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David is part of the HR Tech World Blog Squad and is a respected influencer, writer and speaker on people analytics and the future of work. He was recognised as Best Writer at the 2015 HR Tech Writers’ Awards, and was awarded one of ten LinkedIn Power Profiles for HR in January 2016. David’s role as Global Director, People Analytics Solutions at IBM enables him to help clients apply an analytical, insight led and business outcome focused approach to their talent strategies and people decisions. Connect with David on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter and read his blogs on LinkedIn, ERE and HRN.

The subject of data and analytics in HR will doubtless be one of the underlying themes the HR Tech World conference, which lands in Paris at the sumptuous Palais des congrès on 27-28 October.

Whilst HR as a function has not yet fully embraced an insight driven and analytical approach, the maths means it is inevitable. Studies by the likes of Nucleus Research have found that the average returns from analytics are increasing and reached $13.01 for every dollar spent in 2014. Like the misunderstood legend about King Canute believing he could hold back the tide (he didn’t actually believe he could hold back the tide), the doubters in HR will not be able to hold back the flood forever.

With this in mind, here are 12 different but excellent articles on HR/People/Talent/Workforce (delete as applicable) analytics to warm you up for Paris. I look forward to seeing you there as part of the all-conquering Blog Squad.

The 10 Golden Rules of HR Analytics (revisited) | Patrick Coolen

Rightly recognised as one of the leading practitioners in the HR analytics space, Patrick will be speaking in Paris on how to create actionable insights from predictive analytics (don’t miss it!). In this hugely popular article, Patrick revisits and updates his own 10 golden rules of HR Analytics, providing an invaluable insight into the excellent work he and Auke IJsselstein (together with his partners iNostix and Bright & Company) are doing at ABN Amro.

Developing Advanced Talent Analytics – Why it matters to CFOs | Josh Bersin

Josh Bersin, who like Patrick will also be speaking in Paris, pronounced earlier this year that the geeks had arrived in HR. This interview with Josh in the Wall Street Journal cites the findings of research conducted by his company Bersin by Deloitte into the benefits enjoyed by the 14% of companies who have already developed mature talent analytics capabilities. As well as generating better talent outcomes in terms of leadership pipelines, talent cost reductions, efficiency gains and talent mobility, perhaps the most telling finding was that the share prices of these pioneering 14% outpaced the S&P 500 by an average 30% from 2011-14. If that doesn’t make the case for people analytics, I don’t know what does.

What HR Metrics Are Investors Most Interested In? | Inside HR

Further related proof comes from this piece in the excellent Inside HR. It reports on a joint study between Harvard Law School and the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRCi) into the growing interest from the investment community into the correlation between human capital and financial outcomes such as return on equity, return on investment and profit margins. The study establishes a meaningful connection between the two implying that “companies with a convincing HR story and strong data to back it up are likely to receive a welcome reception from many institutional investors.” Read the entire ‘The Materiality of Human Capital to Corporate Financial Performance’ study.

The 5 Types of HR Analytics Vendors | Andrew Marritt

My fellow Blog Squad colleague is one of the leading authorities in the HR Analytics space. Andrew has published a series of blogs on LinkedIn – and several white papers that are well worth getting your hands upon. This one classifying the five types of HR Analytics vendors is a must-read for any CHRO considering ramping up their analytics efforts. Andrew is also the founder of Organization View and I highly recommend that you check out their ground-breaking employee feedback tool Workometry in the DisruptHR zone in Paris.

12 reasons why outsourcing HR Analytics is good for HRLuk Smeyers | iNostix

Like Andrew, Luk will also be joining me as part of the Blog Squad in Paris. Luk, CEO and Co-Founder of leading predictive HR analytics firm iNostix, is a prolific blogger as well as being one of the most well-regarded experts on the burgeoning HR analytics space. It is difficult to choose just one article from iNostix’s excellent HR Analytics Insights blog, but I’ve plumped for this one that provides 12 compelling reasons why HR leaders should consider outsourcing analytics to a trusted partner.

