Ready to Implement People Analytics? Don’t Forget the Most Important Question

Implementing People Analytics

SoWhatBlogBlueMichael Cavaretta, Lead Data Scientist (before data science was cool) at Ford Motor Co. crafted a striking article on the fundamentals of analytics. With over 15 years experience, Michael points out the most critical question that is too often overlooked, “so what?”

Many analytics presentations crash and burn because no one answered the question, “so what?” 

We often talk about the power of people analytics and the potential it holds for business large and small. Michael even makes note in his piece, “Anytime you look at business metrics there is an opportunity to use analytics. A hot area right now is the application of big data and analytics to HR processes.”

It’s clear that human resources and hiring are itching for a revolution – but without defined strategy, many firms will fail.

3 Steps to Answer “So What?” At Your Firm

  1. Pick a single metric that is causing you grief.

    Organizations fail when they bombard their team with analytics out of nowhere. Avoid complicating your process by honing in on one pain point early on. Hiring is an area many organizations are looking to improve and even that can be narrowed down. Turnover rate, ramp up time and interview time per successful hire are metrics that can be easily calculated.

  2. Build a business case to invest in solving your problem.

    No matter how much you believe in the power of people analytics, you’re not going to get anywhere without money from Finance, support from IT and the go-ahead from Operations. Make sure to highlight the objective, cost-saving benefits of data-backed decision making.

  3. Learn how to articulate your success.

    Articulating the value of data-backed decision making can be difficult, especially if your team was skeptical to begin with. You’ll be ecstatic to see your data roll in but know that even if management doesn’t outright ask, “So what?” – they’re thinking it. Make sure you have your most compelling facts and figures on hand and tailor your results to your audience. HR may be impressed by the time saved in recruitment whereas a Sales VP may be more interested to see that time in dollars. Speak to what makes them tick.

Have you found success implementing people analytics at your organization? How did you answer the most important question?