The Biggest Myths About People Analytics

The Biggest Myths About People Analytics

People Analytics is a fantastic tool that promises to make HR more strategic. And while it delivers on these promises, make no mistake: it will not do all the work for you. When we discuss data science and predictive analysis applied to the human resources function, it is common to come across the false idea that integrating artificial intelligence system will solve all the problems that afflict the HR professional. This is not true. People Analytics is science, not magic– and here’s what this feature CAN NOT do for your company:



Technology is developed to generate predictions about the behavior of a demographic group, which means that significant sampling is required for analysis. For example, if in your company there is only one chief financial officer, you can not anticipate how long it should take to be promoted to this position. People Analytics requires a pool of information!



Precisely because it does not generate predictions at the individual level, HR data analysis cannot deliver a ready response. At the end of the day, you will have to make the choices. People need to be aware that the machine does not make decisions – yet – and that, therefore, humans need to be able to read, interpret and discuss the reports generated by the system. Think of People Analytics as a way to have more grounding for strategic decisions, not as a do-it-all guru.



Despite indicating a probability and a direction, the system has a margin of error and unfortunately, many professionals who are dealing with analysis ignore this aspect. The algorithm can generate a report that predicts that the probability of a group quitting within the next six months is 90%, but if the error rate is 30%, the confidence level falls. So remember– you should not take these results as an absolute value.



The first step of a People Analytics project is to identify what data is available, where they are, and then bring them together to one place. It can take from one to three months, so do not expect to solve your company’s HR issues in just thirty days. In the best scenarios, those in which the data are organized, the analysis can even take from one to six months, depending on the complexity of the project.


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