Itís all about the numbers*
Despite human resources (HR) practitioners actively recognising the need for data and analytics, they are reticent to develop the requisite capabilities to achieve their stated aims.
For Nick Southcombe, General Manager of Frontier Software, that’s not a surprise. “The most important part to becoming comfortable with analytics has to do more with mindset than expertise,” he says.
Having decided to act, HR Leaders have to grapple with the myriad of jargon and data categories upon which they may seek to draw. In short, there’s much to choose from, but what will satisfy the cost/value equation and how do they navigate the concerns around data privacy? Structured, unstructured, big & small (discrete) data all need to be understood and assessed for their value-add. Overlaying this is the requirement to use data as a forward-looking tool that predicts the trends and problems of tomorrow and beyond, not just the issues of today.
Southcombe believes the shift to forward-looking will happen, but only for those who can understand that unstructured and discrete data hold many insights to assist with important hiring and performance decisions. “Until recently the default mindset about data would be that ‘actual’ data is hard, and ‘forecast’ data is very soft – finger-in-the-air stuff – so if you are a practical-minded person your data outlook stops at the present. But as you gain more confidence in data – when you know it is based on something valid – then you start to envision a full stream of history, running from past to present to future.”
Having the tools to do the analysis will therefore become paramount. By working alongside internal and external clients, Frontier Software is beginning to unravel the potential around the huge amount of data it routinely collects.
“There are lots of meaningful stories hidden in HR and payroll data that we can see add enormous benefit to HR managers.” They just need to come to the table.
*Copy supplied by Frontier Software Pty Ltd