Business Intelligence and Human Resources: A Match Made In Heaven?

Human Resources (HR) departments globally have masses of data and Business Intelligence (BI) could potentially be the missing link to turn those swarms of data into valuable information that can be used to inform decisions at all levels within a company. HR already manages large quantities of employee data; employee profiles, appraisals, compensation, benefits; why not translate this data to use for future candidate screening, cost containment or improving productivity? Implementing BI at various levels of HR throughout the organization would allow a company to utilize this data and truly analyze where the human capital value of an organization lies.

BI and HR share one key aim; to best utilize and organize the resources available to them. In HR this involves initially selecting the best personnel often out of a large pool of candidates and then ensuring they are focused, motivated and productive. Parallels can be drawn with BI whereby it is key to identify the most relevant and useful data and then transform it into something useful. Thus the next questions are: where within HR and how to utilize BI?

[caption id="attachment_9629" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Without BI finding the best candidates could turn into a game of Guess Who!"]Guess Who game[/caption]

Whilst it is true that BI is indispensable for HR departments, it’s often not employed. Why? One of the key reasons is that Human Resources data is often some of the most highly classified in terms of confidentiality, and is often difficult to get access to, even at managerial level. Modern business intelligence solutions acknowledge and help overcome this problem by means of flexible security levels. For example, Bime is sophisticated enough to enable users to filter levels of access to analyses and underlying data, and this is imperative for a HR department with sensitive employee data. One of the most important features of modern BI is being able to tailor access to sensitive data.

Another reason for lack of business intelligence deployment not only in the HR department, but across other departments too, is that previously, traditional forms of BI often required training and special knowledge to use. The recent growth towards self-service BI has made BI easier to use and easier to deploy.

We believe that analyzing the demographics of a workforce could become an increasingly important HR function in the future. Companies, particularly in the more traditional markets, face the problem of an ageing workforce and thus, with the advent of the ‘global employee’, there is often intense competition for the best new talent. Using BI to make sense of this data will give HR a central role in adapting to the ever-changing market dynamics.Global employees

Building on this, BI has become a key instrument in analyzing the true value of the human capital within a company, as BI helps link people to a company’s financial performance. HR must analyze the key skill sets and demographics of their existing workforce, assess whether it is best helping them to meet their central business targets and then identify whether HR is doing the correct things to help the company progress. We believe that taken further, BI can be used to predict future personnel trends and used to help draw, stimulate and retain the best candidates.

To summarize, we've listed some of the main potential benefits of adopting BI throughout the HR department:

  • ANALYZING HR SUCCESS – To link employee performance to financial performance and identify areas for change / improvement and compare with industry benchmarks.
  • SICK DAYS AND HOLIDAY – To get useful information and analyze why and when employees are taking a leave of absence. Evaluate any trends for example key demographics.
  • ENHANCED COMPENSATION – To understand how compensation impacts on performance, to make sure compensation is level and fair throughout the company and to make sure performance related compensation is in line with the company’s key strategic objectives.
  • WORKFORCE OPTIMIZATION – Using analysis throughout the company, top and bottom performers can be identified and then moved up or down. This could be used to inform future spending on training and to identify learning needs of employees.

We firmly believe that BI is becoming increasingly useful for a wide range of people. HR can use BI to improve results across the whole organization and this synergy will play an increasingly central role as companies look for new ways to adapt to rapidly changing market conditions.

Click here to see an example HR dashboard or sign up for a free trial to see how Bime could help your HR department realize its true potential.

Sources: Business Intelligence for Human Resources explained, Business Intelligence for HR, Business Intelligence: realizing the promise of HR technology