Where do you fall on the data maturity curve for employee engagement analytics?

data maturity

Big things are happening in the world of HR. One of the key trends we are seeing right now is the rise of ‘strategic HR’. This is the revitalization of HR leaders to become more data-driven and focused on reaching specific KPIs.

The new duties of the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) have granted these previously underutilized professionals a seat at the high table of executives, and a close relationship with the CEO. However, they may not be coming in with the needed toolset and resources that the other executives possess. In other words, HR professionals need to catch up with other C-level leaders. Fast.

Because understanding data is now the crucial, Swiss Army knife for HR executives, we thought we’d break down what exactly “data maturity” means for your organization and how that relates to HR and engagement analytics.

What is data maturity?

Data maturity refers to how data is being collected in a business, and how that data is being used to drive decisions. Per Silicon Valley Data Science, the data maturity model is typically a four-stage process:

1. Data Apathetic Organizations: your business decisions are rarely if ever, driven by data.

2. Data Aware Organizations: you’re capturing data, but you are currently only using it for awareness purposes.

3. Data Critical Organizations: you’re beginning to develop a sophisticated approach to using data as an asset–but only for mission-critical areas.

4. Data Driven Organizations: your organization is thinking data-first. Your systems, processes, and people are working together to use data efficiently and effectively.

Unlock the Power of Your People

Concerning employee engagement initiatives and employee feedback, many organizations are still behind where they need to be, at most being Data Aware. This is due to the standard practice of implementing yearly, one-time surveys that are seemingly done in a vacuum: data isn’t utilized, managers aren’t making business decisions based on feedback, and employees feel like their time is being wasted, and voices left unheard.

For HR executives to meet the ever-increasing demands of other senior leaders, it is imperative for them to create a data-first environment, where valuable insights can be tied to other business objectives, and solve critical people problems.

Data from employees cannot be taken once a year and analyzed months after the fact; it has to be an ongoing, cyclical collection effort, followed by a very rapid translation of pertinent findings.

Just like money, data has a time-value aspect, and if it isn’t dissected quickly, it will become less and less useful as time goes on. If you don’t have the ability to act on data in a timely manner, how can you expect to make a good business decision?

With speed being such an important metric, a revision to the data maturity model can be made with the addition of a 5th stage:

5. Data Direct Organizations: your organization is Data Driven with zero to minimal latency. Data taken in real-time can be leveraged to direct business action.

Data Direct is the future of decision making for businesses and HR executives alike.

Suppose that a large grocery chain is having a sales problem at one location. All other surrounding stores are doing superb, yet this one is struggling to keep the lights on.

You, an expert on the effects of eNPS on a company’s success, suspect that it is a problem with employee satisfaction. Leveraging valuable data, you discover that the newly hired manager of the underperforming store is quite unfavorable among his employees.

This unhappiness is causing the eNPS of this store to dip in relation to the surrounding stores, and thus, the drop in efficiency. By being Data Direct, you saved the store from going under. And you did it fast.

Now how does this relate to employee engagement analytics? Let’s take another look at the model, catered to people data:

1. Data Apathetic Organizations: your business isn’t capturing any engagement analytics (e.g., company-wide surveys, employee lifecycle surveys, on-demand feedback, etc.)

2. Data Aware Organizations: you’re conducting an annual employee engagement survey and are able to establish a baseline of employee engagement levels within your organization.

3. Data Critical Organizations: you’ve scratched past surface-level insights from your engagement analytics to successfully take action on your employees biggest concerns.

4. Data Driven Organizations: your business is able to tell the bigger story and tie engagement analytics data to other data points within the organization (e.g., NPS, Revenue, Store Sales, Client Retention, etc.)

5. Data Direct Organizations: zero latency has been achieved and real-time action is being taken on employee feedback before your business is severely impacted.

Your organization can’t become Data Direct with your people data until all of your executives agree on the importance of employee welfare and feedback. To be competitive in this ever-changing landscape, you need to keep your people happy so you can, in turn, keep them.

To learn more about the toolset needed to become a Data Direct organization, drop a line on our contact us page and we’ll reach out.