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As an HR Manager I strongly believed that credible information was my strongest weapon. In a world where opinion, feelings and intuition tended to hold sway, (not to mention political clout) it was only evidential facts that could be an unarguable, legitimate counter force.

Google Analytics recently trumpeted success in creating a new kind of people management – where data (or rather facts based on data) drives decisions.

The HR Magazine People Management has followed this up with a lead article on the value of data (i.e factual information) in making decisions about people. From identifying holes in recruitment processes to finding out who is likely to leave (and how to keep them) data can now inform decisions. Issues such as underperformance, identifying generic reasons for absence and evaluating effectiveness of remote working can all be addressed by sophisticated analytics.

But as a starting point, it does not need to be that sophisticated. Basic statistics such as staff retention and stability indices, sickness absence levels and performance versus targets are all within the capabilities of small to medium sized enterprises. Knowing these, identifies the actions that can be taken and justifies decision making. Exit interviews, properly conducted, can provide invaluable qualitative data for sound decisions. Then employee surveys provide huge amounts of really valuable data to guide sound performance reviews, identify training and development needs, and justify investment in human resources.

Employer Solutions have people with wide professional experience including data collection, employee surveys and proficient data analysis.

Without doubt those organisations that will prosper and grow in the future will not be able to ignore people data any more than they will be able (or have been able) to avoid financial data.