5 mins | 750 words
By: Randy Gaudreau
In these digital times, so much data is readily available that can be gathered, cleaned, organized and analyzed to inform business decisions. The availability of data comes in from everywhere, from recruitment platforms and surveys to learning management systems and CRMs.
For HR professionals, this access to data means they no longer have to make HR decisions purely on gut instinct alone. In fact, over the past five years, the number of HR professionals with data analysis skills has jumped over 240 per cent.
While data is adding more skills to the toolkit of HR professionals, it’s also adding opportunities to stand out as well. With an added emphasis on attracting and retaining talent during these pandemic times of increased mobility, it has earned them a seat at the table, using data to help support and strengthen organizations from the inside out.
All of this makes it a time of great opportunities for HR professionals to shine and add value to their organization. But to be ready for these opportunities, HR professionals will need strong data to back up their recommendations. And knowing how to gather, organize, analyze, and relay the data will be key.
For the HR professionals thinking this might be the best time for boosting their analysis skills:
Here are four reasons why HR professionals should take their data skills to the next level:
1. Earn a seat at the boardroom table
Data and metrics are a universal language that reaches into all areas of an organization, making it a common ground for leaders across different departments who often share the same set of goals they’re working to achieve.
Having a strong data mindset and analytical skills is a great way for HR Professionals to “earn trust and credibility” with leaders in other departments working to reach the same set of common organizational goals, according to Heidi Hauver, Vice President of Talent Strategy and HR for Invest Ottawa.
2. Master using tools to make a stronger case
Every HR professional has undoubtedly crossed paths with Excel. But knowing how to effectively and efficiently work with the program to end up with the type of information you’re looking for can take next-level skills. This includes the ability to clean and organize data.
“Having clear, easy to understand data is what sets you up to actually be able to analyze the data, and helps provide your organization with relevant, actionable insight”, explains Caroline Lauder, Lighthouse Labs’s Association Channel Manager.
3. Make data understandable to support recommendations
With clean, organized data captured, the next step for the HR professional is to then share what they’ve analyzed by presenting insights, trends and patterns, articulating the findings and often making a data-driven recommendation. But what happens when not everyone understands data?
As important as insights and data are, finding a way to present the information in a way that makes sense is equally important. Knowing how to use visualization tools like Tableau or Power BI, can help relay complex information in a simple, clear visual format to someone who might have a harder time understanding data, further strengthening your recommendations.
4. Make data-driven decisions
All the data in the world won’t help your organization if it isn’t put to work.
“I think too often, we in organizations have this data that sits there, and nobody actually utilizes it to make sound business decisions,” Heidi said.
“It’s got to be beyond saying, ‘I feel really strongly about this,’” she adds. “There’s nothing worse than going to a CEO and asking them to go to the virtual well for something to launch a program when you’ve got nothing quantitative to prove that there’s even a problem or puzzle to solve. No one at the executive level makes any decisions without data.”
Are you ready to make stronger data-based decisions? Here’s a workshop that could help get you started:
Data Analytics for HR 101 is delivered by Lighthouse Labs in partnership with Invest Ottawa’s Xtreme Talent Accelerator Program (XTAP) which sets out to equip HR professionals with data skills to help them in their role.
This workshop gives you as an HR professional a real professional development opportunity of your own to level up your data analysis skills and help you better collect, clean, analyze and visualize data using Excel and Tableau – to make better data-driven decisions.
And since it’s available part-time, it is flexible and feasible for busy HR professionals who already have a lot of commitments at work and at home.