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HR professionals not using analytics software

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Less than one in five (17%) HR professionals use analytics software, according to research from Advanced Business Solutions.

This is despite almost three-quarters (73%) of HR professionals believing that analytics software can help them make strategic decisions.

The Advanced Business Solution report, Advanced Analytics 2015, found that marketing (48%), strategic decision-making (44%), finance (38%), operations (37%) and employees who work in customer-facing functions (37%) all make greater use of analytics in the workplace than HR.

Nearly nine out of 10 (86%) respondents said the main benefit to implementing analytics would be to make better informed decisions, followed by the need to improve the understanding of why things have happened and operational efficiency (both 69%). Only 8% reasoned that their business should deploy an HR analytics solution ‘because other organisations are investing’.

Laurence Collins, leader for HR and analytics at Deloitte UK, said the results echo Deloitte's findings in this area. "HR does trail worryingly behind other business functions when it comes to analytics," he told HR magazine.

"This is not the result of one thing but is a culmination of factors, such as the inability to retain talent that can make the best use of analytical tools, and the inability to articulate reasons to invest in tools for analytics.”

Simon Fowler, managing director of Advanced Business Solutions (commercial division), agreed the research findings are concerning. “Businesses are increasingly being driven by data so it is worrying that many HR managers still rely on spreadsheets instead of using analytics software to predict likely patterns of behaviour,” he said.

“Without the right technology in place HR departments will struggle to effectively nurture the talent of employees and gather vital information, which can be transformed into actionable insight to help their company obtain a competitive edge.”

Deloitte’s Collins added that a possible solution could be outsourcing this HR function: "What we are seeing now is a move away from in-house analytics towards an outside managed approach,” he reported.