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How to Make the Most of Your Data

Tuesday January 22nd 2019

We are living in the golden age of information and technology. At the touch of a button, you can have the answer to any of your questions answered instantly. There is an app for everything and a solution to every problem. With such technological advancements as we’ve seen in the past few decades, the amount of data we are able to collect, analyze and utilize is unlimited. This can feel like both good news and bad news to human resource managers, as it’s wonderful to have access to so much data but can become difficult to prioritize the information that will have the greatest impact on your team.

Let’s take a look at a few ways you can make the most of your data as a human resource manager or leader within your company.

Improve Your Budget

Financial data can be overwhelming at times if you aren’t certain what you’re looking for. But making use of the financial data that is available to you is vitally important to creating a realistic and balanced budget.

Keep a close eye on your profits and losses but look beyond the obvious to make the most of the information. Don’t just take the numbers at face value – look closer. By examining more closely all the details of your profit and loss figures, you will be able to recognize where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Where are you wasting time and money on projects that aren’t turning a profit? Where are you really capitalizing on your strengths as a team and generating the most revenue? Spend your time and energy on the things that are tipping the scales in the positive instead of wasting resources on projects that eat away at your bottom line.

Refine Hiring Practices

One of the ways data has been most impactful for human resource managers is by refining the talent acquisition and hiring process. The job market is as competitive as ever and as such, it’s important to ensure that your company is reaching, attracting and keeping high level talent.

In order to do that, you need to collect the data that will allow you to make important decisions about refining your talent acquisition strategy. Give job applicants an opportunity to offer feedback on the hiring process and use that information to look for potential weaknesses in the strategy.

The data you collect during the hiring process can help you:

  • Re-evaluate the way you share job openings with the general public – You may notice that you get more applications from a job posted on social media than on an employment website, or that you’re not giving enough detailed information with potential applicants.
  • Change the interview process – You might find that it’s simply not feasible to invite every applicant to your office for an in-person interview. Consider video conferencing to start!
  • Ensure that what you’re offering is competitive in the market – If the data is showing that applicants aren’t accepting job offers with your company because another company has better health insurance or offers flexible schedules, it may be time to reconsider your benefits package.

Understand Your Employees

We’ve talked a lot about how to use data to benefit the consumer-facing side of your company. But one of the more important and effective uses of data is what you can do with it internally. By collecting data about how your team functions, how the team solves problems and brainstorms, or how it evolves, you can begin to understand your employees better and anticipate their needs.

For instance, if you track progress for each of your employees and monitor their path through the company, eventually you will have a projection for every incoming employee of what it is possible to achieve within the company.  You can begin to understand where your employees are being stifled and where they are being inspired by tracking the rate at which they complete certain projects.

Ultimately, what you are looking for here is what drives employee engagement.

  • What encourages them to dig in and give 100% to their work?
  • What incentives get results?
  • What happens to their work when you’re flexible with scheduling and telecommuting options?
  • What groups work best with each other?
  • What strengths and weaknesses are they exhibiting in a given task?

All of this information amounts to one thing: a stronger, more successful company. Make the most of the information that is available to you and ensure that you have everything you need to make the best decisions for your team and your company.

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