Starting the Workforce Analytics Journey – the first 100 days | IBM

Getting started with analytics is the theme of this excellent recent white paper from IBM, which features contributions from acknowledged HR analytics thought leaders like Jeremy Shapiro and Jonathan Ferrar. In his foreword, Shapiro muses that whilst interest in the topic is booming, HR as a whole is still learning how to set up effective analytics capability. The first 100 days are critical to the success of any business initiative, which makes this white paper all the more indispensable for would be HR analytics leaders. Aspirants are guided through a series of steps, collectively designed to lead to maximise impact within those priceless first 100 days.

Clear Storytelling Boosts Value of Analytics | Tom Davenport

If the key requisite of HR analytics is to focus on the business problem, the next must be the ability to deliver a compelling story that communicates the analytical insights and actions to unlock the problem you are trying to solve. When it comes to analytics, Tom Davenport is arguably the Godfather and this article emphasises the power of storytelling, outlining the options – both human and machine – that are available to enable decisions to be made on the basis of analytical results.

HR meets science at Google | Prasad Setty

Which organisations have most successfully embraced data and analytics within its HR functions?  The answer to this question always inevitably includes Google amongst its most celebrated alumni. This video featuring Prasad Setty, VP of People Analytics & Compensation, and provides a fascinating insight into the extent that data and analytics are synonymous with people based decisions at the tech giant. Setty, an engaging speaker, describes how Google has used data to inform promotions and identify the importance of managers within the organisation, as well as outlining gDNA, a longitudinal survey investigating the importance of work-life balance.

Seven deadly sins to avoid with HR Analytics initiatives | Mark Berry

Not content with being recognised as a HR Trendsetter by HR Magazine for building a HR

Analytics function from the ground up at his former company ConAgra Foods, Mark Berry writes intelligent, witty and refreshingly honest articles. One of his recent instalments plunges headlong into Dante’s Inferno and reveals the seven deadly sins to avoid when it comes to HR analytics initiatives – repent ye therefore and be converted. Mark is a CHRO that is leading the charge towards a future HR based on data, analytics and insights, and as such is someone aspiring HR leaders would do well to keep a studious eye on.

People Analytics – it’s a mug’s game. Isn’t it?Sam Hill

This enjoyable read from Sam Hill of Workforce Dimensions (who are well worth checking out, by the way) draws parallels between professional gamblers and people analytics practitioners in terms of their shared penchant for research, relationship building and shrewd investment. Sam is certainly on the money (sorry I couldn’t resist) here and proves a much better writer (and people analytics practitioner) than he is a gambler – judging by his own sorry tale of woe with the bookies.

Dear HR… | Greta Roberts

This post by the co-founder and CEO of Talent Analytics Corp, Greta Roberts, deals with the contentious issue of organisations jumping on the bandwagon of hiring a data scientist for its HR department and then restricting them to working on rudimentary reporting tasks. Greta doesn’t pull any punches as she pleads with companies not to go down this road until they are actually ready to do data science. Greta makes a compelling case as not only is this practice bad for the unfortunate data scientists but it harms the already fragile reputation of HR when it comes to being data driven and analytical.

Will HR Lose the Battle Over Analytics? | Karen O’Leonard

We come to this excellent article from Karen O’Leonard, formerly of Bersin by Deloitte and now Towers Watson. In it she warns that as HR continues to drag its feet over adopting analytics it is running out of time before its cousins in Finance wrestle control. Will HR get its act together before it’s too late? Let’s hope so…


About the author

Part of the HR Tech World Blog Squad, David is a Director at Cielo, a leading global recruitment process outsourcing provider. He works with organisations to design talent acquisition programmes that drive growth and competitive advantage. David is a strong advocate of HR taking a more data driven and evidence based approach and is a recognised commentator and influencer on the burgeoning people analytics space. Connect with David on LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as reading his regular blog posts on HR Analytics and the Future of Work.