HRE’s Number of the Day: HR data analysts

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Data is becoming increasingly central to most HR decisions–from recruiting to engagement to D&I. However, few HR departments actually employ their own experts to derive meaning from that data, according to new research.

XpertHR’s 2020 HR Metrics Survey of 420 U.S. employers found that a vast majority (91%) have HR teams that analyze at least one HR-related metric–but a scant 15% have their own data analyst. Despite most not having a dedicated HR data analyst, surveyed employers are most interested in studying employee turnover, followed by time-to-fill, absences, training costs and cost-per-hire.

What this means for HR leaders

These numbers are best explored by a data analyst who is specifically assigned to an HR unit, says Andrew Hellwege, surveys editor at XpertHR.

“As data and analytics continue to grow in importance,” he says, “investing in this type of analyst position may help organizations strengthen their workforce management and, ultimately, better achieve their business objectives.”

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However, current conditions, Hellwege says, might preclude many from taking this important step.

“Given the financial strains and economic uncertainty of the pandemic–and a potentially slow economic recovery–many organizations may be unlikely to invest in a new HR staff position when struggling to make ends meet,” he says. “So, it may be some time before this type of position catches on.”

For the full report, click here.

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Jen Colletta
Jen Colletta is managing editor at HRE. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining HRE. She can be reached at [email protected].