A new study of 297 UK small- and medium-sized enterprises concludes UK HR teams appear to lag behind other business departments in adopting analytics solutions.
The research, undertaken by Source for Consulting in partnership with business applications and service provider Advanced Business Solutions, found that while 73 per cent of HR professionals believe analytics software can help enhance strategic decision making in their organisation, 83 per cent do not currently have access to such technology.
According to the survey, just 17 per cent of HR professionals are using analytics software. This figure is the lowest compared to other key business domains, like marketing (48%), strategic decision-making (44%), finance (38%), operations (37%) and customer-facing functions (37%).
Advanced Business Solutions therefore believes that HR staff may struggle to exploit potential opportunities, especially with 68 per cent “admitting that they have yet to consider how they could use analytics within their department.”
Simon Fowler, managing director of the commercial division of Advanced Business Solutions, comments, “Leading analytics software is key to ensuring that HR can continue to make a telling and profitable contribution within a business.
“It can help to spot early signs as to whether an employee could be thinking of leaving and recommend pre-emptive action, helping to increase retention levels which is critical to maintaining long-term growth.”
International organisations such as Credit Suisse and Walmart are using analytics solutions to improve employee engagement and better link HR trends to business outcomes by analysing communication patterns, performance reviews and personality tests, says Advanced Business Solutions.
The research also highlights that HR professionals surveyed had the least understanding among the six business departments when it came to recognising the difference between analytics and business intelligence systems.
Mr Fowler expains, “While business intelligence seeks out information through asking questions and reporting back, analytics assists organisations to access historical data to identify trends, provide explanation and model what might happen in the future.
“Without the right technology in place, HR departments will struggle to effectively nurture the talent of employees and obtain vital information, which can be transformed into actionable insight to help their company obtain a competitive edge.”