Demystifying HR Analytics: A Guide for Better Business Decisions (Part 1)

Demystifying HR Analytics: A Guide for Better Business Decisions (Part 1)

This four-part series on Human Capital Analytics (HCA) is a powerful tool for HR professionals and managers to make data-driven decisions that optimise your organisation’s performance.

Why Data Matters

Traditionally, HR relied on intuition and experience. Today, data is king. HCA equips you with the knowledge and skills to:

  • Explain the importance of data in driving organisational decisions.
  • Interpret and present data effectively.
  • Leverage data to support HR decisions with the right tools.
  • Communicate findings to leadership for strategic action.

Key Topics Covered

  • Overview of HCA
  • Identifying Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Data Collection Methods
  • Data Analysis and Interpretation
  • Effective Communication and Presentation of Findings
  • Human Capital Maturity Level Assessment


Part 1: The Power of Analytics in HR

The core concepts of HCA and how it empowers HR professionals.

  • Understanding Analytics for HR: explore the concept of HR analytics, its benefits, and the various terminologies used.
  • Metrics vs. Analytics: differentiate between basic metrics (data points) and analytics, which reveal deeper connections and patterns within the data. This distinction is crucial for informed decision-making.
  • The Why Behind Employee Turnover: Take employee turnover as an example. HR metrics provide a surface-level view of the issue, while HCA delves into the “why” behind it, enabling proactive solutions.
  • Human Capital vs. HR Analytics: the difference between HR metrics, which focus on internal HR functions, and human capital metrics, which consider broader organisational implications.


From Measurement to Insight

Data alone isn’t enough. HCA goes beyond basic measurements to uncover valuable insights. It provides a future-oriented perspective, considering the past and present to forecast trends and support strategic workforce decisions.


The Importance of Proactive Analytics

HCA utilises impactful metrics and aims to use predictive analytics to give companies a competitive edge by forecasting future trends and issues.


Moving Beyond Excuses

HR Analytics should not be viewed as an impossible challenge without comprehensive data.

Like astrophysicists who draw groundbreaking insights from faint stellar signals, HR professionals can leverage even imperfect data to identify strategic opportunities and inform effective decision-making by applying robust analytical techniques.


The Journey from Measures to Analytics

Understanding the difference between measures, metrics, and analytics is fundamental to unlocking the power of HCA.

  • Measures: Collecting and recording data points like headcount or revenue.
  • Metrics: Higher-level constructs based on multiple measures. They describe past outcomes, process performance (e.g., time-to-hire), or effectiveness (e.g., revenue per employee).
  • Analytics: Converting metrics into actionable insights using appropriate analysis techniques.


Illustrating the Power of Analytics:

Let’s look at some examples of metrics and how HCA transforms them into valuable insights:

  1. Employee Headcount: A static number with limited value. HCA can combine it with other data to understand workforce efficiency and effectiveness.
  2. HR-to-Workforce Ratio: This ratio provides some insight into efficiency but lacks context about effectiveness. HCA can use industry benchmarks for comparison.
  3. Revenue per FTE (Full-Time Equivalent): An effectiveness measure that shows organisational productivity. However, it doesn’t explain the “why” or “how” to improve.
  4. Turnover of High Performers: This predictive metric reveals valuable insights into why negative outcomes occur, enabling targeted solutions.

Organisations can optimise their HR practices and achieve a competitive edge by measuring and analysing key performance drivers.


The Road to Success: Building a Strong Analytics Team

While some organisations may have dedicated HCA teams, smaller companies can still benefit. Here are some key considerations:

  • Multidisciplinary Expertise: Ideally, an HCA team leverages expertise in content, data, analytics, and influencing.
  • Data Fluency and Business Acumen: At a minimum, HR professionals must be data-savvy and understand the business context.
  • Partnerships and Collaboration: Building partnerships with other departments can ensure the impact of HR analytics.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll identify the right questions to ask and the challenges associated with data collection and analysis.


Investing in Your Future

Consider exploring our University Micro-credential HRBP Master Class – Leveraging HR Data: Metrics, Analysis, And Analytics as a launchpad for your journey in mastering HR Analytics.  This program equips you with the foundational knowledge and practical skills to support HR initiatives within your organisation. Contact us now and explore our university micro-credential master class as a pathway to the executive master’s degree in HRM and the SHRM double certificate to learn more and unlock your career growth opportunities with our affordable instalment fee plan and flexible schedule.

Author picture

Dr. Roy is the Group Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer and holds responsibility for the overall strategic management & leadership in achieving the graduate schools’ vision & goals. His own belief for lifelong learning, as well as his drive for business management excellence, has brought him to achieving his passion for being part of the postgraduate education sector in Malaysia.

Dr Roy Prasad

(Hon Professor) FInstAM 

MHRM (MY), Grad Mgt (AU)

Group Managing Director &
Chief Executive Officer

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