Do you know that people analytics are growing? It is evident from the continued investments made by global organizations, the boost in the influence of people analytics leaders, and the growth of the Human Resources technology market. Besides the growth, today’s fast-changing business landscape is witnessing rapid technological advances, making it essential for the HR departments of global organizations to become proficient in data literacy.
Data literacy will emerge as one of the most demanding skills in the workplace by 2030. Besides, 85% of C-suite executives believe that being data-literate is as essential as using a computer. Furthermore, the emergence of generative AI and GPT models exacerbates the need for data literacy, which is equally essential for optimum HR functions as for other business professionals.
The post focuses on understanding the concept of HR data literacy, its importance, its essential elements, and strategies HR professionals should adopt to become data literate.
HR Data Literacy: Understanding The Concept
In the words of experts, HR data literacy refers to the ability to derive meaningful and valuable information from data and implement it to improve products, services, and experiences. Data literate professionals can think critically about what the data shows, deduce relevant information, and possess knowledge of implementing the data appropriately for specific purposes.
As a crucial element of modern HR practices, data literacy emerged as one of the four core competencies of HR alongside business acumen, people advocacy, and digital proficiency. Since data is an asset for your organization, your HR professionals must be data literate. It will help them to glean meaningful information for strategic decision-making. Besides, your HR department must be able to translate the insights into actions, which help create business value, which the experts refer to as analytics translation.
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Importance of Data Literacy for HR Professionals and Businesses
Because your organization generates abundant data from digital processes, HR professionals must filter the relevant data from the information stream. A survey of leaders from various industries states that approximately 89% consider data literacy a high priority because it affects their businesses. Human resource professionals capable of reading, implementing, and communicating data can reap the following advantages from data.
Achieve Operational Efficiency
With the widespread use of analytics, you can easily detect any underlying cause of problems and the factors in areas working well. The knowledge helps HR professionals design new programs to boost innovation and productivity. Besides, you can also use data and analytics to set targets and measure effectiveness. A thorough interpretation of the information helps your organization achieve continuous improvement methods and efficiencies.
Make Evidence-Based Decisions
Remember, a lack of information often turns into unproductive decisions, and a wrong decision often has an enormous impact. The rapid shifts in workforce contexts are challenging employees to keep up. According to a recent study, only 9% of global organizations believe they understand talent dimensions that influence performance.
Research and verification support evidence-based decisions, which help you mitigate risks and improve the quality of any chosen field. For instance, evidence-based medicine transformed healthcare by improving patient outcomes and reducing costs.
Boost Productivity and Profit While Staying Competitive
With digital tracking of your organization’s aspects, more data is available for innovation. If your organization is excellent at analyzing data-based information, it’s ahead of the competition. In the opinion of a data literacy guide, organizations using people analytics to support HR functions and business decisions experienced an 82% higher than average profit in a span of three years than their competitors. Is there a lack of data literacy throughout your organization? It might cause your organization to yield to your competitors, who prioritize it.
Explore New Opportunities
Data analytics emerged as an excellent medium for exploring, solving, and creating new prospects. When more teams access and interpret data, your organization expands the opportunity for collaboration. Turning the data into action helps your organization to evolve its strategic work practices.
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How HR Professionals can Develop Data Literacy?
Organizations across the world are making data literacy a priority for their HR departments. However, several professionals are prioritizing to cultivate the competency themselves. How can you help your HR professionals to become data literate? You can adopt the following strategies to bring change to their working process.
Familiarizing With Data-Driven Work
We know it’s challenging to possess advanced mathematics and technological skills. However, managers and other organizational leaders must adopt an initiative to adopt a data-friendly mindset. Is data scaring you? Worry not, and embrace the data, as learning these valuable skills will help you perform better as an HR professional.
You can search and follow some data literacy instruction that works best for you. Does your organization offer data literacy training? If yes, attend the training. Alternatively, you can adopt the concept of self-training, where you can access self-paced online courses on people analytics. These courses contain visual examples through which you can easily understand the concepts and implement the knowledge and skills into practice.
Collaborating With Data Teams for Relevant Data
Connecting with data specialists helps you have a clear concept and understanding. Choose a couple of professionals whom you can question. Try utilizing their proficiency and learn to leverage data for better decision-making and improve other processes in the organization. Internal knowledge exchange sessions are excellent for enhancing your data and analytics.
Are you worried about these sessions? Worry not, as these are simple. For instance, you can organize an informal lunch learning session on a particular data literacy skill. When you and other HR professionals join the session, all of you can learn something.
Besides, it also helps the data specialist analyze how your expertise relates to HR functions. It will encourage cohesion and collaboration. When you work together, you can find relevant data to specific areas, including the existence of skills in the organization, to predict the attrition rate and success of an employee program.
Learning To Work With Data by Strengthening Your Excel Skills
Are you aware of basic HR formulas and functions? Knowing the same helps you analyze data faster and make new and better decisions. If you can use a spreadsheet program, you experience better data control. If you want to store, organize, and analyze data, there are no better options than using spreadsheets. Besides, these tools help you calculate, print reports, and create graphical representations.
Bringing Data to Your Next Meeting
When you start presenting what you know, you become part of data literacy. Once you grasp some data that fits your role, never waste it. Ensure to put actionable data to work for you and share it with your team and other decision-makers. When you understand the relevant data, you can pass it on to others. With improved data literacy, you can explain your thoughts and support your conclusion on a factual basis.
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Ask Questions to Your Data Experts
Having queries and clearing your doubts are essential parts of becoming data literate. Get comfortable seeking help from knowledgeable professionals, and when in doubt, ask the experts from your data team or people analytics team. It will help you improve your data literacy skills. However, seeking quick answers might limit your learning. Therefore, it’s not the best to rely on a simple response. Instead, ask your experts to explain behind-the-scenes information and learn why you need to conduct a specific analysis.
The best part is it doesn’t stop here. With more knowledge, you start asking more questions, helping you gain deeper insight into the data your organization collects. The answers to your meaningful questions open the door for more inquiries. Furthermore, these queries help you explore a new path where you can focus in the future.
Today, data emerged as a vital component of the HR function. As an HR professional, you strategically contribute towards the organization’s goals when you develop solid data literacy skills. Becoming data literate is a continuous process where you must understand, implement, and translate the data into actions. Adopting the strategies is the best solution if you want to become data literate.