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  • Nigel Dias
    Nigel Dias

    New Partnership: University College Dublin

    The aim of the HR Analytics ThinkTank is to provide HR Analytics professionals to build functions that have a greater impact and better manage their own careers. Since 3n Strategy founded the ThinkTank is 2015, we have employed a unique evidence-based approach to our industry analysis, which was further enhanced by our academic partnerships with the University of Leeds (2017) and Utah State University (2019), and the addition of our Practitioner Board Advisors in 2020.


    I am delighted to announce that over the summer University College Dublin is joining the HR Analytics ThinkTank as an academic research partner with Dr. @Maria Belizon, Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management, joining our research board. Working alongside Professor @Andy Charlwood (UoL), Assistant Professor @Mike Ulrich (USU) and myself, with our Board of Practitioners, we look forward to producing more quality research over the years to come.




    Getting to know Dr. María Jesús Belizón...

    What is UCD? What is Maria's background? Here is a short interview with Maria so you can get to know her better.





    1.       Where is University College Dublin located? How big it is?

    UCD, as we call it, is the largest and oldest university in Ireland. A global university by mission, we are based in Dublin and we serve over 33,000 students. We are ranked within top 1% of higher education institutions world-wide and 30% of our students are international. So, for a small country such as Ireland, it is pretty big.


    2.       Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Why are you interested in HR analytics?

    During a 6-month internship in finance, funnily enough I developed an interest in HR. So I started my research career surveying HR practices in multinationals as part of an international project. My PhD focused on external and internal factors affecting the transfer of HR practices from the home country to the host operations in multinationals, and an important element in that context was the existence of a HR information system. I’ve always liked technology and the potential that it brings to decision-making and how companies manage their people.


    When the HR analytics field started to developed a few years ago, I reckoned it would be a slow journey, precisely because it merges elements of computer science, data analytics and human resources. At first, it was a personal challenge to understand how those three fields come together to solve HR issues and concerns, and I was also keen to uncover how HR Analytics can get traction in a less data literate field such as HR. My work now is geared towards advancing our understanding HR Analytics process and ultimately, helping organisations to make better decisions based on data.


    3.       You are one of the founders of the Irish HR and people analytics community. Why did you start the meetup group?

    When I was conducting preliminary fieldwork for my first project on HR analytics I realised most HR analytics practitioners were in need of a local community of practice across different sectors and types of organisations. Some of them knew each other through private events but there was no cohesive and unifying platform for knowledge sharing. Ireland is a country where ‘only the local is real’ and as I found myself in an independent position as an academic, I thought I could open up this possibility and set up the community here. Dr. Sarah Kieran from the University of Limerick joined me later and we are lucky to have the support of the Irish Centre for Business Excellence too. For us, it has been key to be part of the HR and People Analytics Global Network by the HR Analytics ThinkTank, the support from the team and the contribution of my peers in other countries running the same type of events. It was not long before Covid19 hit that we had our second meetup so we are looking forward to resume our plan of activities, although virtually for the time being.


    4.       What do you hope to achieve with the HR Analytics ThinkTank?

    The main reason I joined the HR Analytics ThinkTank was to combine efforts with like-minded HR Analytics leaders and academics who are interested in a critical advancement of the HR Analytics space. To me, this boils down to two requirements. One is to conduct rigorous and informed research. The second one is to produce meaningful research insights for the work HR Analytics practitioners and organisations do. Ultimately, I hope the research we are doing will become a point of reference for industry.

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