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Jeremy Langley


Marketing & Business Development Director

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Tips for creating a data-driven HR strategy


Big data can be used in many ways by companies of different sizes to analyse and share meaningful HR insights that help inform HR strategy and positively impact the business. However, big data strategies can be difficult to implement. The advancement of mobile technology enables information to be accessed, evaluated and shared anywhere, anytime. As a result, processing, compiling and making sense of data is becoming increasingly hard. A recent survey we commissioned found that HR leaders are struggling to keep pace with the emergence of new technologies, naming it as one of the top complexities that they regularly deal with. Yet, the ability to streamline technology systems and platforms will enable organisations to harness data and release its true value. Here are five steps on how you can get the ball rolling on a data-centric HR strategy.

1. Make sure the HR strategy is fully aligned with the business strategy.

In order to properly use people data to inform HR decisions, you need to align the data to the problem that you aim to solve. For example, if acquisition of top talent is a business priority, you will need to focus on selecting data that will help form best practice for recruitment. By using intuitive technology platforms that help better understand how these complexities impact recruitment, learning and development needs, HR will be better placed to develop a people strategy tailored for the business’s needs.

2. Identify the gaps in your data and collate the data you need to help solve current and future business challenges.

Data needs to be analysed thoroughly so that trends are correctly identified. If you don’t pass your data through a fine tooth comb you may actually hide business-critical information. When analysed correctly, data can reveal the most surprising – and potentially contrary – insights. For example, aggregated people data – say absence rates – provides a company-wide figure but within that there could be pockets of extreme high and low absence which would provide something concrete to act on.

3. Bring siloed information together to provide greater insight and value

Understanding which data is needed is only the first part of the solution – extracting the right data can be a challenge. As anyone in HR knows, taking data from several different tools and compiling the information in one place can be a huge administrative burden. Furthermore, finding relevant data in this scenario can become a taxing process.

HR software and analytics can aggregate and connect the data flow of the employee’s journey – from the first step in the recruitment process right through to the different stages of the learning process. This will help HR departments spot trends and patterns to identify both challenges and opportunities.

4. Put in place an incremental data-centric strategy

For those at the first step of putting a data-driven HR strategy into place, it is often best to make the case for using data in one crucial scenario or department first. By monitoring the impact on the business of the data-driven decision, you can make a case for a more widely spread data-centric approach to aligning strategy with business impact.

5. Consistently monitor and analyse data over time

The application of data in the business must be consistently monitored so that you can continue to inform and adapt your people strategy on an ongoing basis – keeping up with ever changing people complexities and needs.

By analysing data over time, you will be able to predict future needs and develop the right strategies before there is a problem. 

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Jeremy Langley

Marketing & Business Development Director

Read more from Jeremy Langley

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