prepared for enabling HR Analytics and Big Data?


CatalystOne, 20 May 2017

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