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Talking analytics with European HR

In the first half of 2015 I worked with Everest Group to undertake qualitative research on the European adoption of analytics in HR which was launched earlier this month. We chose the topic as there is a never-ending amount of discussion on HR analytics but we really wanted to get to the bottom of exactly what was happening within companies based in Europe, and cut through the hype into practical insights. Our interviews included companies from a range of sectors and sizes, and a mix of local, international and global companies – the results were extremely insightful.

For me there were three main points

  1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew!

There is a perception that companies can define a journey and then see it through, but in reality this is not feasible. The real success comes from those companies that run pilots and then build on the competences gaining more buy-in with each process. The report demonstrates this as a HR analytics spiral which is a useful tool to use when presenting to the board.

  1. Who cares if HR is or isn’t behind the rest of the company with regards to analytics!

I never understand why in HR we have to keep having the same conversations (Why don’t we have a seat at the table? Why aren’t we doing reporting as well as other departments?) – Frankly I see analytics as a great opportunity for cross-company collaboration. HR should work with departments that have already gone through the process of setting up analytics whether that be finance, commercial, or sales and marketing, and together build a centre of excellence with common definitions.

  1. Getting the right resources is key

Not everyone will ‘get’ analytics. It is imperative that you staff up the team with skilled resources that understand the data and can drive a culture for analytics. These individuals will start every conversation with data points and facts that affect the business vs. HR generalists. We will undoubtedly start to see an increase of professional workers who specifically train in this area as companies understand the power of data and how to use it.

The full report, webinar presentation and webinar recording are now available. Please note that in order to download the full report and complimentary webinar presentation, you will need to register on Everest Group’s research site or log in using an existing account.

I would also like to thank the HR practitioners from my network (you know who you are) that contributed to the study – the HR community is always happy to share their experiences to improve practices and for this I am always grateful.

So what do you do now?

Everest Group European Vice President Sarah Burnett is there to provide benchmarking, research and consultancy services across all aspects of HR. And when you are ready to dive further into analytics, or progress from your initial pilots, there are companies out there that are able to assist. Along my travels I get to meet lots of companies and would happily suggest Organisation View’s Andrew Marritt who contributed to the report and is a leading mind in the field; alongside the team at OrgVue and consultancies like iNostix. For those on LinkedIn, other notable people to watch are HR thought leader Patrick Coolen of ABN Amro, and David Green who produces brilliantly succinct updates and lists of who’s who in HR analytics. Or let me know what you’re looking for and I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction!