Published : Thursday, 15 October, 2015 11:16 AM

People Analytics Conjures Solutions to Complex Issues of HR

Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research in collaboration with NHRDN had organized an HR Confluence on - People Analytics.

The conference held at Welingkar campus, Electronic City, Bengaluru witnessed experts from the industry discussing the significance of the emerging discipline of People Analytics and how the same can be applicable in the HR space in industry cutting across the sectors. The Confluence with a cross sectional representation from the industry had Mr. Anil Jalali, Executive Director – HR, India Domestic & Area South, IBM as the chief guest.

The fact that people are the most decisive element of potential growth and innovation as well as cost underlines the significance of people analytics. It is a data-driven approach to manage people at work and adheres to an approach known for its extensive and highly objective use of data for an objective analysis with reference to people-related issues, such as recruiting, performance evaluation, leadership, hiring and promotion, job and team design, and compensation. People analytics provides a unique opportunity for human-resource professionals to position themselves as strategic partners in the growth of an organization.

Welingkar -NHRDN  HR Confluence

Dr Anil Rao, Dean and Director –Welingkar, Bengaluru talking of the rationale behind the Confluence, said, “Living in times of complexity, competitiveness and driven by highly aspirational goals, it is imperative to revisit and rethink our approach towards the biggest asset of an organization-its workforce. People Analytics spotlights the same. It s draws heavily on big data enabled by technological advances, using the same in reference to behavioral pattern and people related issues. It streamlines businesses, irons out the   complex issues at work; boosts employee loyalty and limits the churn (attrition).The onus lies on academia and the industry to sensitize the young managers and leaders and those in the business of shaping these  to sensitize the young leaders- to -be of the same. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that people analytics gives that incisive prescience to the managers at workplace.”

Most of the global giants have used the same to push up the company profits by making work place more engaging. Some of these global players include Google, Facebook, Starbucks, Bank of America to name a few. But the discipline takes in its ambit any establishment, big or small, that relies on its workforce to achieve its organisational goals.

Mr Jalali underlined the role of people analytics as a strategic business partner in the organization. He highlighted the fact that how a growing number of companies are using analytics to handle issues like attrition, employee engagement, though not as many are well-equipped for the same. Technological advance along with growing number of netizens makes it easy to feel the pulse of the workforce with careful data collection and analysis.

The agility of people analytics lies in the fact that it can be applied at various levels- individuals, groups or the organization as a whole. Talking in the Indian context, the still fresh in our memories, is the violent unrest at Maruti Suzuki plant in Manesar, Haryana. A closer study revealed people –issues at the core. The unrest was brewing and it was tinderbox ready to explode. A more detailed approach, to engage people could have helped. People analytics progresses on the similar line of thought. The rationale is to effectively anticipate people issues that may affect business and act appropriately, well in time by utilizing predictive analytics and strategic workforce planning in the future. Its fluidity renders it equally effective in corporate atmospherics, in governance and many more vistas are opening up.

However, organizations are still working on ways to gain deeper insights on how analytics can drive better people decisions internally and we do not have all the answers yet. Efforts to comprehend workforce composition and alignment to business strategy, ability to assess and report on key people issues, improving integrity of employee data, benchmarking key people metrics against external peers etc are still on.

Though the corporate world values employee engagement and need no expert to tutor them on the same, but people analytics offers nearly-precise cost of fluctuations in this reference. It can state that a spike of say 0.1% in employee-engagement would lift the annual profits by X amount. People analytics can easily change the immeasurable intangibles into elements whose impact can be measured controlled and leveraged. Similarly it comes up with revelations that call for some significant departures from the established norms. AT&T and Google have established through quantitative analysis that the initiative-taking trait is far better a metric to rate an individual on the job and is preferred over brilliant academic records. Analytics can trigger diversions that can water down some of the very hallowed practices, paving way for more data driven and empirically derived facts rather than theory.

The HR confluence served as a platform to listen and share ideas on People Analytics.  With participation of stalwarts from the industry and academia, the event unfolded discussions on the journey of people analytics so far and the related challenges and best practices.

Other senior experts from the industry included Mr.Shrihari Udupa, Director-Agora Analytics, People Analytics Fundamentals, Mr. Santosh Panpaliya, Senior HR Manager, Infosys Limited, Mr. Amith Kumar, Head of Total Rewards, 3M India Limited , Mr. Charan R N, Head – Global Digital Analytics, Personal Systems Group, Hewlett Packard, Mr. Karthik G, Analytics & Modeling lead, APAC and Growth Market regions, Accenture, Mr. Praveen Kamath, Global Head - Talent Transformation, BPM Division, Wipro Corporation  Mr. Rahul Gurjar, Senior Rewards Consultant with Towers Watson, Mr.Raju Chellaton, Sr. Vice President and Global Head – Cloud, BPM and Integration Solutions Happiest Minds Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Mr. Srinivasulu M, Co-Founder of Employee Experts & My Campus Days, Manish Sinha, Head-HR Indian Motorola Mobility, Ms Subhashini Sharma Tripathi, Analytics trainer, Blogger Consultant, Jigsaw Academy, Ms Prakrithi  Shetty, AVP-HR Genpact, Mr Siddharth S.N, Secretary, NHRDN Bengaluru Chapter.

Talking of the quintessential elements of people-analysts, the experts listed three-empathy, the ability to sell your self and a flair for m aths and statistics. Besides the analysts should be well aligned to the business challenges of the organization and use the analysis to address these. Since the discipline has caught fire recently there is still a huge unmet demand for people analysts in the market. The onus lies on the business schools how fast and effectively they bridge the gap with appropriately skilled talent.

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