Workforce analytics (WFA)

This is a follow up post from before HR Week. The results and benefits of a WFA project are directly related to the quality of the data that you have. You can have the sexist technology and the biggest servers, most number of metrics, but without good quality data you will fail.

WFA is not new, it has been around for over 20 years under different names. Ever since the first HR/Payroll system was deployed people have been trying to extract value from their data. I find the whole hype around WFA very worrying, most organisations are still struggling to use the systems they have purchased effectively, and now we (as I am part of the software industry) want people to purchase more.

WFA has been called many things, DSS, EIS and data warehousing. All slightly different but at a high level related. There is a wonderful quote from the Butler Group which I feel sums up everything “The data warehouse can only be of benefit if the data in it is converted into information”. The marketing hype seems to miss this point. Another fact missed is most organisations do not have one single system, and in fact with the growth in ASP’s an organisation’s data is spread even further. Therefore there is an initial activity to get all of your data into a common data standard before you can report on it.

I would be interested in any thoughts from others on this subject.