Capabilities for HR Analytics Success (People)

In this post we explore the important role PEOPLE play in getting you to the analytics and reporting you need in HR. Learn to identify those who want to help and those who want to hinder your progress with analytics, and how to leverage both. [This is an excerpt from our Playbook 3 – A Practical Guide to Becoming Data Driven.]

Only People Matter

Whether you’re the CEO of Apple or the owner of a small local business, it’s widely accepted that your company’s success isn’t strictly driven by your product, your service, your brand, technology or IP – it’s differentiated by your employees bringing all of these components together.

Building a data driven HR capability is no different.

Ultimately, it takes smart people to glean insight from data and information – and it also takes smart and influential people to use those insights in an actionable and valuable way.

There are, therefore, a number of roles which are critical for developing a data driven HR capability.

They are:

  • Data Driven HR Champion
  • Client (Line of Business) Leadership
  • Functional HR Leads and HR Data Owners
  • HRBPs

Data Driven HR Champion

  • An executive level leader who believes fact-based decision-making is critical to the success of HR, Talent and People Operations
  • They will support the development of the capability, and competency of data driven HR
  • They will back their vocal support with the right behaviors
  • They will actively market and sell this capability to the rest of the business as an imperative

Client (Line of Business) Leadership

  • Executives and managers within your company who genuinely believe that employees have a critical role to play in delivering business outcomes
  • They are driven to continually deliver improved performance
  • They understand that not all employees are equal – some are in roles which are designed to deliver differentiated value (for instance, those in Sales Rep roles)
  • They get the link between high-value roles and delivery of business objectives
  • They also understand there are employees who are simply more effective and proficient at doing their jobs – for instance a Customer Service Rep who consistently delivers higher customer satisfaction scores.
  • And, they see this increased level of contribution or performance as the benchmark for others
  • They see the link between people performance and business performance
  • They are open to HR acting as a business partner – and supporting them to deliver programs which drive productivity
  • They are open to a fact-based conversation, as well as one driven by experience and instinct
  • They are ready to make change

Functional HR Leads and HR Data Owners

  • Functional Leads within HR and those who own specific sources of HR data can understand how their data can contribute to at least one of the following categories:
    • Making smarter hiring decisions
    • Understanding who creates value and retaining key talent
    • Understanding the ROI of people programs
    • Connecting people performance to business performance
  • They see a difference between the transactional side of their business (the processes and technology in support of that workflow) and the strategic, decision-making value of the data which is generated
  • They are comfortable with the right people using their functional data in the right way
  • They will facilitate and enable the usage of their data for driving better HR, people and talent decisions

HR Business Partners

  • HRBPs are Business-savvy, analytical, consultative and outcomes focused
  • See Playbook 2 for a comprehensive view on what it takes to be a successful, data-driven HR Business Partner


There are also a number of personas which you should be aware of who will either assist or block your efforts.

  • The Victim – terrified that they won’t be able to cope
  • The Bystander – Hopelessly hoping things are going to stay the same
  • The Critic – Tries to rally others to resist the change 
  • The Navigator – Handles it in their stride, and looks for ways to contribute 

And, of course… The Champion

  • Individuals with influence who will support and pave the way for successful and sustainable implementation of data driven HR
  • They will articulate the impacts, benefits and what success will look like
  • They will communicate an authentic belief in data driven HR, and involve, engage and motivate others to also buy-in
  • They will demonstrate active and visible leadership
  • They will make sure the appropriate communication, training and support is available for those involved
  • They will manage resistance and issues that arise

Experience tells me that you must focus on gaining momentum with Champions and Navigators, and then engage Bystanders in positive change.

Victims and Critics will follow. Schedule a demo today.