Numbers, Data, and Intelligence
published by , on 06/12/2008

HR has been encouraged to become more conversant with—and dependent on—data: metrics, statistics, and benchmarks. And that’s a good thing, but the numbers themselves often don’t tell the story. It’s the analysis, perspective, and context that changes data from raw information into intelligence.

Break Away From Paradigm Blindness explains the pros and cons of three popular benchmarks: Employee Net Promoter Score, Gallup Q12, and Walker Loyalty. Each can provide beneficial insights. However, to gain maximum value for your organization’s needs, it’s important to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Making good policy and strategy decisions should evaluate “the facts” and consider them in light of organizational goals.

Single number statistics also can be misleading. Although the data may be accurate, lacking trend information and context can drive the wrong conclusion. The HR Capitalist’s blog 64 Percent Turnover… Sometimes That’s Pretty Good… describes just that.

Good metrics should be:
• Aligned with business
• Actionable and predictive
• Consistent
• Time trackable
• Peer comparable

The data is the first step but in isolation may not provide value. You can use sophisticated reporting and analytics platforms to support good decision-making and turn information into intelligence.

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