HR Analytics for Beginners

HR Analytics for Beginners

If you work in the HR field, odds are good you have many different responsibilities. Your job isn’t simply to hire new employees and address personnel issues. In fact, it’s so much more. To ensure your organization reaps all the benefits of your expertise, it’s crucial to prioritize analytics.

This can seem a little intimidating if you’re unfamiliar with the process of analyzing data and using it to inform key decisions. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be. The information in this guide will simplify the concept of People analytics, helping you better understand how you can leverage its insights and performance management software as effectively as possible.


Why HR Analytics is Important

Motivating yourself to embrace HR analytics is easier when you know why this task is so essential. Thus, it helps to consider specific examples of how HR might use it.

Perhaps your company, along with most others, wants to improve retention. By analyzing relevant data from various departments, you can learn which factors have a positive impact on retention, and which have a negative impact.

Maybe you’ll find a particular department has never struggled with a high turnover rate. Once you have this knowledge, you can coordinate with the heads of that department to learn what they are doing right. This is a step you wouldn’t know to take if you didn’t take the first step of analyzing retention data.

That’s only one example of analytics in action. The main point to remember is that analyzing key data sets yields actionable insights.


How to Simplify HR Analytics

Analyzing data is much easier when it’s accessible. That’s why you need to collect all HR data you may wish to analyze at some point (including employee records, spreadsheets, internal reports, etc.) and store it in a central digital location.

This process may take time if your employer has been in business for several years already. However, it this process, no matter how tedious, is necessary. Once all your data is stored together, you can then begin to analyze it.


Understand the Stages

Analyzing data effectively involves four stages.

1. Operational Analytics: In this first stage, you are simply using data to form insights about past trends. You might also begin making predictions about the future.

2. Advanced Reporting: This stage is similar to operational analytics, but the main difference is how frequently you generate reports. Advanced reporting may even be automated to ensure a consistent frequency.

3. Strategic Analytics: This is the stage where you begin to consider how different variables interact with each other to lead to certain results. For example, you might find that changes to your onboarding program resulted in a better new hire success rate. You can then use these insights to develop even stronger onboarding processes.

4. Predictive Analytics: At this stage, you’re confidently using insights from data analysis to prepare for the future. The predictions you make at this stage shouldn’t feel like mere guesses. Instead, analytics should help you make more educated and reliable predictions.

Breaking the process down into multiple stages is a smart approach if you’re not comfortable performing analytics just yet. The task will feel less overwhelming with step-by-step guidance and give you confidence along the way.


Coordinate with Other Departments to Train HR

You may not be the only member of your employer’s HR department. In fact, you probably have several other staff members on your team who will also need to use analytics in the future.

That’s why it’s important to train them in your processes. Of course, this might seem difficult if you’re still learning the basics of analytics yourself. Address this issue by contacting managers at other departments in the organization to find out if they’ve used analytics before in their work. It’s entirely possible that they have, and can help by providing their insight. These coworkers can then help you develop a basic training program.

That’s not to say all companies have department heads already using analytics to make decisions and predictions. If you can’t find anyone to help within your own organization, speak with your supervisor about bringing in an outside party to conduct a training session. The major benefits will be well worth the cost of doing it right.


Identify Problems

Again, HR analytics are vital because they help you solve business problems. But what constitutes a business problem?

The answer will vary from one organization to the next. For example, you might already have a strong retention rate. Although it’s still worthwhile to analyze retention data as there is always room for improvement, this might not be the biggest priority for your HR department.

On the other hand, maybe your recruitment process is far more costly than it should be. Or, perhaps employee engagement is relatively low. These are all problems you can easily solve with the data you can pull from analytics.

The point of using HR analytics is to eliminate ambiguity associated with your business issues. If you know exactly what areas to improve on, you’ll save on time, resources, and money in the long run. This guide clarifies how to use your insights properly in order to set your HR department–and company–up for success.