Written By: Rana Hobbs, Senior Director of Workforce Planning & Analytics
On Oct 28th I had the privilege to share a panel with Brian Kelly and Jason Averbook at The Conference Board Human Capital Analytics conference in NYC. Our panel titled, “Technology’s Role in Human Capital Analytics,” was a rousing open forum for each of us to provide our specific views on HR technology and the role of HR in workforce analytics. The audience posed excellent questions ranging from how to integrate analytic Center Of Excellence’s (COE) across multiple functions to “why does HR software suck?” While the latter question might sound a bit cheeky, it is actually an exemplary sentiment coming from many HR practitioners. The truth is that the software has no more limitations than any other system in place. The true source of frustration is the lack of understanding or ability in how to leverage the technology, to synthesize the data, and to communicate the findings toward actions within an organization. That skills gap within HR far exceeds any limitation with data or technology.
As for the former question about integrating COEs, I found this to be a wonderful sign of progress within the discipline of analytics. That we are to a point where multiple established COEs are driving their business function with analytics is exactly the sort of landscape we want to see. A HR analytic COE should be aligned with the analytic activity being conducted by other functions [supply chain, finance, operations, etc] as each of those functions in some capacity factor in the workforce into their analytics. Their lens be different from HR human capital analytics but no part of the business runs without the workforce. Creating an integrated yet distributed COE model ensures both sustainability as well efficiencies and consistencies in the workforce data calculations/definitions/inputs. I look forward to seeing the development within organizations as human capital analytics becomes embedded as a business discipline rather than a discretionary activity.
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