Problem corner

Problem corner, Nicholas Higgins of Watson Wyatt demystifies HR analytics

Problem: What are HR analytics and how can they help me?

Solution: HR analytics is a relatively new phrase in the business
lexicon. Like many words and phrases in the HR field, it has different meanings
depending on who you ask. Simply put, it is a ‘catch-all’ phrase that applies
to data-related through to human resources. So, its base under-standing can be
interpreted simply as a real-time organochart – a map of all personnel by team,
function, project, geography etc. And at the other end of the scale, HR
analytics can refer to the emerging field of human capital measurement, which
incorporates sophisticated metrics related to human capital value.

Between these poles and perhaps in its more common interpretation, the term
applies to everyday HR metrics reporting such as absenteeism, turnover and
employee age bands and/or more detailed analyses around areas such as workforce
planning, rewards and benefits, performance management, and so on. HR analytics
can, therefore, represent simple data or more advanced analysis, providing an
important contribution to the business. A raft of software is now available to
assist, though like all software applications, blind adoption will be of little
value. What it boils down to is that HR now has the ability to demonstrate
value to the business and its own contribution to the bottom line.

Nicholas Higgins is a senior member of the human capital measurement
practice of Watson Wyatt,

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