ICF OPINION

Achieving Workforce Excellence through Analytics

When it comes to human capital analytics, context matters. Over the past few years, there has been an explosion of interest in and tools available to conduct in-depth talent and workforce analytics, increasingly including big data analytics. However, despite over 75% of enterprises seeking to increase or at least maintain these investments, less than 25% report having a clear strategy to use this information.1 So what do human capital professionals bring to the analytics table?

ICF employs individuals with advanced Industrial/Organizational Psychology degrees, which provides a unique skill set to tackle the analytics conundrum. Specifically, our professionals can ensure that the data and analysis result in meaningful insight because of five key factors we bring to the table, outside of the software tools to do the job.

1. Identifying Ethical Implications and Legal Risk

Human capital analytics are unique in that the data being assessed includes personal, private, and confidential information. This means that thoughtful consideration of the data to be included in analysis, including any confidentiality safeguards or voluntary consent requirements, must be addressed up front.

2. Asking the right questions

ICF’s consultants have advanced training in research design and methodology, which means they are optimally positioned to help identify the specific research question(s) of interest in a variety of contexts and organizations.

3. Identifying the right data to answer the questions

Once the right questions are identified, the right data and most appropriate methodology for analyzing that data must be identified. While this may sound straightforward, the vast majority of HR data is located across disparate systems and usually not in a format that would immediately lend itself to in-depth analysis.

4. Drawing appropriate inferences from the analysis results

After the right data has been identified, obtained, and analyzed according to the most appropriate methodology, it is incredibly important that accurate and insightful conclusions are drawn from the results. This includes understanding the limits of inferences to be drawn from the analysis, especially the adage that “correlation does not equal causation.”

Making actionable and impactful recommendations

Finally, gleaning insights from the data and analysis to answer the right questions is a meaningless exercise unless it results in actionable recommendations that will have a real impact on the organization. ICF excels at translating the analytics into straightforward recommendations that organizational leaders can implement to drive key improvements toward increased human capital success.

1 http://www.infoworld.com/article/3074540/analytics/businesses-harbor-big-data-desires-but-lack-know-how.html

Point of Contact

Rebecca R. Harris Mulvaney, PH.D. | Vice President | rebecca.mulvaney@icf.com | +1.703.934.3582

Dr. Rebecca MulvaneyDr. Rebecca Mulvaney has more than 15 years of experience leading applied research and consulting initiatives to enhance organizational and individual performance. She has worked with a wide range of public and private sector clients such as the U.S. Army, U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Office of Personnel Management, the State of Pennsylvania, and several utility companies.

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