I recently welcomed Eric Knudsen to my podcast, Let’s Fix Work. Eric is the Manager of People Analytics at Namely, the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform built for today’s employees. Together we talked all about using data for informed decision-making.

Let’s face it, one of the things HR isn’t known for is using data. Sure, it’s true, we all talk about it but we don’t use data to make decisions. Or rather, we use the data from our eyes, our ears, and our biases to make decisions. That’s not really a super informed way to make decisions.

Eric was kind enough to break down, in a very non-technical way, how we should be using data to make decisions in the workplace, which he detailed in our conversation with some real-world examples and studies.

But what he wanted to bring to everyone’s attention is the various obstacles organizations face when it comes to data.

Here is just one obstacle:  Understanding the actual readiness or maturity of an organization to use data for informed decisions. He said, “In order to understand an optimal way for an HR team to use data, it’s important to take a step back and think about the various phases of readiness or maturity that organizations are at for using data to inform decisions.”

He goes on to say this, “HR teams assume that most organizations are doing more than they are with HR data. But, in fact, that’s not really true.”

And here is another obstacle: Eric also talks about communication between HR teams and the rest of the organization, and helping them overcome perceived obstacles. “I love helping people see through perceived obstacles.  I think there is a strong perception that data is for companies and bigger folks. The reality is, despite the fact that small and midsize businesses do often have a lower volume of data and sometimes even a lack of skills or resources to really execute on a strong and long-term vision for data, it’s actually the most critical time, when you’re small or midsize to put the foundational pieces in place for a data practice later.”

So the takeaway, using data for informed-decision making is a huge benefit to organizations of all sizes. But you have to overcome the obstacles, perceived or unknown, first.

If you want to hear more about organized data, messy data, or HR data, then click here to listen to this episode of Let’s Fix Work.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the great blog post! I know one of the things my organization struggles with is collecting data on which action can then be taken. We sometimes collect data because we think it is the right thing to do, but if we fail to then covert that data into information and then make decisions based on this information and take action, the collection of the data becomes moot.

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