In November, I interviewed Stacy Blanchard, Organization Effectiveness Services and Human Capital Analytics lead at Accenture. Read more about Stacy and Accenture’s insights around developing an analytics culture.
Since Stacy provided so many great insights around human capital analytics, we separated this interview into three sections; this entry is the second of the three (read part one). Or, if you’d like to listen to the full podcast, you can download the 20 minute interview here.
Starting to build workforce analytics capabilities
TALENT ANALYTICS: Where should organizations seeking to build out their workforce analytics capabilities start?
STACY BLANCHARD: I’d recommend that businesses are honest in using analytics to know where you are today maturity wise, versus where you need to be and do that in a data driven way in the spirit of analytics.
- How do you quantify really what you are and what you have today around analytics and maturity?
- What are the five to ten key decisions that are going to move your business forward or sustain either mission execution or your number one or number two position in the market?
- Whether you’re the CEO, the CIO, a statistician, or in HR …step back and realize that kind of the path through this is not one silver bullet.
It’s not just about data and data warehousing, talent and behaviors or the tools, techniques and methods that you use.
[Beyond] having to address now just the traditional people, process and technology… it’s really thinking about vision, strategy, leadership, governance, data, data warehousing, tools, techniques and methods, talent, culture. It’s an integrated view and approach to really looking at how analytical are you today? How do you need to be in the future? And how do you get there?” A lot of this is highlighted in the articles that we’ve written to say, you can’t just look for that one silver bullet.”
People Stewards vs Data Stewards
TALENT ANALYTICS: HR has long been held as the people stewards, and they’re now being asked to be the data stewards – to own and analyze data about employees. What are your comments on who should be the data stewards for people data?
STACY BLANCHARD: I would definitely step back and say, think of it less as who owns the people or who should be the people stewards, or even who should play the role. [Instead ask] how do you break that down into capability?
It’s to say, where should that analytic capability around their people lie? Should it lie in the world of an analytic [Center Of Excellence]? Should it really sit within HR, and enable the organization to be the central hub of the center of excellence?
I wouldn’t make it a functional decision. I would think of it more about capability. [T]hen given where that organization is going, does it make sense to build that capability in HR? Do you need deep, deep statisticians in HR around those capabilities that are going to touch the people and the data around people? Or might that lie somewhere else?
TALENT ANALYTICS: That’s interesting. So really, it’s contingent on the organization, as you said, and capabilities, not function.
STACY BLANCHARD: Yes. And then there’s always the question of, how do you organize that capability?
- Do you keep that capability in house?
- Do you buy it?
- Do you outsource it?
- What do you do?
There is a lot of hype around analytics. Everybody thinks they do it, but nobody necessarily directly owns it.
Our book highlights a few companies that are starting to really show that they’re going to have analytic capability as a core capability in their organization.