Accelerating workforce performance: the CIPD and Workday HR analytics survey

HR analytics continues to gain a lot of interest as a growing capability in the HR function. But what do business users think of the data and insights HR is (or isn’t) producing, and what can the HR function do to improve?

We’re investigating HR analytics practice with a global survey of HR and non-HR professionals to find out exactly what the profession needs to do to maximise the impact of data and analytics on business outcomes and showcase the value that data-driven HR can add.

Whilst there is a lot of interest and excitement about HR and people data, the practice of running analytics projects can seem very different. For a number of years now, we have been exploring the issues that people professionals face when setting up projects. The biggest issues often come from the way that analytics projects are set up and the outcomes they’re intending to achieve. Put simply HR analytics projects are often serving an HR curiosity rather than a business issue. To have an impact we know that HR analytics projects with people data should focus on an issue the business is facing.

Our previous work in South East Asia and the Middle East highlighted two exciting regions taking real steps to build high quality analytics practice. We showcased growing expertise in the regions and the appetite to build capability to deliver value over the long-term. With our new study we are building on previous research by exploring how practice is changing, and critically to see what business partners of HR functions are gaining from HR analytics practice.

We’ve launched a global survey of HR analytics practice in association with Workday to investigate these areas in more detail. The study is investigating emerging areas of HR analytics practice: the skills and capability of HR functions, the requirements of business customers, and the technologies which are driving data practice. We also investigate how HR data is being used to map key workforce risks; something which has not been investigated at this level before. By exploring workforce data from a risk perspective we hope to be able to highlight the strategic and operational value of high quality analytics practice. We also hope to uncover areas of practice where we see real potential for HR to develop its data capability.

When the customers of HR functions are not seeing the value of HR data and analytics it’s easy to see why many projects might get scrapped before they take off. There are many reasons why HR data analytics projects may not be realising value; poor project planning, low quality data, unclear research question or business issue, lack of senior sponsorship – but many of these can be remedied with good project management and clear project planning. The barriers which prevent good projects from delivering great value are often easy to locate but much harder to overcome. That’s why we’re working with Workday to investigate how HR analytics practice is developing, and crucially what kind of impacts it is having globally.

The survey is now live for all to complete – and is open to both HR and non-HR professionals. We’re really keen to hear from our business colleagues about the value of people data in their organisation. The final publication will be launched in Summer 2018.

For professionals in the Middle East please complete the survey here

For professionals in Asia please complete the survey here

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