Can your people make sense of the new analytics?

predictiveanalyticsThe folks at Bersin by Deloitte have a brief out about how talent analytics can be harnessed to improve decision making in the human resources arena. They’ve taken a look at some of the new predictive analytics products designed to model retention, performance, leadership and succession planning, and career planning.

Wisely, Bersin cautions HR Leaders to

  • Validate the accuracy of the predictive models over time and within different segments of the employee population.
  • Look for solutions that reveal the factors related to predictions and establish talent initiatives based on the relevant factors (e.g., initiatives designed to reduce turnover).
  • Make sure to check the quality of the data being fed into the model and work to improve data quality over time.
  • Put in place programs to help managers and HR staff to correctly interpret and act upon the data and predictions

It’s in this last area that I think the learning organization needs to be pro-active. Data is terrific, but managing to new numbers requires a lot more than just an introduction to the new dashboard. Conscientious managers will want to understand just what is captured and not captured in the new models. The organization will need the feedback from the field on where the model fails to capture unique aspects of the operation. Modelling, done well, is an iterative process. Therefore, so must be our training in how to use it.

An organization we know is planning to encourage (and capture!) informal learning around this culture change by presenting the new dashboards in the context of a software platform which also features space for forum discussions about the numbers and what they mean. They plan to sponsor periodic conversations about how the modeling assumptions are arrived at, and what it means, operationally, when a manager’s results show her performing above or below the mean, and to encourage managers to share their success stories in “moving the needle”.

How do you plan to attend to the human side of incorporating the new analytics? We can help! Contact us at