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Analytics need not be impersonal and heartless. Of course HR is about people and of course people and things can be counted and measured and compared in various ways without denying their essential humanity. Read "Moneyball" or even watch the movie.

The real dichotomy is not between numbers versus people but whether the analytics are relevant to strategic (mountaintop) or tactical (at dirt level) applications and how the measures are used.

Yes I agree ---- as in everything we do in HR, judgment is everything.

BTW, Dr. Jac Fitz-enz didn't create HR metrics, because they were around in the form of tradecraft ratios for ages. Relative performance metrics were also fundamental to Operations Research applications since forever; but he certainly promoted and popularized the "metrics biz" more than anyone else since Deming with TQM and SixSigma. At this point, he has created at least three metrics firms, as I recall, and hasn't stopped yet.

I didn't know that. Jack certainly seemed to claim the origin of metrics so I guess he was a good marketeer. Yes, he was at Radford for awhile then I lost track of him.

Analytics and Business Intelligence are the next wave of the future. Son HR data, finance data, operational data and qualitative data (sustainability etc.) will be analyzed as one holistic picture at every company. Currently only a few companies and consultants really focus on doing this type of work, where compensation is included in the results. 10 years from now we will wonder why it took so long for everyone to get on board.

Agree Dan. Holistic picture is needed. IBM does this very well for their Business Service group.

Not just compensation --- but the whole talent management spectrun. The "war for talent" is a big piece of analytics --- but compensation is right up there too.

A major part of the problem is the fact that HR has not seen this as a strategic priority and they also don't feel comfortable with "numbers". That's why I believe that rather than spend any more time trying to convince HR of its importance (years have been spent) it will be assigned to a totally different group.

It's sad. HR is missing a real chance to make a real contribution to the business.

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