Companies use business intelligence to analyze key data on their hard assets, but why don't they do a better job of looking at the data they have on the people that work for them? Oracle surveyed 400 companies in UK, France, Germany and Australia to find out. 

Data Access Drives HR Effectiveness

Oracle found the best human resources strategies were aligned with more access to data and integration of HR to business goals. The study examined companies who were good at using data and those who were not so good. 

By looking at how data proficient (good data usage) and data deficient (lacking data usage) companies use workforce data, sourcing and onboarding talent, learning and development and other metrics, Oracle found companies in Europe especially can improve worker engagement and productivity using talent intelligence (what Oracle calls HR data).

Furthermore, the research found regional differences in what exactly companies value as far as measuring workers. In Europe, for example, the study found companies were most concerned with the quality of their staff as the go to metric for success. In the US, the focus seems to be more on worker productivity, an area where reliable data can be more easily accessed.

US companies as a group tended to have more data focused HR departments, and that could help to explain a deeper focus on reliable metrics. 


Note the difference between perception of executive support between data proficient (DPOs) and data deficient (DDOs) companies.

Competitive Advantage through People Power

Oracle concluded companies can gain competitive advantage through more focused management on personnel. No surprise there, but the details are in the how. The study found companies were less convinced of the effectiveness of deeper employee understanding where there was a less integrated HR department. 

Additionally, companies with low levels of access to data overall expressed the greatest need for metrics and measurement of employee and HR performance. It seems the companies who have the data are better off when they use it, and those without data either know they need it or don't understand how important it is to have it. 

Editor's Note: Interested in how to make HR more social? Check out : HR + Social = Like and How Social Human Capital Management Can Benefit the Enterprise.