Super-intelligent HR: the opportunities and obstacles

15 minute listen

In this People Analytics podcast David Green, global director, people analytics solutions, IBM, speaks to Bernard Marr, best-selling author, regular contributor to the World Economic Forum and one of LinkedIn’s top five business influencers in the world, on why data analytics is becoming more important in HR and what is holding it back

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Hard hats that include sensors to better understand fatigue and stress levels in construction. Video analysis on building sites to see if workers are wearing the correct safety gear. Smart office chairs that feature biometric fingerprints to enable employees to log into computers. These are just some examples of where data is being used to improve the wellbeing and performance of people.

According to Bernard Marr, CEO of Advanced Performance Institute and author of new book Data-Driven HR, one of the keys to data collection and analysis is that it drives benefits and improves the wellbeing of the people in the organisation. Insights gleaned from data should help employees feel better, feel safer and become better decision-makers.

As David Green, global director, people analytics solutions, IBM, puts it in this podcast: “The onus of data work is on creating value for the employees as much as solving business problems.”

Marr, who is launching Data-Driven HR at People Analytics World conference which takes place in London on April 11-12, says HR is not as far behind other functions as many would have us believe when it comes to data and analytics.

“I see lots of different functions, such as marketing and finance, and I don’t think HR is that far behind. I see similar situations in finance, although marketing is slightly further ahead. But all are moving on a similar trajectory.

However, the lack of a data strategy is holding HR back, together with a lack of skills and, in some cases, interest.

“HR needs to understand the needs and business case for a more data driven organisation and link to the wider business goals and KPIs. I see far too often that HR teams start with looking at all the data they already have, half of which is collected for regulatory purposes, and think this is what they need to use.

“HR needs to step back from this and ask what are the key priorities? Then it needs to think about how data can help deliver on these priorities.”

If HR can realise the true potential of people analytics, it will move from intelligent to super-intelligent HR. Intelligent HR is the automation of tasks, such as administration and transactional-based processes. Super-intelligent HR goes beyond this, says Marr.

“It uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to automate more advanced tasks, like chatbots to answer HR queries, predictive analytics to predict who is most likely to leave among high potentials, freeing human time to focus on strategic and people-centric tasks.”

Hear more about this in highlights from the podcast here. For the full podcast (31 minutes) visit the People Analytics World website.




Bernard Marr will be speaking at People Analytics World conference on April 11-12 at the Queen Elizabeth Conference centre in London, UK
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