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HR GLOSSARY

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HR Glossary | What is the Datafication of HR?


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What is the datafication of HR?

The datafication of HR refers to the use of analytics to help organizations understand more about their people, HR processes, and external demographics—and how all of these impact bottom-line business outcomes.   

Data allows organizations and their HR and other leaders to make informed decisions about the selection, management, deployment, and support of employees. Datafication involves the use of operational data to inform business strategy and help business leaders plan for the future. From an HR perspective, the term refers to the ability to use analytics when making decisions.

The power of HR datafication

The datafication of HR holds great value for today’s organizations as they compete in an increasingly global environment where consumer demands are continually changing.

Organizations should be able to answer such key questions as “Which sources of job applicants yield the best hires?” or “Which top performers are most at risk for leaving the company?” or any of a wide range of other questions that can help drive more informed decisions and the most productive use of people resources. The datafication of HR can be applied to:

  • Recruiting effectiveness
  • Talent retention
  • Employee performance
  • Employee movement
  • Total rewards
  • Learning and development
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Overall HR effectiveness

But the datafication of HR isn’t simply about gathering data—it’s about using that data strategically to make informed people decisions.

From data to people analytics

There’s a critical difference between data and the insights that data can provide when placed in the right hands. The most successful organizations are those able to graduate from HR metrics to people analytics, embedding the responsibility for effectively leveraging people resources across the organization by providing everyone with access to important people data.

Unfortunately, according to Bersin by Deloitte, only 14 percent of organizations are using workforce analytics to support workforce decision making. Choosing the right HR analytics software is a critical first step in this process.

About the author: Linda Pophal

Linda Pophal, MA, PCM, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is the founder and owner of Strategic Communications, LLC, and a marketing and communication strategist with expertise in HR and employee relations. With a background as a business journalist, her writing has appeared in the HR Daily Advisor, Human Resource Executive, and SHRM. She is a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire.

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