The Workforce Analytics Forum has ended and I was delighted with the quality of presentations, audience interaction, and enthusiasm for HR’s role in using data to inform talent management decisions.

Let’s start with the Data Heroes Analyst Challenge…we kicked off the morning with a Mixed Martial Arts “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” introduction (I highly recommend that you search for a video of it) before launching into the challenge.

We had three data/software/visualization experts (Alan Bainbridge of Intermountain Healthcare, Nery Castillo McIntyre of San Disk, and Michael Grimm of Intengis) spend all of half an hour crafting algorithms, images, and stories based on a 37,000+ person dataset. What they did in 30 minutes I couldn’t do in 30 days!

The audience had the opportunity to witness how the three pivoted the data, determined what issues to focus upon, built graphics and, in turn, presented their results. Questions came thick and fast – on the tools being used, the choice of storyboards, and what would happen if only 35, rather than 30, minutes were on the clock.

In a photo-finish, the winner was….Nery Castillo McIntyre. He raised the Belt of Champions (again, search for the video) and will enjoy the fruits of his labor for all time (or at least until IHRIM’s Annual Conference in 2017). Thank you to all of the participants, who were very graceful in accepting my limitations in transitioning visuals from laptops to big screens.

Other comments of reference in the subsequent thought leader presentations:

  • Let’s feed our leaders some questions to consider – don’t expect they know where to go next
  • Data is the price of admission – if we bring data, we get the opportunity to ask questions about future priorities
  • If you tell me [insert urban legend], I can myth-bust that for you
  • I don’t know what to do with this data (said the manager)
  • If there is no burning platform, how do you make the case for analytics?

Thank you to everyone involved in the Forum. Am signing off and heading overnight to Detroit....

Written by Mick Collins

Published in General

Today, IHRIM hosted its second Workforce Analytics Forum of 2016. For those not familiar with the events, they offer:

  1. Collaborative Networking: Rather than your typical 1-to-many mega-conferences, they purposefully keep the audience small, offering attendees the opportunity to interact with each other, meet the presenters, and get solutions to their own challenges.
  2. Real-World Examples Bolstered by Academic Research: Case study presentations from some of the world's leading experts on workforce analytics supplemented by academic thought-leaders (consistent with IHRIM's rich heritage of university partnerships).
  3. New Technologies: Innovative thinking in analytics is often driven by technology vendors and consultants. For example, the Data Hero Analyst challenge features analysts and vendors using modern technologies (plus Excel) to visualize workforce data in front of the audience.
  4. Content for Beginners and Seasoned Practitioners: New to workforce analytics or in it for the long haul? The Forum features a mix of simple frameworks for attendees to adopt while going deep on statistical modeling.

Today featured presentations from several top-notch analytics experts (specific names can be found in the program). Some of the most interesting comments by presenters included:

Analytics Strategy

  • Leaders pay me for good (HR) intuition – I want to make sure that intuition is backed by data
  • Any firm can buy the data analysis they need; what’s important is that HR connect the data to the internal consumer’s question
  • In choosing between improving our analytics sophistication or our alignment with the business, we chose the latter – it’s a bigger bang for the buck
  • We avoid high cost/low impact analytics projects “like the plague”
  • Analytics will become commoditized over time – attrition models are increasingly the same, from company to company
  • Our job (as analysts) is to put leaders in a position to raise their batting average

Analytics Execution

  • HR analytics is one of the top 3 capability gaps in HR (the others are Leadership and Culture/Engagement)
  • With a small team, we need to democratize analytics and deliver self-service to the front lines
  • Change management is under-utilized as a role in my analytics team
  • Approaching analytics with a glass half-full mentality helps smooth its adoption (optimizing success>reducing unfavorable outcomes)
  • Selecting the right methodology (decision trees, random forests) is important
  • When visualizing data, eliminate as much clutter as possible
  • There is almost no variable that, when changed in real-time, will change the leader’s decision
  • Turnover rates don’t matter – turnover pain does

The Forum continues tomorrow with the Data Hero Analyst Challenge and several more presentations…

Written by Mick Collins

Published in General