Re-calibrating the new world of work with data
The use of big data and data analytics in today’s global business landscape is on the rise. A report by Singapore’s Economic Development Board, showed that the data analytics industry is central to the country’s economy, contributing at least S$1 billion annually.
At the heart of every business organisation today are its people and talents. With remote and hybrid work arrangements now the new norm, the push to convert data analytics to people analytics is escalating.
Data analytics is used not only by large enterprises and MNCs in predicting global trends and consumer preferences but also by SMEs and HR teams in compensation and benefits, managing attrition and retention, pulse surveys, and employee engagement.
As a global HR and payroll service provider, BIPO continues to innovate in areas like business intelligence (BI), data, and people analytics as part of its award-winning cloud-based HR Management System (HRMS).
Henry Liew, BIPO’s Principal Data Scientist, who spearheads the company’s Global Innovation Hub in Singapore, indicated that businesses today need to combine the art of HR with the science of data analytics to deliver results aligned with business operations and goals.
Liew shared, “The common misconception surrounding data, analytics, and BI tools generally stem from a lack of understanding, giving users the impression that with limited features and functions, results are generally complicated and difficult to interpret.”
“These may be true with legacy BI tools. However, a lot has since evolved. In addition to providing real-time data that enable businesses to analyse long-term trends, BI tools now offer customised reports, and are highly sought after as a business enabler to solve short-term problems.”
While the concept of big data and the use of analytics is not new, there is an impetus for businesses to convert data analytics to people analytics – a trend brought about by the current pandemic. Real-time information is needed to respond to the volatile business environment and implement better workforce planning and manpower strategies.
Drawing on his experience working with enterprises and SMEs, Liew shared that today’s business leaders are more inclined to use people analytics to support the decision-making process, with judgment based on actionable insights to deliver results aligned with business objectives.
Liew has noticed growing interest from businesses keen to analyse data such as cost of living, comparing increasingly attractive locations to place high-potential employees as part of succession planning and the anticipated uptick in the global business economy.
People analytics and BI, when integrated with HRMS and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms can have a significantly positive impact on compensation and benefits, performance evaluation, attrition, retention, and employee engagement.
As an example, where attrition is constantly high, data should be analysed over 12 months to determine key motivators (push/pull factors, for example) and identify other possible underlying issues such as leadership change or disengaged employees.
Supporting data could indicate that a pay rise and promotions may not adequately address the problem. Instead, a mid to longer-term strategy could include coaching, mentoring, and succession planning to ensure sustainable teams.
“With remote and hybrid work arrangements here to stay, people analytics ensure that accurate data, instead of gut-feel instinct, is used to implement measures that support and empower teams.” – Henry Liew, Principal Data Scientist, Global Innovation Hub, BIPO
Liew concluded, “With remote and hybrid work arrangements here to stay, people analytics ensure that accurate data, instead of gut-feel instinct, is used to implement measures that support and empower teams.”
“Performance appraisal, salary increase, benefits tagged to SMART goals that are analysed collectively as part of the current business situation will support informed decision making and better overall management.”