Gido at People Analytics World – Day 1

Gido van Puijenbroek

Most mornings I don’t wake up excited at 6am. However, yesterday was different. Not only was I bound for my old home town, London, but I was also going to enjoy two full days of People Analytics (a.k.a. data driven HR, HR-analytics, Workforce analytics, HR Intelligence, etc).

So… what are my main take aways from the presentations I attended on day 1 of People Analytics World 2018?

Bernard Marr |Creating A Super-Intelligent HR Function – 9 Lessons We Can Learn from Elite Sports Teams

Bernard pointed out an interesting paradox. Where athletes are happy to give their data to data scientists – as it helps them to respond quicker, learn faster and hence perform better – employees are reluctant to share data with the organisation they work for, whereas they could reap the same benefits.

Another interesting nugget form this presentation: there is lots of talk about big data, however, why not keep it simple and start with asking the question: “What is the right data, i.e. quality and usefulness, for analysis?”

Brydie Lear&Eva Oudemans| From “It’s complicated” to Corporate Cupid

ING is one of the front runners in HR-analytics, so for me, this was one of the presentations I was looking forward to most. Not only did ING present two highly interesting case studies (hence the title of their presentation), they also shared how they select their projects. As I get the question – “how do we select a topic to start with?” – a lot from organisations which are about to embark on their HR-analytics journey.

Here is how ING goes about in selecting a project: first they develop ideas (these could come from the team itself or a variety of stakeholders), secondly they check for business interest, then an assignment is fleshed out, subsequently a target is formulated and lastly they commence the analytics execution cycle. Next to this process it is important to mention that all ideas are tested against eight principles: strategic alignment, importance / urgency, number of FTE’s impacted (the more the better), mature business performance data, access to data, explicit and agreed ROI upfront, strong leadership and last but not least local ownership & resources.

Subhadra Dutta | Competency Development… With Data!?

Twitter is Silicon Valley based and constantly heavily involved in the war for talent. Therefore, employee experience is key. As such four years ago an HR-analytics team has been created to enhance employee experience. Today they are six strong. Like many other companies the central analytics team does not focus on operational reporting. Metrics, advanced analytics, assessments and research are included however. The inclusion of the latter two is something I hear more and more often (trend?).

What was interesting other than headcount numbers and scope? The importance of understanding the competencies of your workforce was once more underlined.

Without competencies there is no strategic workforce planning, effective development, effective leadership, robust selection, or in other words no optimised organisational performance! Therefore, a shout out from me to all HR departments: if you haven’t already done so…. create a competency model, assess the workforce / critical segments of the workforce and use the data for the abovementioned purposes (yes, even though it can initially be a labour intensive exercise). They do really cool stuff at Twitter, how inspiring!

Peter Cheese | Embracing Analytics: The Opportunities and Challenges for HR

Peter was the perfect presenter after the break. High paced combined with provoking statements.

Consider this one: “HR brings too much PowerPoint and not enough Excel”. Agree or disagree? Where are you on the spectrum? It would be preaching to the quire if I would give my opinion.

Another interesting observation: “If we want to move away from shareholder value, HR should develop a way to make intangible assets (e.g. people) measurable.

Morten Kamp Andersen | Impact Throughout the Organisation: Using People Analytics to Guide and Improve Change Management

Morten is a man on a mission. The mission is to widen the scope of people analytics. Rather than focusing on two areas, namely: (1) making better HR decisions, e.g. improving the recruitment process, or (2) making better business decisions, e.g. what type of sales person sells most, he argues a third dimension should be added. This dimension should be about “helping internal projects succeed”. As an example he painted how the introduction of a new CRM could be done with less resistance and better adoption. At AnalitiQs we have very positive first-hand experience with the power of culture change and analytics, so I would like to echo Morten’s plea.

Laurie Bassi | Smarter Employee Engagement Analytics

It is always hard to present at the end of a full day. Nevertheless, Laurie did know how to trigger the audience and left us with a recommendation. In her view one essential step in creating high impact outcomes is “mass customization of findings”. Put differently, each unit / manager should get customised recommendations, rather than creating one recommendation at company level. Not sure if it is always feasible within project constraints (budget, timelines, etc.), but something that could help to drive adoption of insights, and therefore to consider when fleshing out an analytics project plan.

Also read: Gido @ People Analytics World – Day 2

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