True or false?

Chocolate is essential to the production of effective people data analytics.


Photo courtesy of Migeul Garces, FLICKR, eating-chocolate.jpg

Trick question.

The answer is highly dependent upon who you ask.

(If you're asking me for analytics, then, yes, definitely, the consumption of chocolate will be imperative.)

Now that I have my chocolate, let's indulge in some more realistic true and false dialogs.

  1. True or False: Data cleansing is essential before you embark on any type of people analytics project.
  2. True or False: Creating an analysis of a single department's turnover rate is a waste of time because it will not lead to a full people analytics program.
  3. True or False: Risk of exposing HR data may prevent or complicate the ability of HR to make an impact in people analytics.
  4. True or False: I need to invest in new software and reporting tools and staff and train my organization for Workforce Analytics.

Ready? Here's your answer key.


  1. False. Don't wait for your data to be perfect - just start analyzing what you have. If you wait for everything to be perfectly cleansed, you may never get started.
  2. False. Start small with one example that can demonstrate proof of value. Here's a key thing you'll learn: how to identify a business challenge that needs data input to solve and how to define the requirements of data needed to address the issue. Focus on understanding what data will support that one issue and what you need to know about that data to contribute value to the discussion.
  3. False. The answers HR can contribute to the business are not necessarily within the HR database. Expand your view to the business data: sales, production, locations, peak times, slow times, geographic demand etc. Understand the business and then apply HR expertise to contribute solutions.
  4. False. The most important thing for HR to do to really delve into people analytics is to find the data and analyze it -- any way you can. That's right: use any tool currently at your disposable even if it's Excel.


I'm interested in your results - and your thoughts on this. If people analytics is key to our success in the fourth industrial workforce, then let's get this discussion out there in the open. I'm committed to our success as HR leaders!?  Are you? 

A complimentary chocolate bar to members who answer this post.


I'm not kidding.