HR analytics can be transformative. However, common misconceptions often hold projects back from reaching their full potential – or from getting started in the first place.


Myth #1: You need full-time analytics professionals

Getting started with analytics can seem intimidating without a pro on your team, but don’t underestimate your own ability. Most HR analytics software is designed for novices and can deal with much of the heavy lifting.

Investing in training for yourself or your team can pay dividends: your deep understanding of the business will inform your process and transform your results.

If all else fails, the gig economy offers a flexible way to access analytical talent part-time or for specific projects.


Myth #2: Big data is the holy grail

Having a vast pool of data points isn’t the most important thing – or even necessary – when it comes to HR analytics.

Much more important are relevancy, quality and insight: what you measure, how well you measure it and the conclusions you draw from your findings.


Myth #3: Data scientists should take the lead

HR analytics works when it’s employed in pursuit of a specific business purpose, be it to reduce turnover or improve engagement.

To avoid analytics for analytics’ sake, projects should be led by HR and business leaders who have a crystal-clear idea of what they want to achieve.


Myth #4: Your gut knows more than data

‘Trust your instincts’ is a much-vaunted tenet of the business world, but you may often find that analytics uncovers unexpected patterns.

If you’re taken by surprise, it’s worthwhile doing some digging to ensure your data is clean and reliable, or setting up another analytics project to seek new angles on the issue.

However, you may need to admit that, sometimes, computers do it better. Focus your attention on solutions and turn unexpected insights into intelligent action.


Don’t fall for HR myths. Get the facts with a CIPD qualification from ICS Learn and become the expert in best practice at your organisation.