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HR Analytics to overcome business challenges by Heather Whiteman

People Analytics expert Heather Whiteman discusses how businesses can leverage Human Resource (HR) Analytics in making timely data-driven decisions that drive success.

Heather Whiteman, PhD, was the VP Head of People Strategy & Analytics in General Electric Digital and is now an author and educator, enlightening professionals on the benefits of data analysis, people analytics, and the future of work.

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Employee Experience - Employee Wellbeing - People Analytics

Our very special guest will be Heather Whiteman, one of the authors of the book "Explore The Power of People Analytics: A Guide for Business and HR Leaders". She has been VP, Head of People Strategy & Analytics at General Electric Digital and she is currently a HR Analytics and Data Analysis lecturer in several distinguished universities such as UC Berkeley.

What will you learn?

- The true value of HR Analytics, its main challenges and how to overcome them.

- The importance of HR Analytics in the decision-making process.

- How Human Resources can use AI to understand the needs of your people.

Webinar transcript

Heather Whiteman: I discovered that we can use data analytics and science to not only really understand what goes on with people, but also to have a pretty big impact on people's lives.

Heather Whiteman: There is so much power and value to be had with people data HR Analytics and too often organizations maybe aren't getting the opportunity to really assess and identify the value of analytics itself.

Heather Whiteman: The smart people cool ideas is where value exists and the value is not currently being captured the way that it could or should be. And if we can use people analytics and data around that, we can be really representing the talent and the people as the value that it truly is.

Heather Whiteman: We're in a unique position to keep the individuals in mind, meaning it doesn't need to always be only business value at the end of the day. How do we incorporate the idea of also having valuable outcomes for the individuals? The focus needs to be on people, not just product and profit. Those should come as well, but not at the expense of people. Don't stick to maybe only what you think HR Analytics is. So if you think that an Human Resources Information data file is your only data or a survey is your options, do not limit yourself to that. You would be surprised where data exists. You run into data every second of every day. You just don't think about it as data. The ability to use things like text analytics and any form of really natural language processing in there can help us get more information that is more accurate to the source. I think text analytics can start to give us a more realistic.

Heather Whiteman: We now have something that we can make true decisions off of and say, wow. Then maybe we should fix that horrible office culture because it kept coming up over and over and over habit of talking about the data and the value of HR, we can get in the habit of being more strategic, more data driven and less reactionary.And so that's where I think that value comes in. How can we measure things like engagement, things like burnout, things that have a real impact on our value and bring that into the more normal day to day metrics that we look at when we talk about a company.

Pablo Ceballos: How do we correlate people, behaviors, culture, basically people to business results yet?

Heather Whiteman: That is definitely a big question. Usually it's around starting with the idea of either what's the problem or it's the value to be had, and then defining a measurement or a an idea of what good means, like what is the value or what is the outcome? And it's that step of defining measurement that I think is both the most important and it's the one that people get stuck on. And it's why we don't always see the ROI or we don't always see the business problems. And that's typically what I recommend is it's this concept of how do you measure the intangibles? And I would say you measure it by just starting. So just build something and just build from there.

Pablo Ceballos: What are the main challenges for HR Analytics in business?

Heather Whiteman: One of the big challenges is being able to influence leadership to get the support, the time, the resources or money needed in order to get the analytics to inform business decisions. And so I think that's definitely a challenge, is how do you get started, how do you get support, how do you get connections? And a lot of times, if you start with the business leaders themselves and ask them where their biggest pain points are, they will usually support your initiative to dove deeper into it from a data based approach in order to do it. You know, another challenge is a lot of individuals, especially those who are in HR. They think you have to be like a statistician or a data scientist and you do not have to be good at math in order to use people analytics. There are now a lot of tools and resources that can do this for you. And really what's most important is critical thinking about analytics.

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