As we discussed in last week’s 5 Minute Friday post, one key aspect to successfully using analytics to drive decision making is being able to tell the story – apply important context to the results to understand what they mean. Another key consideration is your audience. Your audience should determine what analytics to focus on and how you visualize the results. Some key questions to consider as you think about how to engage an audience with analytics:
- How does your audience normally consume data? Do they prefer charts and graphs or just the bottom-line numbers? Are they open to a different format from what was used before?
- What questions does your audience typically ask? Do your dashboards support having quick answers or do you currently have to piece it together?
1. Executive Discussion aka “the elevator pitch”Typically a leadership team is looking at HR results in the context of the current business performance and overall business strategy. The focus is on understanding where investments in your people are working to drive the business strategy. This is where a bottom-line approach using a scorecard like the one below is often more impactful than charts and graphs. A scorecard would only contain a small number of metrics – those you have handy for that elevator ride – to give insight to the workforce impact on key business strategies. Key questions to address in an Executive discussion:
- How are we doing overall? vs. last month? last quarter? last year? a specific target?
- Are we achieving the results expected for key workforce priorities?
2. Line of Business – How am I doing? How do I compare?Often an analytics story is told by providing big picture and then drilling into the relevant subset. For the Line of Business (LOB), think about changing the focus – start with just the relevant subset of analytics for that business and then put it in context of the overall company, other parts of the business, or their own targets. We recommend re-packaging analytics that you may already have to support the discussions you are having with the business. This doesn’t mean creating one-off analytics for each group that can be challenging to manage. It is about establishing a LOB template that is focused on the discussions you normally have with that audience. Here are two examples using a template where the numbers are specific to different LOBs -Customer Service and IT.
Key questions to consider for your LOB analytics:
- How are we doing on key HR priorities for our LOB – headcount, retention, training etc.?
- Are we hitting our targets? Is it trending better or worse than prior periods?
- How do we compare to other relevant lines of business or company overall?