In the age of Big Data, business leaders and HR professionals are still learning to combine age-old intuition with analytics when it comes to making workforce decisions. Josh Bersin, principal and founder of research firm Bersin by Deloitte, mentioned in a recent interview that only 4 percent of the market is currently running sophisticated people analytics, while 50 to 60 percent of companies are still trying to make sense of the data they have.
So, where should organizations looking to implement an analytics program begin? Start by hiring the right people. People analytics is intrinsically a multidisciplinary endeavor, and you need a team that can evaluate, approve and implement data-driven decisions across your workforce.
Check out our infographic below on how to build an effective HR analytics team, and keep reading for more details.
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The five positions above cover a variety of skills and disciplines, but those who hold them should work together closely as a dedicated, organizational unit.
The CHRO: As Bersin highlighted in his interview, executive buy-in is a crucial first step to implementing analytics. The CHRO should work with other executives, most importantly the CEO and CFO, to not only approve budgets, but also establish a company culture that embraces the value of Big Data.
The Data Architect: Around half of all companies are in the process of just cleaning their data before they can work with it, according to Bersin. The Data Architect is the person responsible for pulling the data, integrating different datasets and cleaning the data to prepare it for analysis.
The Change Agent: In addition to executive support, it's important to find someone who oversees the analytics team. While the CHRO has purview of the analytics department, the Change Agent is in charge of leading the team and working closely with other departments—like marketing and finance—to ensure that insight is turned into action. This person should have a strong understanding of the company's strategy, and how analytics can drive it forward.
The Workforce Behavior Expert: A large part of succeeding in analytics is understanding what questions to ask to gather workforce data. The Workforce Behavior Expert, usually an industrial-organizational psychologist, is the one who understands what makes your employees tick—he or she is in charge of developing and evaluating surveys, validating results and making sure you're measuring what you need to measure.
The Workforce Scientist: Of course, you need someone who can actually analyze the data to gather the insights. The Workforce Scientist—who can be a traditional data scientist, but should have some HR-related expertise—is in charge of experimenting with the data once it's available. This person should also have strong design or data visualization skills, in order to represent the data in compelling and easy-to-understand ways.
Last but not least, don't feel intimated. Building an internal team takes time and very few, if any, companies have truly mastered the art of analytics. If you focus on gathering the right people with the right strategy, you'll be ahead of the curve.