DATADRIVEN HR – What and does it matter?


In a recent post, The Future of HCM – DIGITALLY TRANSFORM your business, I discussed the digitalization of HR and use of data. You have all heard it, right? So how does it impact how HR works? Should you care? Well of course you should, since there are many disruptive trends and technologies going on right now.

Dave Ulrich has again released the latest research on how the HR function and HR officer’s roles are evolving. And it’s a quite interesting read if you put it in the framework of what is generally happening in the business. Faster rate of change, big data, employee engagement and now also employee experience. Can we cope with all this change? Bersin talks about the “overwhelmed employee” to describe the fact that there is now too much data and information flow around us, the buzz covers up the important nuggets of information. The risk is we end up with a lot of data and a very confused feeling. And do nothing about it, right?

 But people matter and businesses are made of people. Technology can (and will) be copied by the competition, but it’s much harder to copy culture, leadership and the impact of an engaged workforce. This is the very core of your business, and you should be worried about how you grow, nurture, deploy and renew the beating heart of your organization (more on this topic in our previous article). And use the available data to help you figure out what is critical – and what is not. So HR better get into data, and how to use data for better people outcomes.

 And to know what you need to know, you must be interested in your people data. And understand the possibilities and risks with analyzing the data. So the rise of the data driven HR function is happening, the HR data is there to be used for better decision-making and workforce-planning. A possibility to turn HR actions and plans into do something the C-suite understands – speak numbers and impact. This means you need to take care of all your people data, it is your goldmine to dig into. So all HR data, from time and payroll can be crucial when you analyze the workforce and assess impact of different HR programs. And then you must try to understand have you will use the data.

 And this is just the beginning, because with availability of HR data we can apply artificial intelligence to aid us. Cognitive analytics based on your profile can assist you as a manger to give you hints, tips and find answers to HR questions, to improve how you manage your people. In the end, it’s still about people.