Know Your Data

InvestmentHiring.BLOGData, information, and analytics enhance HR’s strategic role in growing an organization and improving operational effectiveness. However, most HR professionals are still trying to get on (or keep up with!) the data train. These insights can have a huge impact on the organization’s goals and its workforce, but how do you know what data you need? How do you obtain it? What do you do with it once you have it?

Listed below are two types of data you should collect and review to help you get on the data train and continue to build out your HR role as more of a strategic partner.

Organizational Data: To ensure HR is aligned with the organization’s needs, you need to know about the organization. For example, how does the organization make money? What is the sales revenue? What are the organization’s costs? What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?  How does it look from a financial perspective? What are the goals? The mission, vision, values of the organization? The strategic plan? 

You can collect this type of information by talking with upper-level management and stakeholders or by taking a look at your organization’s financial reports (and/or making friends with your finance and accounting team). Now that you know the information, how does it fit in with what is happening in HR? Are HR’s goals aligned with the organization’s goals? How can HR help it be more effective?

Workforce Data: This is the information that HR truly owns. You should know the demographics of your workforce along with years of service, employee start date, end date, job title, job grade, pay, exempt/nonexempt status, performance, and department. There is a plethora of data you can collect under this category, but this gives you a base. 

To collect this information you will need to leverage your HRIS, payroll, and other systems. Once you have it, look to see what story it tells you. Do you have a lot of employees leaving a certain department within three to six months? In what ways does that affect the organization’s goals? It may indicate an opportunity for an improved orientation/onboarding program. Taking it a step further: How much sales revenue is lost when an employee leaves an organization?

Much of the data above may already be available to you but may need to be collated, cleaned, and presented in a common, accurate format to allow analysis and comparison. In other cases, the data may not be available, and you may need to collect it through surveys, databases, different HRIS analysis, or reports. The best method is to start using the data that you currently have and build the data sources you need as analysis and use of the data progresses.

If you need assistance, you can always call MSEC!