HR functions around the world have increased the money they spend on collecting, managing, and analyzing employee data, and want to improve their use of “talent analytics” – sophisticated methods of analyzing employee data to retain employees and improve their performance.
CEB data show that more than 90% of senior HR decision-makers plan to increase significantly their investments in HR technology and HR analytics (Google is already an advocate).
But, although there is no shortage of data and metrics available to almost every HR function in the world, most of them are not seeing the returns on the investment in talent analytics that they should. And line managers and other business partners agree; while most CEOs believe that HR data is important, very few business leaders say they have the data and analytics support they need from HR.
Getting the Most from HRIS Investments
A foundational part of using talent analytics successfully is making the most of the right HR technology. So much so that many firms employ executives to take responsibility for a firm’s HR information system (HRIS), many of whom are keen to make changes at the moment. Almost a third – 30% – of large European companies will implement a new, global software as-a-service (SaaS)-based master data or talent platform within the next 24 months.
This is all well and good but it’s not just about buying new technology. These investments require HRIS teams to take a new approach to system selection and implementation, refocus their efforts to help business partners get the most from the HRIS (such as making it easier for them to carry out labor market analysis or search for specific data), and develop new skills that help maximize the “value” that HRIS teams provide to their business partners, not just the software they are responsible for.
If they want to justify all these new investments in technology and systems, HRIS teams need to show how they help business partners make better use of the new systems, and ultimately improve business decision-making and employee performance.
Four Pieces of Advice
To do all this, HRIS teams should focus on four elements.
Plan for the “3 Cs” of talent analytics: Criticality (prioritize efforts based on critical business questions), capability (apply business judgment to data science), and credibility (drive end-user ownership of talent analytics)
Build your specific user case to improve the business impact of unstructured data: Combine internal and external data sources in a single platform to predict the skills your organization and employees will need in the future.
Improve end-user adoption and engagement: Make systems user-centric, intuitive, and engaging to use for all end users (e.g., line managers, employees, potential hires).
Change the way you select, implement, and run your HR systems: Build the right skills in your HRIS function, increase the agility of processes and systems, and enable and empower employees to self-serve and learn.
See these pages for more on CEB’s work with HR IT teams.