Business intelligence (BI) and analytics are used to support effective marketing, drive social engagement, identify direction, boost sales, focus finance, and inspire positive change. But what about HR? Business intelligence also delivers vital insight to human resources teams. And HR-led systematic data analysis techniques are fast coming to the fore. It’s a fascinating story and it’s already revolutionising the HR landscape. 

The benefits of BI and analytics for human resources

Systematic data analysis techniques come with numerous HR benefits. When you base decisions on hard facts gleaned from complex, extensive data rather than assumptions with their inevitable emotional baggage, it’s easier to identify ways to improve decision-making.  

HR departments already manage detailed employee data, and lots of it. They can access employee profiles, appraisal data, workers’ compensation issues, benefits and more. Provided HR departments overcome the confidentiality issue by anonymising employee data and implementing flexible security levels, staff data becomes a goldmine. When you translate all the information into a useable form and use it to drive better candidate screening, for example, it’s easier to choose the best people and make informed assumptions about their focus, motivation, productivity and potential.

A workforce’s demographics can provide vital clues about the future, particularly in situations in which the profile of a company’s employees is ageing. In a climate in which there’s intense competition for fresh talent, BI lets HR departments take a primary role in adapting, surviving and thriving. And of course, better efficiency tends to mean lower long-term costs.  

What about formalising the real financial value of a business’s human capital? Business intelligence can be used to link people with financial performance via intelligent analysis of key skill sets and demographics, which ultimately helps meet business targets. Some experts even believe data could be brought into play to predict personnel trends as well as attracting and keeping the best people for the job.

Quantifying HR BI success

Business intelligence links people to profit, pinpointing improvements and allowing comparisons with benchmarks. Data analysis lets HR departments spot and analyse sick leave trends. It supports fair remuneration based on performance, helping businesses tie in pay with strategic objectives.

And thorough, detailed analysis highlights best and worst performers, giving invaluable insight into who to promote and who needs extra support, informing training budgets at the same time.

What tools can you use to analyse HR data?

Not so long ago, HR data analysis was only available to specially trained people with specialist knowledge. Today’s user-friendly applications make it much easier to get to grips with. So what HR software products can you use to take your data to the next level and make it pay?

Self-service systems can provide HR departments with real-time information directly from HR data, displayed clearly and simply. These systems can come with detailed absence and workforce dashboards designed to reveal valuable trends and fresh perspectives.

Because HR data has many uses, HR dashboards can be personalised; and role-based security means the right level of confidentiality is maintained.

These systems allow integrated organisation charting, perfect for designing processes and strategies for change. And it’s easy to create a roadmap to navigate.

Last but never least, because it fosters good communication and creative collaboration, they connect people and make it easy to pinpoint alternative contacts in the absence of decision makers.

Has your HR department got to grips with big data yet?

It’s early days. The HR departments already using BI are in the minority, making now an ideal time to beat competitors by taking full advantage of one of the most fascinating developments in data-driven analysis for decades.

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