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HR analytics

Absence records (holiday and illness), login times, email/web traffic, performance reviews... this data can support decision making in HR.
© CIPD

As we’ve seen, you won’t go far these days without someone collecting your data. So, if we can use customer data to help us decide what products we might offer them, we can also use the data in our organisations to help us with our HR decisions.

Having data also helps us understand the challenges we are trying to solve, and just as importantly helps us show people in our organisations that we understand these challenges in detail. This leads to evidence-based decisions and by being able to show data from before and after our work we can also reveal the impact we are having in HR.

Let’s have a closer look at the type of HR data that can exist

HR data can be both quantitative and qualitative. This isn’t as complicated as it may sound!

Quantitative data will be numbers and so is measurable. For example, the number of people who leave your organisation in one month.

Qualitative data can’t be measured and is the ‘why’ behind the numbers. For example, the reasons given for why those people leave.

In order to make sure that HR has a good overview of the whole organisation it is important that HR data is looked at with other types of data in your organisation. This could include customer satisfaction data from the sales team, which when looked at with HR data about employee engagement might show you that teams which score their manager highly also have the highest customer satisfaction.

Imagine if you could also show from your HR data that the successful manager had the most training. How might you then use that data in decision making to help the business? Could it be suggested that training managers better might lead to more engaged teams which then have higher customer satisfaction too?
This kind of HR analytics can be applied to decisions in all HR work.
For example:  
Improving employee morale Instead of having the costs of losing employees, organisations can help prevent them leaving by measuring their happiness and well-being and working to improve them both.
Driving business performance Workers with strong leadership skills can be found through analytics, leading to better recruitment of job applicants or promotion of existing staff to the right positions.
Improving retention (people staying within the organisation) Understanding why people leave means that HR can make suggestions of what to do to help keep them.

Predictive analytics

Most organisations are only beginning to work with HR analytics, but some are going further than simply showing how things have worked in the past, and they are now trying to use data to predict future events. This is known as predictive analytics.
In the SEE ALSO area you’ll find links for more resources and information about HR analytics.
© CIPD
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