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Break down silos for effective analytics

It's important to break down siloed functions for effective people analytics, says Mark Porter, OneSource's head of operational HR

Speaking at the Tucana People Analytics 2016 conference, Porter said that often departments can feel uncomfortable sharing their data. "They might say 'I can't share all of that'," he said. "In the end we got everyone in a room and told them nobody could leave until we had some set indicators we could use for the whole of London."

"The key is letting them know what is in it for them," he added. "They want to know what they will get out of the proposition. For us it was the simplicity. We weren't asking them to measure anything different, just use a different system."

However, Porter warned that implementing a new shared system might not run smoothly from the start. "You can't become data-rich and comfortable straight away," he said. "It is about chipping away, winning the small victories, and building to a working whole."

Sebastian Zabel, team leader of people analytics at Goodgame Studios, explained how his organisation managed to overhaul its people data by consolidating all the data sources into one digital dashboard. "Since 2009 we have grown heavily to more than 1,200 people," he said. "It is unbelievable to me how big we are now.

"At the start of 2015 our HR reports were a pain. It would consist of a single email with data from multiple Google documents. Each department had its own data systems and every month HR had to request the data it needed. There were different definitions of headcounts; we would provide one number but accounting would provide another. HR wasn't very popular."

Since then, Goodgame Studios has rethought how to collect and use data. "We use just one data source to avoid that conflict," Zabel said. "It can be updated on a daily basis. There is no need to chase for data; it is all there at a single click."