Key Takeaways from HR Analytics Summit 2021

On 8th September our Global Partnerships Manager Stuart Creasey attended his first in-person event in at least 18 months – the HR Analytics Summit in London. Below he sums up the experience and his key takeaways from the event.

Face to face

Like most of those attending, this was my first professional in-person event for at least 18 months and whilst people appeared apprehensive on engaging with one another to start, the status quo of introductions and networking soon returned after the first presentations. All attendees had provided evidence of full vaccination status and/or negative test results on arrival, and I think people felt more comfortable in engaging with one another as a result.

Once the networking and discussions commenced it was good to see, hear and partake in conversation with people face to face and to gauge their thoughts and experiences based on the presentation and innovations in people analytics in the last 18 months to 2 years, rather than focusing on COVID’s impact, and to have some sense of normality back from a business perspective.

Here are some of my key findings:

People analytics is a long-term game which needs to be about driving action, change and measurable impact

Unsurprisingly, a common theme throughout the event was the expedited use of people analytics due to the remote working enforced by the pandemic. However, this was not necessarily to address the impact of the pandemic, but rather to understand the challenges and areas that needed action to meet their organisational goals for the next year and beyond.

Another common belief was that people analytics is and should be a key part of organisations’ long-term strategies going forward. There are no short cuts.

Machines help the ordinary people do the extraordinary

It was evident from discussions throughout the day that bringing together data from multiple HR systems is still an overwhelming challenge. However, advanced solutions such as illumin8HR are making this easier and allowing users to get real value out of people analytics.

It was interesting to hear of organisations utilising both a business intelligence and people analytics solution, recognising that whilst BI can tell you what has happened, people analytics can then take that further and identify why it happened, what could happen and what should be done about it.

Lead with the business goals to gain buy-in

Those organisations who talked about driving buy-in of people analytics across the business all found success through focussing on the business goal or outcome they were looking to achieve. Through this approach, they found that presenting the action required and plan to achieve the goal was more impactful than simply showing the raw data.

A top-down approach was vital to ensuring maximum buy-in from all those needed to drive the actions and change informed by people analytics. Regular feedback from across the organisation also helped.

Must have or nice to have?

When the room was asked for their view on people analytics being a must have versus a nice to have, the consensus was 60% believe it is a must have. However, whilst the majority see people analytics as a must have there was a strong belief that it shouldn’t be rushed out or implemented without thinking about the goals or strategies to target.

It was great to be back out at an event and engaging with the market and I look forward to doing the same at the HR Technology Conference and Expo in Las Vegas from 28th September – 1st October. Please get in touch if you would like to connect.

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