HR Analytics: Asking The Right Questions For Better Data-Driven Decisions (Part 2)

HR Analytics: Asking The Right Questions For Better Data-Driven Decisions (Part 2)

Welcome back to part two of our series on Human Capital Analytics (HCA)!  In part one, we explored the core concepts of HCA and its transformative potential for HR professionals.  Now, we delve into the crucial step of identifying the right questions and data to unlock actionable insights.

 

Asking the Right Questions: The Foundation of Effective Analysis

HCA thrives on a research-driven approach. This means moving beyond assumptions and focusing on evidence-based decision-making.

To achieve this, we need to formulate clear and concise research questions.

Here are some key factors to consider when defining your research question:

  • Alignment to Organizational Strategy: Ensure your questions address your organization’s strategic goals and objectives.
  • Feasibility: Can the question be answered with available resources and data?
  • Timeline: Consider the time constraints for gathering data and delivering answers.
  • Data Accessibility: Does the necessary data exist within your organisation, or can it be obtained readily?
  • Clarity and Complexity: Strive for a straightforward, specific question that adequately addresses the issue.

 

Quantitative vs. Qualitative Data: Understanding Your Options

Data comes in two primary forms: quantitative and qualitative.

  • Quantitative Data:  Numerical data that can be easily measured and analysed statistically. Examples include employee turnover rates, time-to-hire metrics, and compensation levels.
  • Qualitative Data: Descriptive data that provides deeper insights but isn’t easily measured. This includes data collected through interviews, focus groups, or open-ended survey questions.

 

Strategic Data Collection Methods

HR professionals have a variety of methods at their disposal to gather data:

  • Archival Data Collection:  Leveraging existing data stored in HRIS systems, such as employee records, financial records, etc.
  • Surveys and Questionnaires: Collecting data directly from employees through standardised questionnaires.
  • Interviews: In-depth conversations with employees to gather qualitative data and understand their perspectives.
  • Focus Groups: Moderated discussions with small employees to explore specific topics.
  • Observations: Directly observing employee behaviour and work processes to gather insights.

 

Common Data Sources for HR Insights

A wealth of data is often readily available within your organisation:

  • HR Information System (HRIS) Databases: A treasure trove of employee data encompassing demographics, compensation, performance reviews, and more.
  • Employee Records:  Individual files containing detailed information about each employee.
  • Customer and Financial Records: Can reveal valuable insights related to customer satisfaction and the financial impact of HR initiatives.
  • Marketing and Sales Performance Data: Provides context on how HR practices influence customer acquisition and retention.
  • External Measures and Benchmarks: You can compare your organisation’s performance against industry standards.

 

Ensuring Data Integrity: Reliability and Validity

Data quality is paramount in HCA. Here are two key aspects to consider:

  • Reliability: Data consistency across time and contexts. When you analyse data repeatedly, the results should be consistent.
  • Validity: The accuracy of data in genuinely reflecting the intended measurement. Proper data collection and analysis processes ensure valid data.

 

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Aligning Measurement with Goals

KPIs are quantifiable metrics that track progress towards organisational goals. To establish effective KPIs:

  1. Involve HR in Strategy Development: Ensure HR has a seat at the table during strategic planning to align HR metrics with business objectives.
  2. Identify Key Deliverables: Determine the most critical factors for achieving organisational goals.
  3. Select Relevant Metrics: Identify metrics accurately reflecting progress towards those key deliverables.
  4. Reporting and Dissemination: Define the frequency and format for reporting KPI data to relevant stakeholders.

 

Developing KPIs: A Framework

A helpful framework for developing KPIs consists of three elements:

  • Indicator: What are you measuring (e.g., employee engagement, turnover rate)?
  • Measures: How will you measure it (e.g., surveys, exit interviews)?
  • Target: What is the desired outcome (e.g., increase engagement by 10%)?

Following these steps, you can develop KPIs that effectively track progress towards organisational goals.

Stay tuned for Part 3, where we’ll explore the exciting world of data analysis and interpreting results!



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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 

DBA (CH), DBA (DK),
MHRM (MY), Grad Mgt (AU)

Group Managing Director &
Chief Executive Officer

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