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5 Benefits of Data-Driven Decision Making

Companies benefit when HR and other leaders have their hands on people data and can see trends and make predictions about the workforce. But what about your company’s front line managers? Data-driven decision making outperforms guesswork. The benefits of a proactive, predictive people analytics function that empowers organizational growth shouldn’t be left on the table. Those benefits include:

  1. Increased accountability
  2. Better efficiency
  3. Alignment on company-wide goals
  4. A sense of ownership at every level 
  5. Transparency 

1. Increased accountability

Who are your best performers? Which teams are lagging behind goals? Data-driven decision making increases accountability. “When everybody can see how their individual decisions connect to a strategy, it helps change the way organizations think about accountability in DEI, revenue, changes in the workforce,” says Paul Rubenstein, CHRO at Visier. “you’re then connecting with the larger enterprise goals. Arriving at this harmonious outcome, though, requires a reallocation of data ownership and that’s not always an easy task.” When everyone has access to people data, leaders at every level can find out which teams are doing well and which ones need guidance so they can make changes before problems become critical. 


2. Better efficiency

Can you drive without seeing the road? Or lead a department without knowing which roles you’re going to have to hire replacements for a year from now? Success happens faster when all people leaders have the information they need to make good decisions. At Deloitte, recent research from the High Impact People Analytics report found that high-performing organizations put people analytics tools in the hands of leaders, managers, and workers at all levels. “It is not easy for an organization to differentiate themselves on product and service alone,” says Chris Havrilla, former V.P., HR Technology and Solution Provider Research at Deloitte. “Having the right people with the right skills and capabilities to do the work, as well as a process to get information your workforce needs to do that work and achieve desired outcomes is critical for any organization.” Chris says she foresees people analytics solutions spreading “beyond leadership and into the everyday work lives of employees to bring bite-sized, just-in-time insights for individuals and teams.” 

This expanded level of access to data-driven decision making will not only propel productivity, it will also free up people analytics teams to focus more on what they do best: develop models, provide more advanced analytical insights, and raise data literacy within their organizations—yet another supporting argument for the efficiency enabled by data democratization. 


3. Alignment on company-wide goals

“When everyone has access to data, data becomes more than just a single point of information. It becomes a North Star,” says Paul. He’s passionate about what’s achievable when managers and leaders have access to people data. “By having everyone grounded in the same set of data, you can take the smallest moments and the decisions that happen every day, at every level, and connect them to a larger strategy and a bigger outcome.” For example, if your company’s goal is to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion, it will be more valuable for every department to know how they fit in and if the company is paying equitably based on demographics.


4. A sense of ownership at every level

Putting people analytics tools into the hands of managers at all levels not only increases transparency and accountability, it also aligns everyone in the organization to a single point of truth, while building trust in the data. Instead of data living on spreadsheets in hidden servers or siloed deep behind firewalls in HR information systems, information about skill availability, chance of burnout, and onboarding processes will let high performing teams know when they have best practices to share and lower performing teams know they need to step up their game.


5. Transparency

Transparency in business is the basis for trust between a company and its shareholders, clients, investors, and employees. Mark Smith, Vice President, Workforce Strategy & Analytics at Providence explains that people insights are part of the key indicators of overall organizational health. “You wouldn’t hold anything back on your finance information. You wouldn’t hold back on your quality information. So don’t hold anything back on your people information,” he says. How many people are working for the company? Are the most critical positions being filled?  How long is the average tenure? Why are employees resigning?


Democratization of data leads to better business outcomes

Those who have the insights have the winning advantage. But the old way of siloing people data and the insights it produces is no longer the best strategy in this new world of work. Every level of leadership needs the value that data-driven decision making provides.This is especially true when the top three external issues CEOs expect to influence or disrupt their business strategy over the next 12 months are a shortage of labor and skills, the ongoing pandemic, and supply chain disruptions, according to the Winter 2022 Fortune/Deloitte CEO Survey. All of these seemingly uncontrollable issues involve myriad business functions, yet all have one thing in common at their core: the workforce. The future of management requires a proactive, predictive people analytics function to empower organizational growth, and when people data is only used by HR, a significant portion of business value is left on the table. 


Join Visier, Deloitte, and leaders from Providence and Protective Life Insurance Company for a discussion on how they distributed people data to people managers for improved decision making at every level. 

About the author: Catherine Cheek

Catherine “Kater” Cheek is an award-winning author with a breadth of writing experience from corporate communications to storytelling. As Senior Copywriter at Visier, she aims to highlight the human stories behind the data and showcase details that make complicated concepts easy to understand.

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