Why your HR Dashboard is not people analytics

It’s the same with dashboards as with guns, knives, ice cream, and vehicles. They are not per definition neither good nor bad. Rather their quality is defined by their purpose and performance. A dashboard can be a brilliant tool for leveraging people-data and increasing data literacy in the organization, but it can also limit you if you don’t see what’s beyond the charts in your HR-system. Let’s explore what you can achieve when not thinking that you already have it all!

To put it simply, the purpose of a dashboard is to do people analytics (of course with the end goal to increase business performance). So what does this purpose really mean? Well, it all starts with our definition of  “people analytics”. In general, people (or HR) analytics refers to a data-driven approach to set targets and track results for all processes related to people (or HR). To make it very simple, we could use “to define and track success across the employee lifecycle”.

You don’t just want to look at data. You should be able to dig into it!

That takes us to the first point on your dashboard: Does it really cover the full employee lifecycle? And even more important – does it connect it with your business data? There’s usually nothing wrong with an HR system dashboard, or the one in your applicant tracking system. Unfortunately, they rarely give you the full picture. And you need that to do a relevant analysis.

When it comes to dashboard performance, you need to understand how your user interface enables each individual to make data-informed decisions. There are many aspects of what makes a good dashboard performance. For example UI, access levels, and possibilities to tailor it. One important aspect that is often forgotten is the options on how you can work it.

Learning comes through doing

I have a strong belief that learning comes through doing, so also when it comes to being data-driven. A dashboard that can help you drive business success should be a tool, not a passive instrument. It should be something that you can use, not just data candy for the eye. To be concrete, this means that you don’t just want to look at data. You should be able to dig into it. It’s too often that business intelligence tools are used to set up fixed views, rather than letting the user find their own insights and explore them.

To summarize. You don’t want to do those strategy workshops and break it down into data points to just leave it hanging on the wall. To add real value from a data-driven HR perspective, you should be able to track the full employee lifecycle (including business impact). And be able to actually work with the data. The fixed dashboard in your HR master data system is a good starting point, but don’t let it stop you from doing the real impactful things.

Do you want to know more about building data culture through smooth data logistics?

Did you like this post about HR Dashboards? In that case, you should check out Henriks article on Setting the foundations for a data culture