Very Cool. HR Data And Google Analytics.

Kathryn Dekas has a very cool job as the people analytics manager at Google, and she lays out the relationship between data and HR.

Kathryn’s research focuses on the meaning of work, and more specifically how individuals’ sense of meaning impacts their experiences and behaviors in the work domain. She is currently working on several projects to learn more about how individuals develop a particular meaning structure, and the impact it may have on career progression and success.

HR certainly has familiarity with data and analytics, but as organizations become more data driven, new opportunities emerge for HR to leverage.

HR data clearly benefits a company, but according to Dekas it can also help employees. Dekas points out that if you understand that the company you work for is using data to make important decisions, it can provide an additional layer of trust.  Action taken based on objective measures over either an individual’s or groups intuition can drive trust enhancements.  Further, if employees have access to their own HR data, they then have the ability to act upon the information and take greater ownership of the processes and systems they are responsible for.

While dashboards are useful Dekas points out that a desensitization of data can evolve with exposure to the same metrics presented in the same fashion. Dekas suggests disrupting the typical feedback mechanisms with data obtained from questions that are timely and relevant.  It’s important to be comfortable in communicating metrics on a frequent basis; however, it is important to challenge what in fact is timely and relevant.

Ok, so this is sort of weird but cool, and has potential….the connection between HR data and the sensor-driven Quantified Self movement.  While Dekas says that placing sensors on employees has a creepiness factor there may be broader ways to observe and define workplace sensors, including employee surveys and other feedback processes. Its’ important to note that Dekas drew a distinction between personal tracking and the HR tracking in that the former would be for employee sharing only, and the later  where some amount of employee data is shared within an organization. Go here for a brief interview and here for the complete presentation.


Posted on October 14, 2011, in Employee Relations, HR Management & Leadership. and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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