In the past year or so, it appears as though modern analytics has decisively turned in the direction of human resources, driven by companies' needs to reduce inefficiencies and improve their workforce management performances. As has always been the case, certain departments and functions within a business will be better suited to initial reporting analytics deployments, including accounting, marketing and customer service, while HR is now being viewed as a strong target as well.
Not only does HR have to worry about general workforce management demands ranging from recruitment and onboarding to engagement and termination, but also all of the accounting that accompanies these procedures. When a firm has not automated any of the content management or reporting processes within an HR department, chances are the professionals contained therein will not have as much time to focus on strategic matters.
With reporting analytics in place, the company will not only free its HR staff up to focus on more strategic and big picture tasks, as it will also generally enjoy more efficient and accurate record-keeping and decision-making over time. As for the specific types of endeavors and objectives being tackled by companies through the use of analytics in HR, the sky is currently the limit for both the level and diversity of opportunities taking shape in this arena.
Deloitte recently published an article in The Wall Street Journal's CFO Journal regarding the use of reporting analytics for spend management purposes in the HR department, affirming that these tools can indeed reduce costs for a wealth of companies before long. Because of the spend efficiency and decision-making accuracy benefits that generally accompany successful HR analytics deployments, many firms are beginning to place these investments higher on the priority lists.
"HR and people analytics have the potential to transform the way organizations hire, develop and manage people," Jason Geller, principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP, affirmed. "Leading organizations are already using talent analytics to understand what motivates employees and what makes them stay or leave. These insights help drive increased returns from talent investments, with huge consequences for the business as a whole."
The source cited the findings from one of its more recent surveys that found 75 percent of HR leaders who responded believe that the use of analytics in talent management is important. Unfortunately, Deloitte noted that a very small percentage of these respondents are confident in their current use of the tools, with fewer than 10 percent believing that they are on the path toward optimal functionality.
However, Deloitte went on to note that succession planning and talent shortages can often be more smoothly navigated with the help of HR analytics, and companies will need to ensure they are laying down the proper groundwork to enjoy these advantages.
What has appeared to be a common theme in these discussions is the need for more expertise and experience among the HR employees who are tasked with using reporting analytics tools during their daily responsibilities. Analytics and modern big data solutions are still extremely novel, which translates to a smaller pool of qualified professionals and experts than what the private and public sectors are currently demanding.
However, while these departments begin to learn more about HR analytics and hit their stride, companies do not need to wait to deploy these advantageous solutions. Rather, working with a software vendor that can help out with various demands of the projects, including implementation, configuration and service delivery, will put the power of analytics in the hands of HR departments and corporate leaders more quickly.