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Some interesting insights have come out of the HR Tech Europe Conference recently held in London.  But I’d be lying if I said that what was revealed was any shock to us.

Much of the talk of the conference was about the importance of predictive analysis as it applies to HR and data. People are finally starting to warm up to this idea.  However,  accessing your data is only half of the battle.  The part that still seems to be left out of most conversations is the importance of knowing what to measure.  And that’s where consulting comes in.  Analyzing data is far more complicated than using Excel to build a chart or graph.  Matthew Hanwell, a former Director of HR at Nokia, put it best when he explained that we need to think of data as more of an MRI scan.  Its multidimensional.

Any company, large or small, may have a superb IT team and a superb HR team.  That IT team may be experts in the installation and operation of a data analysis system, but that doesn’t mean they know what HR data is important to analyze.  And that HR team can be trained until the cows come home on to use the new data system, but if they aren’t analyzing the right data and using that data to make the right decisions, then what good is it?  This is exactly why when we introduce our business intelligence platform to clients, we stress that our Advisory is an important part of it’s use.

Google, that highly successful company that you may have heard of, seems to be on the ball for how they use data in the HR space.  Not only are they tracking data to analyze performance, but they’re using that analysis to implement training and development based on what their research has revealed.  This method of linking data and change sounds a lot like our Pando ecosystem.  We determine what needs analysis, make the data visible, then use that data to implement change through our toolkits and assessments.

Reading through the many quotes and insights from the HR Tech Europe conference, it seems that Nick Holly, of the Henley Business School Centre for HR Excellence, put it best, “Big data provides the greatest opportunity HR has had in years to become relevant by using the data to provide insights that make a difference to the business…it is also the biggest single threat to individuals i nthe function because a lot of HR people base their success on gut feeling and intuition and relationships, and proper data analytics can that irrelevant.”

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Comment by Neil Raden on March 4, 2015 at 9:26am

It goes well beyond looking at the right data. Smokers see the right data and still make the wrong decisions. The path from being correctly informed to making the "right" decision is strewn with difficulty. In general, looking at the right data is necessary (though not always) but decisions are only partly informed by data. It's a mystery to me why so much is written about decisions, and so many resources are spent to get them, but so little is understood the complex mechanics of decision-making. I wish Big Data discussions would just leave the decision part out because I haven't met any Big Data practitioners yet who understand it.

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