HR leaders know they need an analytics savvy department, and HR pros (even those who went into HR because they liked people not stats) know they need at least the fundamental analytics skills.
Most HR functions have found progress in analytics slow going; and when they read about Google's HR team doing something amazing with Big Data it doesn't seem relevant to their world.
This course gets right to the little known, I'd even say "secret", fundamentals of how to be analytics savvy. It focuses on what the average HR person can do within the constraints of time, technology, budget and their existing skill set. Part of this is to frame analytics as part of evidence-based management.
It's a one hour course broken up into digestible two-four minute modules so it is easy to fit into your schedule
In the introduction we clarify the analytics mission and why it’s worth pursuing.
The key is to recognize that using analytics is both important to your career and not nearly so difficult as usually presented. At the end of this lecture you should be energized to win at HR analytics.
We sort out the confusion regarding what constitutes HR analytics and why you don’t need to immerse yourself in advanced statistics to be an analytics savvy practitioner.
This gets HR leaders past the barrier of thinking that analytics is something only the most advanced companies can do.
We learn the simple first step on the path to being seen as “analytics savvy".
It is simple but striking how successful CHROs use numbers in their conversation. If we adopt this tactic, and teach our staff to adopt it, then not only do we get a quick win, we create the conditions for more advanced use of analytics.
A look at how estimation gets us over a hurdle that would otherwise disrupt our progress on basic analytics.
Again, this is something that is simple, but has a remarkably big impact on being seen as an analytics savvy practioner.
A look forward at the payoff that these first steps in analytics will provide.
When one reads about some massive analysis IBM or Intel has done it might seem that your own organization will never have the resources to get a payoff from analytics. Here we show the path from the simple first steps to a longer term payoff.
We pause to learn how to use a basic tool in estimation: Fermi Decomposition.
It's a nice little trick and one that has been shown to lead to better results. The accumulation of these tools underpin HR's move towards successful day-to-day implemenation of analytics.
Most HR analytics projects get stalled because they take a data first approach; we learn to use the alternative strategy of putting the decision first.
This is the most important lesson for HR professionals. Endless amounts of effort have been squandered in creating dashboards and reports that add limited value. There is a better and easier way to proceed and once HR leaders master this decision first approach success in analytics will be near at hand.
Often HR departments fail to develop analytics savvy because they
are too busy on other things to do analytics projects. We show how the decision first approach
allows us to apply analytics to our work right now.
This follows directly from the previous lecture where we learned that analytics is about supporting decisions, not having standalone projects aimed at generating data.
We look more deeply at the decision first approach and tackle
some of the challenges that are likely to arise.
While the decision first approach is easy to understand, implementing it requires some nuance, so in this section we look squarely at the nuance required for the decision first approach to be successful.
HR teams that get a good start on analytics often come to grief when they present their findings to hostile managers. We learn some tips for managing the people side of analytics.
An important leap for HR is to move from opinion-based decisions to data-based decisions and to make that leap we need to start thinking in terms of “evidence-based practice”, not just analytics. We can draw courage from the success of other evidence-based practices like medicine.
An evidence-based approach gets derailed if we set too high a bar for “proof”. We show how to avoid this problem altogether by focusing on the decision to be made. We explore the concept of “available evidence”.
One of the most useful insights from evidence-based practice is that while we ought to gather all available evidence, not all that evidence is of equal quality. We look at why we should assess the quality of evidence and how that helps guide us to better decisions.
The technique provides a nice way to include the sort of evidence
currently used (e.g. what worked at a manager's former company) while gradually
bringing in higher quality evidence
The people side of analytics can throw up many problems and, in this second module on the topic, we share some tips for getting ahead of the inevitable difficulty of managers quibbling over the data.
This module also reminds HR leaders that the skills
they already have in change management and influencing stakeholders are
critical elements of a successful analytics program
The success of analytics ultimately rests on providing answers to the right questions. Getting the right questions is often harder than getting the answers. We reveal the questions that keep you on track.
This list of questions is one of the core tools that leaders (and their team) can use over and over again to avoid dead ends and get outcomes the organization will truly value.
Traffic lights are a simple tool and we use it to illustrate how to keep the decision first approach front and center and avoid being sent on endless quests for more data.
The important thing is to recognize the strategic value of a tool like "traffic lights", rather than seeing it simply as a tactic for making reports look for attractive.
David Creelman is CEO of Creelman Research. He leads a community of practice in HR Analytics and Evidence-based management with Director, VP and even some CHRO-level HR leaders from companies like Shell, The Gap, The Royal Bank of Canada, Marriott International and NASDAQ. The academic lead for this group is Carnegie-Mellon's Dr. Denise Rousseau author of "The Oxford Handbook of Evidence-based Management."
David's work on Boards & HR won the Walker Award. His book "Lead the Work: Navigating a world beyond employment" (co-authored with John Boudreau and Ravin Jesuthasan) was endorsed by the CHROs of IBM, LinkedIn and Starbucks.