Making the case for People Analytics to your leadership
Understand how to present the financial benefits to the C-Suite and get business buy-in for any people analytics project.
Get to know if your organization needs people analytics – and how to tell if it does.
Learn how to determine the ROI of People Analytics, from the financial benefits of recruitment to the impact of turnover, and measuring diversity.
With a patchy economic outlook ahead, it can be difficult to make the case for funding for new projects. Especially when they’re in areas that, historically, the business leadership has not much time into, such as people analytics. Yet, people analytics can be an incredible tool, that if used correctly, can impact monumental business decisions now, and in the future.
To help understand how to make the case for investment in a people analytics project, Kate Graham, Head of Content Labs and Insights at UNLEASH is joined by Burak Bakkaloglu, VP and Head of Talent Management and People Analytics, Europe and Latin America at Ericsson and Steven Atkins, Global Analytics Enablement Director at SplashBI in a discussion about how to align people analytics projects to desirable business outcomes, how to better make informed business decisions and improve business outcomes, and how to determine the ROI of people analytics.
To make the business case for anything in HR, you need to make the right friends and influence the right people.
Kate Graham, Head of Content Labs and Insights, UNLEASH
Watch on-demand to:
- Learn why ‘being less helpful’, ‘knowing the end point’, and ‘focusing on basics’ are key when taking the first steps on the analytics journey.
- Understand what you want with analytics and where that might free up HR and people analytics function time.
- Get to know about the power of examples and use, rather than wasting time arguing for broad implementation of analytics.
Data, data, data – but no analytics
In a world where it seems everyone has access to data, it can be easy to make the mistake that HR already has all the analytics capabilities it needs. This is not the case. For many in HR, analytics is still in a formative space. In fact, a poll at the start of the webinar showed that just under half of the audience were only just starting out on their analytics journey. Only five percent said they were bossing it. Clearly, there is still some way to go.
Therefore, to get to a place where HR has the insights it needs from its data and knows how to get there, the function needs to do one thing first: ensure that executives understand the benefits of people analytics and what they can get out of it.
As Bakkaloglu laid out, most business leaders already understand the importance of data and analytics, so should be broadly supportive, but might need to show what people analytics can do for their understanding of their workforce. In his words, it’s about turning them from mild supporters into fanatics and sponsors. In addition, Atkins added, they can think about adding people analytics projects and growth into the organizational strategy, driven by an understanding of what it can bring. Here, he explained, making analogies with other areas of the business where data usage is a lot further down the line can be useful.
Creating iPhone moments in the executive
For Bakkaloglu, one of the ways to showcase to the executive that people analytics can improve performance is to create an iPhone moment for them i.e. showing them something they didn’t know they needed.
Here, if HR can go to the executive with data coupled with HR insight and analytics – showing it working in practice – which show behaviors, problems, or performance in particular areas of the organization, what is causing them, and how to diagnose them, this can make the executive interested in this HR approach. Rather than trying to sell people analytics to the executive as a whole, HR should be trying to showcase how it can solve specific problems with analytics as a core part of that process.
The beauty of people analytics
As well as being able to provide insight against core business and people metrics, Bakkaloglu argued that the beauty of analytics is that it can show correlations and map certain people actions against core business concerns, like profitability. However, these arguments and showcases to the executive can only happen, he warned, if the metrics are clean and suitable, rather than just assuming that historic metrics it uses are correct. Therefore, HR has work to do here before it can go to the executive with this.
However, Atkins warned, that HR can’t aim for the aspirational straight away. It must do these foundational things first, show the executive that analytics is doing the basics brilliantly, and adding value in iterative and easily obtainable ways. Here, focussing on your own organization is key, added Atkins.
Going for gold
However, Atkins laid out that if HR can get to a place where it is doing some basics very well with analytics, and get buy-in from the executive, it can start to drive wins in the business.
These will vary from organization to organization, but they can include:
Creating a consistent language for all business functions to understand – Analytics can allow people data to be interpreted in the same way when it reaches a consistent output, delivering value across the business and becoming a core driver of operations.
Aspirational and transformative – When used to benchmark against competitors, and with executive buy-in alongside, it can be used to transform business strategy.
Better and more timely access to data – An analytics project can allow multiple functions and people access to insight on operations in a less painful manner and in a single location. This can also drive standardization and also free up analytics teams to be more creative and investigative.
Self-service analytics – Following on, analytics projects can help the analytics functionality of an organization become so ingrained that everyone can access insight when or where they need it.
Getting HR involved in business decisions – If, from the start, HR has involved the right stakeholders in the organization, it can help analytics become adopted and then form part of business and strategy conversations.
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