Asia has further to go on analytics, says CIPD

Author: PM editorial | Date: 13 Oct 2015

But opportunities abound as metrics take hold – and some companies are world leaders for data

The practical application of big data for HR teams in Asia is being held back by some major barriers, according to a new report from the CIPD.
 
Evolution of HR analytics: Perspectives from Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, revealed that HR data has the potential to transform organisations. However, this is not currently being realised for a number of reasons. One of the main problems is the lack of a clear standardisation in reporting HR data, making it difficult to benchmark and compare organisations. The absence of technology needed to conduct simple, repeatable analytics within a company was also highlighted..
 
‘’HR analytics is at the front of mind for many HR leaders in the region, but many have acknowledged that there is still a long way to go to realise the full potential of what HR analytics can do for their organisation,’’ said Edward Houghton, research advisor for human capital metrics and standards for CIPD.
 
The report was the basis of a panel discussion at the Singapore Human Capital Summit, which included leading employers and academics in Asia..
 
Rick Smith, academic director, human capital programmes at Singapore Management University, said: ‘’I was really disappointed when I saw the report as to where we are as a profession. While some leading companies have pushed the envelope, the future is through analytics and we still have a long way to go.’’.
 
However, some organisations in the region are ahead of the curve when it comes to using HR analytics. Business data provider Experian is developing a predictive analytics model that can help identify potential leavers within its organisation so it can tailor incentives aimed at making them stay. Aarti Thapar, Experian’s head of talent, engagement and culture for Asia Pacific, said: ‘’Our bread and butter is analytics, and we are building a predictive model looking at a core business issue for us, which is attrition. The model gives a high, medium or low risk score to every individual. We have the capabilities in-house with our data scientists and can start to be proactive and tackle retention issues early.’’ .
 
The model computes a range of factors such as number of training days, team size, the location of the individual and their absence levels. But producing the data is only half the story. “You need to be able to interpret that information, understand the needs of the business and then bring that data into the conversation,’’ Thapar added..
 
One potential danger of collecting data from across the organisation is proving to stakeholders it is being followed up and acted on, so it is not viewed as another HR process with no real purpose. Manojit Sen, head of HR – Asia Pacific, (DS Lubricants/CF) at Shell, said: “We have to prove it has value and close the loop by reporting back the findings regularly.’’