Jason Averbook, CEO of Knowledge Infusion has written many interesting and provocative blogs that challenge HR to embrace data by “doing the dirty work.” If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to the Knowledge Infusion blog.
In one of his recent posts, Jason encouraged HR to get out of the clouds and into big data by thinking strategically about their organization’s workforce data. What I found particularly interesting was Jason’s point here:
- “The explosive demand for data from all areas of the enterprise will bring about an increased focus on HR’s ability to deliver relevant workforce data to support strategic decision-making.”
When I read that, I wondered, what exactly would make workforce data relevant for businesses? Since Talent Analytics is made up of business people passionate about incorporating data about ‘the people doing the work’ into strategic business decisions, I put together a CEO wish list for what will make workforce data business relevant.
1. Beyond traditional talent management data. For businesses to consider workforce data relevant, it needs to answer their “so what?” This means adding richness to ‘what‘ data like attrition and headcount data by pushing towards ‘why’ questions.
2. Tomorrow’s forecast, not yesterday’s. Historic HR data tells you what happened yesterday but is limited in providing insight to what will happen. Relevant workforce data is real-time and lets executives anticipate what their organization’s talent makeup looks like today to better anticipate and plan for their impact on performance tomorrow.
3. No Silos. Relevant workforce data isn’t kept in a silo away from other business data; it’s widely useful and trusted outside HR, actively used and core to strategic decision making across the entire enterprise.
4. Versatile: plays nicely with every business outcome. Relevant workforce data can be analyzed alongside performance data for an additional lens that enables management to look across their business, spot trends, and be proactive rather than reactive.
5. 40,000 foot view (or drill-down). Relevant workforce data provides the same apples-to-apples information about all people doing the work across the organization and can be drilled down for greater visibility into performance (Why are sales down? Did we look at the people doing the work?).
6. Rapid Data Collection at the speed of business. Rapid data collection is a major strategic advantage for global enterprises. Imagine if relevant workforce data collection were a rapid pain-free process done once over the employee’s tenure, online, securely, in less than 30 minutes?
7. Re-useable and change friendly data. Relevant workforce data is a corporate asset that can be used and re-used across the lifecycle of strategic change initiatives.
8. Talent Audit. Relevant workforce data includes stable characteristics about the way people themselves impact business performance. (Are they an asset or a liability to executing strategic goals?)
9. Add value to department performance. If there are people working in your department, relevant workforce data has to add value for decision makers charged with the performance of that department.
10. We don’t need more data inputs that don’t add value. Relevant workforce data should help your line managers not annoy them. Relevant means high value, low effort.
11. Clone my top performers. Since a bad hire is costly and disruptive to the business, relevant workforce data will show correlations between the people doing the work and business outcomes – allowing me to forecast which candidates are more likely to be top performers.
12. Provides value to those with and without a degree in Statistics. Since business people often spot patterns and trends in other types of data, relevant workforce data is quantitative, qualitative, or visualized depending on the business need.
What is YOUR Business Requirement of Relevant Workforce Data? If you are a C-level executive and want to incorporate the people doing the work into strategic decision making, help us expand this wish list.
Comment below or drop me an email with additional “relevant workforce data” business requirements, a story or situation where you wished you had relevant workforce data available to better anticipate the impact of people on performance. We’ll expand this list in a future entry.
Mike Kennedy is a Technical Evangelist at Talent Analytics, Corp. He can be reached via email@example.com.