Maximize the Potential of Your People With A People Analytics App

Enhance your company's HR function with a People Analytics app; Tom Ricks shares his thoughts.

So, you’ve made a cool People Analytics App, filled it with data from your HCM, Finance, Talent Review System, and Recognition System (I could go on). You’ve also governed access to it to specific people and can use it to tell compelling stories.

What next? How do you get people to use this fantastic tool you have created for them?

Despite the bold new stories circulating about the value of data – which is worth more than oil these days – how we use, interpret and derive decisions from data appears to be well behind the value of the commodity itself. Some studies would suggest that, even in the business-decisioning community, less than a quarter of professionals can claim to be data literate. This is a concern.

Often, (incorrectly, I understand) attributed to the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disaeli, the saying “Lies, damn lies and statistics” is ever present in my mind. I see people, who as much as looking at what the data is telling them, equally manage to find a way to tell the story they wanted to convey before analyzing the results from the data analytics tools.

We define data literacy as the ability to read, work with, analyze and argue with data. There is no shadow of doubt in my mind that professionals everywhere are going to be needing to demonstrate this ability sooner rather than later, if not yesterday – and one of the fastest evolving areas of data-driven decisioning is in the field of human resources.

This brings me back to my original question. We have created some cool looking dashboards, brought in data from multiple sources and can truly tell stories about what we see within the millions of lines of data we can now visualize. But all this technological marvel is only valuable if we use it and use it correctly. So, how do you encourage adoption?

Know Your Audience!

PAV-4, as we know it at Qlik, is the fourth version of our People Analytics tool. It brings together data from 20+ sources and was conceived to give access to People Data to our Executive Team and HR Business Partners in a unified way. To get to this point, we asked ourselves: What did each group need from People Data and how best to deliver that to them? PAV-4 is our answer.

See The Opportunity!

Using a tool like Sense as your processing house is incredibly valuable, especially for regularly run reporting cycles. Using a load script to pass information, with the same calculations every month, means you are relying solely on the tool. This accomplishes two things:

  1. You remove manual, step-by-step decision-making from the process. For example, once a determination has been made regarding what constitutes a head count, Qlik Sense will apply the same logic to every row of a 10,000-line spreadsheet in seconds.
  2. This translates into a freeing up resources, allowing your HR practitioners to focus on traditional HR issues, rather than having them spend time creating reports with spreadsheets.

Using Qlik Sense as the backbone for our HR reporting has been pivotal in many ways:

  • We’ve seen an over 90% reduction in “time-to-prepare” for some reports.
  • The consistent input/output has highlighted areas of discrepancy, which we have been able to fix in our source systems and data.
  • The outputs are now trusted and shared throughout our business, and we are considered the single source of truth for HR reporting metrics.

Given the success of our monthly reporting cycles through PAV4, we more recently turned our attention to the executive community – these are the users who need a snapshot of their organization, on a regular basis, to keep abreast of trends within their people communities. For this, I turned to Qlik’s NPrinting tool, and now deliver “dash-sheets” via email on Monday mornings. Called “The Beat,” it is exactly that – a pulse on key human metrics. HR business partners receive the same emails.

For those Business Partners in HR, who now need to answer some deeper questions and require further analysis in the App, we have created the Data Café. We recognize that there is a range of skill in using Qlik Sense. None of us is trained as data analysts, so we wanted to provide some support and have instituted an open Zoom meeting each week. During these meetings, we speak to our Qlik Sense Developer and get some straightforward help with navigating and using the tool.

In another initiative, new requests for custom reports from our HCM (Workday) are carefully considered before setting up anything new. Many of the requests are for the same basic data set: Who do we have here today? Who has left? Who has joined? And, where in the world are they? Given the number of queries we had, and that it’s non-sensitive data, we could deliver this through Sense, which can be accessed as frequently as needed on a self-service basis through our published apps.

Each of these initiatives is breaking down the entry barriers for all users to consume people data via Qlik Sense and driving adoption in a very positive way. Maximize your company’s potential by ensuring your people are equally well equipped and educated in the power of data to drive and enhance your company’s HR function.

Listen to the replay of my webinar, where I address HR practitioners on decisioning through and beyond the COVID pandemic.

Enhance your company's HR function with a People Analytics app; @tom_ricks shares his thoughts.


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