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Workforce Analytics: A Journey and a Process

Don’t start with the destination first

Many HR organizations have a desired destination in mind, one where they have the analytics capability to make predictions about their workforce for which they can then develop targeted responses.

For example, say they want to be able to predict the likelihood of turnover for a particular role or individual, so they can devise effective retention strategies. There are many steps on the workforce analytics journey and organizations sit at different points along the journey based on their information maturity.

Plotting the Workforce Analytics Journey


Knowing your starting point comes first. For some organizations, the “you are here” dot falls squarely at step one: data quality and integrity. Some aren’t even sure how many employees they have and many don’t have global data standards.

Those farther along the journey are able to convert data into basic reports: employee lists and extracts, compliance reporting and the like. Some have moved on to being able to perform basic analytics for a single process, such as recruiting, using a single source of data.

Next, let’s look at those who can integrate multiple sources of data (HR and non HR) to conduct cross-functional and cross-process analytics, such as sales force effectiveness.

Finally, those organizations that have reached the sought-after destination and are able to conduct advanced predictive analytics about their organization, workforce and jobs.

The process

It is helpful to start by tackling a particular workforce issue and seeing it through a process—from data to insights to actions. For example, suppose you have critical skills gaps in your workforce that need to be filled. Here’s how you might proceed.

The process allows you to focus on an issue and be enabled and empowered by technology. You can leverage your investments in the existing technology systems, or cloud-based analytics solutions are also a good way to jump-start your effort without incurring the in-house costs to host, license, implement and support an analytics platform.

In summary, organizations need to identify their position on the journey based on the information maturity, focus on the workforce issue and use technology as an enabler. The important thing is to act on the analysis; otherwise analytics quickly becomes shelf ware.

Positive results at the basic level can help build momentum for future analytics initiatives.

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