Across my HR career most of my work with data has been working out simple models to predict results, or highlight future focused issues. I worked with predicting financial modelling for large scale scholarship programs, I worked with demographic workforce predictions to highlight future workforce composition issues at state level. Indeed during my studies predicting behaviour or outcomes through models was central to what I learnt. So with this work and other aspects of HR I’ve been in and around reporting for sometime, but as more of my work turns to reporting I’ve grown more convinced that while what we’re doing fulfils a purpose around end of year reporting, I’m less convinced reporting has much value outside of ‘state of the service’ type reports. We (HR along with other parties within the corporate or shared services) bemoan the lack of action from managers, highlighting issues such as high turnover, employees with excess levels of leave, low engagement, and the list goes on. And our answer to this, is to either overload managers with work, and/or provide reports that tells them what happened. Most likely the manager knows what happened, what they really need is to understand what might happen.
If you are having a similar experience, then rest assured you are not alone. And what I haven’t used the tool yet, SPSS Modeler presents some very interesting potential. The tool has been around for some time now, indeed they’re up to version 17 as I write this. And it got me thinking, why have I only recently heard of this software? I talk to fellow HR Practitioners, I read online HR blogs, I watch HR related content on YouTube etc. So while this might sound like a sales pitch, really my intention is to bring SPSS Modeler to the attention of more HR Practitioners. We have a real need for this type of toolset within HR, and while HR data isn’t seen as sexy or cutting edge as customer data analysis, or social network analysis, in my view it’s pretty important. So here’s a quick overview of the software, I should note this video isn’t mine, I just really like it so I’m happy to post it here:
And for those of you who are interested in text analysis, here’s SPSS Modeler doing some text analysis which looks amazing. Image we might actually get to mine some value out of those open ended questions that we put on the bottom of employee surveys – you know that ones that are included only as a pressure release valve for employees, but that few if any actually analyse and gain value from.
All the best in your journey from HR reporting to HR predicting, SPSS Modeler certainly isn’t the only tool out there, but it’s the one I’m asking to be installed on my work PC.