There is so much buzz on the importance of leveraging data-driven technologies to enhance the HR function that even the greatest sceptics are gradually coming on board. However, figuring out how to transition from data analysis to sourcing actionable intelligence and delivering  tangible results which can add value to an organization is still somewhat of an undecipherable riddle. The reason is that HR leaders treat HR analytics as a side project rather than an core parameter of the evolution of the HR function.

Here are the most common mistakes:

Assigning HR Analytics to HR Reporting

The reasoning behind this decision may appear valid as HR reporting teams are already responsible for managing data. The truth is, however, that unless they have been specially trained to do so, most HR reporting teams are not qualified to conduct people data analyses. The HR analytics required to produce results are oceans apart from the reports HR reporting teams are used to delivering.

Assigning People Data Analysis to Data Scientists

Again, the underlying reasoning behind this decision is overly simplistic. Although an expert in data science may speak data with remarkable fluency, they usually have a limited understanding of how data is linked to real business issues. The result is usually spending too much money and keeping fingers crossed that the tech wiz will deliver useful results. In this sense, it is more logical –and cost-effective- to involve business people who know the issues that need to be addressed.

Excluding HR Professionals from The Process

How can the HR function fulfil its strategic role by leveraging analytics if the average HR professional’s role is overlooked? The analytics team may render the best results and the reporting team may produce the most concise reports on them, but if HR officers do not become analytics savvy, the whole effort will –unfortunately- be in vain.

All in all, the relative novelty of analytics in the world of HR makes the mistakes outlined above quite justified. Nevertheless, the lesson to be learnt is that an effective analytics function cannot exist if analytics is not treated as an organic part of all HR operations. If it fails to inform the HR function across all facets, then HR will never fulfil a high impact strategic role.