Article: Transforming data into action: Navigating HR analytics in high-growth organisations

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Transforming data into action: Navigating HR analytics in high-growth organisations

HR analytics can serve as a transformative force in the decision-making processes of SMEs.
Transforming data into action: Navigating HR analytics in high-growth organisations

In today’s dynamic business landscape, the strategic utilisation of data has become integral to organisational success. Particularly for fast-growing companies, the journey from data to strategy takes centre stage, with a specific focus on Human Resources (HR) analytics. This exploration delves into the pivotal role of HR analytics in empowering high-growth companies to transition seamlessly from raw data to actionable strategies. 

To decode the impact of HR analytics in high-growth companies, People Matters hosted an insightful webinar titled ‘From Data to Strategy: HR Analytics for Fast-Growing Companies’ in partnership with Keka. Pavan Kumar,  Director- Human Resources, Zeta; Saumya Khare, Senior Director, Moglix; and Varun Ramakrishnan, Group Product Manager, Keka, offered valuable insights on how SMEs can enhance recruitment strategies, improve performance management, boost employee engagement, and foster culture of continuous improvement by adopting HR analytics practices.

Decoding HR Analytics: SMEs versus Larger Corporations

Elucidating the nuanced differences between small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and larger corporations, we tried to uncover the unique advantages that SMEs can leverage in this dynamic context. 

Pavan Kumar, Director of HR, Zeta placed a strong emphasis on brainstorming with a future-focused approach. He suggested a three-step process to decode HR analytics: firstly, employing a preconceived approach to identify business problems and subsequently finding solutions; secondly, providing training to HR professionals to initiate the use of HR analytics; and lastly, leveraging analytics to solve broader business problems rather than limiting its scope to HR issues.“HR analytics should be wielded as a tool for instigating positive changes and continuous improvement within an organisation,” said Kumar.

On the other hand, Saumya Khare, Senior Director, Moglix, placed importance on the concept of orientation, urging individuals to "start talking in the language of data." According to Khare, "human beings are not rational, asserting that decisions and behaviours are frequently influenced by emotions, biases, and various subjective factors rather than strict logic.” She said, “We can filter out noise and highlight key issues to provide a customised approach.”

Drawing a parallel between HR analytics and the Cricket World Cup, Varun Ramakrishnan, Group Product Manager, Keka, said, ”The process starts from stepping back, incorporating coaching strategies, seeking expert insights, and devising actionable plans, much like the approach taken in cricket.” Varun cautioned against using HR analytics merely for the sake of utilisation, highlighting the need for alignment with broader business goals, vision and values as he spoke about the importance of fostering a data-driven culture.

Overcoming challenges in implementation for SMEs

To explore solutions to address the unique challenges faced by SMEs in optimising their human resources, attendees were asked to vote for the primary challenges they encountered. Lack of in-house data analytics expertise was the most voted answer, followed by limited budget and resistance to change among leadership.

While reacting to the poll results, the experts agreed on having a cross-departmental collaboration by building a culture of data sharing among different teams to break data silos and bringing in a standardised process. 

Organisations should look at enhancing credibility by swiftly acting on insights, ensuring priorities align with organisational goals, integrating HR analytics seamlessly with key business objectives and adopting a balanced approach for optimal impact, suggested Saumya. 

Focusing on the right data, ensuring its quality, and utilising the right channels were some of the suggestions by Varun. His strategy involved integrating cross-departmental goals to establish a centralised system, promoting collaboration for data sharing, and enhancing key metrics. 

Meanwhile, Kumar recommended a distinctive approach to confront challenges. He said, “Acknowledging that failure often stems from assuming the role of implementers. We should shift our focus towards customer retention by taking proactive measures for the well-being of existing customers and employees.”

Strategic metrics in resource-constrained environments

In the SME landscape, where resources are often limited, yet the need for effective workforce management is paramount, the strategic selection of HR metrics becomes a critical imperative.

Unravelling the key metrics that hold the key to success in such challenging environments. Varun said, “The selection of appropriate metrics, including considerations like cost to hire, time efficiency, and optimisation, is guided by principles of privacy, security, and ethical considerations.”

“Start small, set the goals, don’t jump to conclusions, leverage spreadsheets, set a comprehensive itinerary, solicit feedback from both HR and employees, meticulously review and implement changes, progress to advanced analytics, and ultimately, aim for actionable insights,” he added during the conversation.

Catalysts for strategic decision-making and key drivers of success

HR analytics can serve as a transformative force in the decision-making processes of SMEs. The focus is on identifying key drivers that contribute to the success of leveraging analytics for strategic decision-making within the context of smaller businesses.

According to Varun, ensuring the happiness, satisfaction, and engagement of individuals is crucial, as it influences their likelihood to recommend our company to others. Varun emphasised, "The effectiveness of training plays a pivotal role in retaining valuable personnel who choose to remain with the organisation. Lastly, a significant measure of success is the cost savings.”

Soumya double-clicked and added, “Execute the winning team and understand key motivators.”

"The efficacy of training serves as a potent catalyst for success, enabling a deeper understanding of behaviour and contributing to increased employee tenure," said Kumar.

Balancing act: Ethical utilisation of HR analytics in SMEs

The journey of transforming data into action within the realm of HR analytics is a dynamic and transformative process for high-growth organisations. By leveraging data insights effectively, these organisations can navigate the complexities of human resources, align strategies with business objectives, and foster a culture of continuous improvement.

Soumya concluded by pointing to the need to detach from data analytics and focus on comprehending the business problem at hand. Her advice was to construct a compelling case that addresses the specific business goals, ensuring that the solution brings about a tangible impact on overall performance and contributes to growth.

Kumar expressed his thoughts through a quote by A. E. Housman, “Some individuals use statistics as a drunk man uses lamp-posts — for support rather than for illumination.

“The importance of prioritising return on investment (ROI) with a strong conviction is much needed. Try to catch the right chord,” added Varun in his concluding remarks.

As the analytics landscape evolves, the ability to harness data for actionable insights becomes a cornerstone for organisational success. By embracing a forward-thinking mindset, integrating technology, and prioritising the human element in HR analytics, high-growth organisations can propel themselves towards sustained excellence, driving positive change and ensuring a resilient and adaptive workforce for the future.

Watch the full conversation here.

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Topics: HR Technology, #SMEcorner

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