There are metrics for practically all aspects of HR and people management. With the main umbrella categories of headcount, recognition, turnover, retention, diversity, recruiting, engagement, performance, employer brand, and more all split up into further sub-categories, the things that can be measured can start to seem endless. 

With endless reams of data, what do you do with it? How do you combine it? Do you need to combine it? How do you read and understand it once you have the data on screen or in a report? Data, after all, is quite useless without the analysis and interpretation of it. And even still, then you need to understand what to do with that data. Almost all HR professionals do agree that big decisions should be data-driven.

Gathering HR data and understanding it may seem like a job best suited for a data scientist or data specialist. The sheer volume of data can overwhelm many HR professionals, especially those who are more old school. They may have been sharpshooters in the profession in the past but these more modern metrics may have them boggling. Yet their expertise plus the right metrics can create wins for any HR department with methodologies old or new. 

With more modern methods to HR data collection and analysis, however, simplification comes a little more easily. Let’s explore, when HR data gets complicated, how to simplify it quickly! 

How does HR data get complicated?

In the past, data specialists were told by an HR manager which report to run and what data was needed. They’d then go and extract the data from whichever database or spreadsheet(s) were being used and compile a report. This task was time-consuming and didn’t use real-time data, which means some big business decisions could be made on incomplete pictures. But even if that’s not the case and assuming the data was up to date, the length of time to create the report lost precious hours or days.

A simple Google search of how many metrics there are to measure in HR easily comes up with thirty plus metrics you should track with others trying to simplify for the ten, eleven, fourteen, fifteen best metrics you need to know. 

The metrics you measure in your organization will depend on your organizational goals but most HR departments track the following metrics.

  • Recruitment and time/cost to hire
  • Engagement and retention
  • Employee value, recognition, engagement, and performance
  • Training and development.
  • HR service and software

Having lots of data points can get complicated and generating multiple reports can seem productive but be of little value. Any metrics you report should be actionable and add value to your organization. Your reports should allow the C-suite to make informed decisions. 

But your C-suite will not need to know about every metric you measure. For example, new hire turnover and time to hire offer little information to an executive. That’s data to pass on to your recruitment team so they can improve their practices.

Simplify your data by generating only reports that you need and delivering those reports only to the people who need them.

How can you simplify your HR data?

Now, HR reports – with the right software – can be run in a matter of minutes. With Employee Cycle’s dashboard, as an example, with the click of a button, you can integrate multiple HR software on a single screen and you can generate multiple reports, choosing whichever metrics you need. 

If you want to understand how employee engagement impacts retention, you can. If you want to see if your diversity initiatives (DEI) are working, take a look at the time to hire, cost to hire, and if those employees leave within the first year, you can do that too. There’s no end to the metrics you can run, which is a good and bad thing.

Again, now that gathering and interpreting data is practically done by AI now, as an HR professional it’s your job to determine the organization’s goals and targets (along with the relevant stakeholders) and how you can leverage the data you have to align with organizational goals. So, if you have data on X how can you fix Y. What does X data tell you about Y problem? What are ways that that data can be meaningful in improving the organization? 

You need to determine what’s an appropriate turnover rate for your organization or if the training budget allocated to each employee is valuable and fair. For example, you may have a high turnover of less productive staff but you may have a high retention of valuable employees. That’s great. If the metrics flip, however, then you may feel like your turnover is out of sync and you need to determine why they’re leaving – and if it’s monetary or there’s no promotion potential as examples – you’ll need to work with execs to figure out how to get employees engaged and fairly compensated. 

But, remember, all the data in the world will not matter if HR forgets the human part. People can not wholly be reduced to numbers and graphs and charts. You have to speak with employees and engage with them to determine what’s going on underneath the numbers. We’ve determined that it’s easy to simplify complicated data; it’s easy to understand which metrics you need to report on and which metrics you can let take a back seat, but being a holistic big-picture, valuable HR professional is knowing when to balance the data metrics with the human element – and knowing how to make the data actionable and meaningful.

Find out how Employee Cycle can help with HR data

Employee Cycle’s initial set-up and HR coaching sessions, for paid subscriptions, will talk you through how to integrate your current HR software into the one-stop-shop that is Employee Cycle’s dashboard. 

No more complicated reporting where you have to download reports from multiple systems and try to figure out which data is relevant from which report; with the combined dashboard, you can generate one meaningful data-driven report to share with relevant stakeholders. 
If you want a way to simplify your HR data and remove the complicated, arduous, and time-consuming reporting process, schedule your free demo today.