Dino Zincarini, Product Evangelist at ADP DataCloud, discussed the valuable role that finance can play in helping HR navigate its evolution through data analytics.
Zincarini began his thought leadership presentation at the 2017 Chief Financial Officer Leadership Forum held on May 9 in Los Angeles by noting, “Almost every company now does analytics in some form or other, but, in the HR space, it’s relatively new. I’m talking to you today because HR is going to be coming to you with requests for data and for help interpreting it, and these requests will accelerate as HR continues down the path of adopting analytics.”
“Almost every company now does analytics in some form or other, but, in the HR space, it’s relatively new.”
Zincarini continued, “HR is going through a process right now that finance went through a few decades ago. Finance pivoted from ‘accounting’ to becoming a knowledge area that finance owns and partners with the business to deliver. Finance provides advice, counsel, and foresight about how the rest of the company should be using financial resources. HR is going through a similar process and is in the middle of this transformation,” he said.
“HR is going through a process right now that finance went through a few decades ago. Finance pivoted from ‘accounting’ to becoming a knowledge area that finance owns and partners with the business to deliver.”
“HR data is going through a massive evolution right now. The value of people data is increasing and the technology continues to expand relating to what can be done with this data. All of HR’s people data and transactions can now be put to work, and the data that HR is responsible for and understands is quite valuable,” he said.
“According to research done by ADP in 2015, 75% of large enterprises have access to data, and 46% have deployed workforce analytics. Organizations are awash in data but often aren’t using it effectively. Most people believe the data they have access to doesn’t actually help them get things done. This is the burden for people who are creating analytics for businesses and workers. It’s not enough to create something and give it to them. We have to know their role, their job, the business questions that are important to them. We have to give them data that answers those questions in a format they can use,” said Zincarini.
“HR is being asked to build new strategic capabilities in addition to its traditional operational role. The business wants HR to be its strategic advisor on how best to implement the people strategy and to be the catalyst for change in order to get greater efficiency and productivity from its human capital. In terms of the strategic partnership, the business needs HR to help it understand the talent part of the company’s overall strategy. HR is responsible for taking that overall strategy and determining what each manager needs to do to achieve that strategy,” he explained.
"The business wants HR to be its strategic advisor on how best to implement the people strategy and to be the catalyst for change in order to get greater efficiency and productivity from its human capital.”
“In order to drive this change, HR will need to be armed with data that doesn’t just measure what it does but quantifies its impact to the bottom line. These two new functions that HR is being asked to perform—strategic partner and change agent—require HR to move into an analytics space it hasn’t had in the past,” Zincarini observed. “HR needs new data and new skills to apply and use this data. HR is hiring analytics-oriented people—many of them from your teams. Most CHROs right now are being hired from finance groups because HR needs to become more analytically minded and focused.”
Finance can help with this evolution in HR, stated Zincarini, who made these points:
• Finance has already gone through a similar process and can help guide HR with role evolution, best practices, and optimized structure.
• HR needs to standardize how it measures its business, and finance can help with this.
• By partnering with HR, finance can help create a unified data picture to answer the impactful business questions.
• Finance can help develop HR’s analytical muscle (“They’re hiring from your group anyway!”), especially regarding modeling.
• Finance needs to understand how its experience isn’t an exact map of what HR needs to do.
• Finance knows how to understand the magnitude of analytics vs. precision.
• The focus needs to be less strictly on financial ROI; this must be balanced with other measures.
ABOUT DINO ZINCARINI:
Dino is the ADP DataCloud Product Evangelist, helping clients understand the business value of ADP’s analytic, reporting, and benchmarking capabilities. Dino has spent 15 years in the analytics and data warehousing spaces in various roles spanning marketing, product management, and customer support but always with an eye towards unlocking the value of data for business users.