HCI Pre-workshop: Actionable Analytics: From Big Data to Better Data

Mick Collins and Jaye Tanner from Successfactors led a tremendous pre-conference workshop that appeared to be completely filled. Mick and Jaye both have a tremendous background and helping companies grow in reporting maturity. The below are my notes from the session.

First of all, they covered the  Principles of making the WFA actionable.
1. Relevant – the data needs to be relevant to the business.
2. Valid – May be obvious, but if the data is not valid – all credibility is shot.
3. Compelling – There needs to be a reason to look at it.
4. Sustainable – The executive sponsor needs to be deep. Need more than one Executive Sponsor
5. Transformative. – What is going to change? If the end result great charts that look great, love to be shown, but nothing changes – then it is for naught.


Section I: Making Sure – data should be relevant
There are two steps to assist.
1. Need to position the Data to be actionable
2. Build the capability of the HR and Line Managers to interpret and utilize the data.

They then showed a cool screen that connected HR Metrics to the decisions that the CHRO should be considering.

Framework for Developing Relevance:
1. Strategy
2. Challenges
3. Insight
4. Action
5. Impact

Interesting idea of align the HR metrics using the following cascading framework:  Corporate Strategy. Corporate Strategy, Functional Strategy, Business Drivers, Human Capital Metrics.

Section II: Making sure the Data is Valid
Jaye likes the use of two fun metrics:
1. the Net Hiring Metric Ratio which shows -1, the company is decreasing.
2. Career Path Ratio – this shows promotions over movement.

Jay then also talked about ways to build credibility and an interesting approach is to talk with other departments (e.g. finance) to find out their level of acceptable error (margin of error) – then use those. So don’t chase have to bear the burden that no other group has to carry.

For base metrics, find a a cost number that is built on basic building metrics (e.g. cost of hire, cost of overhead) etc. Then get the CFO to sign off on it – so then you can use the number in your enterprise. But don’t work on “bloating” the number, as that often will focus the conversation on the wrong thing!

Do basic statistics – don’t worry about the nutty math! Do upper and lower control segments, mean, histograms… but the tougher the math – the tougher the story is to explain.

Section III: The Story will make it Compelling!

Mick provided some tips on helping make the story compelling
1. Do some Root Cause Analysis
2. Develop some hypothesis
3. Using Deductive Reasoning.

Mick went further to talk about how to design the “plot” of the analysis. This is awesome!!

1. Understand the Audiences prior knowledge
2. Outline why the audience should listen
3. Logically connect the Arguments
4. Focus on the Plot
5. Draw Conclusions
6. Suggest Next steps

Section IV: Build a sustainable program
The key roles for a HR Analytics COE:
1. Information – HRIS analyst
2. Insight – Business Analyst
3. Impact – HR Business Partner

The HR Business Partner is critical to making sure the programs are successful.

Ways to keep your organization COE successful long term.

1. Source of Standards – make a brand logo for your group to be almost a QA stamp for reports and dashboards.
2. Made to Measure – Make sure to align with constituencies that are focused on areas worthy of measuring.
3. Rhythm – make sure your group shifts as business cycles change
4. Resourcing – Make sure to identify who can utilize your data.
5. Business Bias – Focus more on the business needs than the Human metrics at the time

SectionV – Transforming Behaviors
There does not appear to be no formula for this – as it depends on the organization culture. But the key is winning hearts and minds on the front lines. If no one is looking at the data, the mission is dead.

They provided some great data showing that our HR leaders, and the other C-Suite leaders are wanting to get better analysis and understand the story behind HR.

Congrats – No Software Pitch

A true Shoutout for Jaye and Mick! There was only one screenshot of their tool, and this was 2 great hours of discussion on how run great HR Analytics shops. So for the probably 200 people in the room (Pretty packed place) , thank you! 

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