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Smart HR Analytics: Taking Better Decisions


In the latter years we have observed a significant change in the way companies are managing their human resources. This change emerged mostly from new needs arising out of a constantly evolving and increasingly globalized business world. Thanks to research efforts, we can now develop far more powerful tools for managing people with greater efficiency.

Not so long ago, companies brought in niche software that covered a medley of requirements. Initially these applications just managed Personnel Administration and little else. Then others came along to address more specific requirements. But neither of these satisfied the needs of a company wanting to grow, particularly if they wanted to expand beyond their borders.

Today, we have reached a level of complexity in both companies and the business world that makes it increasingly difficult to successfully manage people. Currently companies are demanding integrated solutions or software packages that support human capital strategies. It is no longer sufficient for managers to come up with a strategic plan to achieve the corporate objectives, nor that this be implemented across all departments, except that of Human Resources, the typical scenario today. Now it is absolutely vital that strategic planning permeates through to Human Resources departments, so that they can analyze and detect areas of improvements and identify the future needs to be covered.

This does not stop here. It would seem that a software package managed solely by the HR department, is not enough either, however powerful it may be. More and more managers need to proactively control their assigned human resources or team players. Research has now been redirected towards a software line that lets managers supervise their teams through an intelligent application. By intelligent, I mean the capacity the software has for generating, analyzing and most importantly interpreting information to come up with valuable suggestions for next actions and tasks, not considered previously to ensure that the best possible decisions are made.

 The current software, even the most powerful packages are weak, when it comes to interpreting all the information produced. They are capable of generating thousands of tables, graphics, and analytics, but quite unable to interpret this information meaningfully to guide their users through effective decision making processes.

Just where the capacity of these software packages fall short, is right where the need for intelligent processes to support decision making comes to the fore. Offering managers the possible paths to investigate, not just taking into consideration the challenges for the company but also other mission critical variables for the business, such as the macroeconomic situation. In other words, we are talking of software that helps us pre-empt our future needs to make the best decisions thanks to this ability to anticipate ahead of time.

So, what should intelligent software do? Several elements are absolutely fundamental—generate information on the degree of talent loss, the state of the available talent pool, the degree of workforce motivation, the risk of future talent leaks, succession management, and so on. It is crucial that these applications generate the required analyses for making the right correlations and comparisons. Other external factors outside companies should also be accounted for, such as the talent gap or the economical turn downs.

What is even more important is to do what has hitherto been unfathomable until now. To be able to anticipate the future before it comes through the ability to come up with decision-making paths for us to explore, helps us better evaluate the situation. Putting it in another way, generating suggestions for possible actions to take provides managers with the capacity to make the best possible decisions without either requiring prior knowledge of human resources management or undertaking complementary training. The future lies in leveraging the business knowledge a manager possesses together with this pre-emptive functionality made available through this sort of software.

Workforce planning plays a key role in human resources management. The success of companies of the future depends to a large extent, if not entirely, on the capacity these have for evaluating their talent needs and building a plan of action to cover these in the most efficient way possible. Intelligent software is a crucial cornerstone to help us achieve these objectives.

Editorial HR

Meta4, with 1,300 customers in 100 countries, manages more than 18 million people worldwide. The company’s R&D&I center located in Spain (Madrid) develops HR applications capable of meeting local and global needs of all types of organizations. The editorial team is made up of professionals with over 15 years of experience in the HR technology field.

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