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  • Nigel Dias
    Nigel Dias

    The HR Analytics ThinkTank in 2020/21

    Posted 2 months ago


    Thank you to everyone who has supported the ThinkTank over the last year, joining us on our mission to analyse and share insights about the evolving practices of HR analytics. By continuing to share your time and experiences with our researchers, you are supporting the production of research that is improving the practice of analytics in HR.

    As we look forward to an uncertain year, organisations will be put under more pressure to make decisions about their workforces, and how business is delivered. This will put more pressure on analytics teams to provide HR and business leaders with the evidence they need to make those decisions better.

    It is a renewed focus and energy that the ThinkTank will continue to play its part, sharing quality insights and evidence so that organisations can make better decisions about the way they invest in their analytics teams and the value they create, and so that analytics professionals can make better decisions about their own careers.

    Below, you can read about the ThinkTank's research and activities this year. We hope you will continue to support our industry analyses, and continue to access our free online community papers, blogs, webinars and recordings.

    Announcement: New Leadership Board
    I am happy to announce that alongside myself, our research will continue to be delivered in partnership with the University of Leeds, led by Professor Andy Charlwood, and Utah State University, led by Assistant Professor Mike Ulrich. As always, we hope that by ensuring an academic quality to our research, we can guarantee a quality to our outputs, whilst supporting the formal analysis and documentation of the industry.



    Since 2015, we have striven to ensure a level of practicality to the ThinkTank's research, so that our community can use our evidence to take action. This year we have decided to go one step further, inviting a group of industry leaders to help guide our research and advise us over the next year. We are delighted to announce our new Board of Practitioners, Angela Ignam (Aviva), Brydie Lear (GSK), Salvador Malo (Microsoft), Jordan Pettman (Nestle), Jeremy Shapiro (Merck) and David Shontz (Nokia) to the ThinkTank team.




    Research in 2020/21
    Over the next 12 months, we will be inviting our community to participate in four different research projects. To register for the research, please complete this form [https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HRAThinkTank].

    Key Reports:
    1. How do you successfully build and grow a HR Analytics Function? An industry analysis exploring how different organisations are investing in their functions, and the value those create over time. Please see the ThinkTank Benchmarks (below) and also the 2018 version of this report [https://www.forum.hranalyticsthinktank.com/discussion/69/report-how-do-organisations-successfully-build-hr-analytics-functions].
    2. How can HR professionals make better decisions? A detailed analysis of the way HR professionals are making decisions, and how HR analytics teams can best provide them with the evidence they need.
    3. What does HR analytics career paths look like? The report looking at the pathways that lead to analytics, the emerging career paths within the function, and what professionals go on to do next.
    4. How are HR Analytics functions answering this year's top 3 questions? A technical approach, exploring how different analytics teams are analysing the same problem in different ways.

    Additional studies will be conducted throughout the year, including the next steps of 'How are HR analytics adding value to decision-making during the COVID-19 Crisis?'.

    Assess and Benchmark Your HR Analytics Function
    Earlier this week, we released the 2020 benchmarking set, providing a quantitative analysis of HR analytics functions and the industry as a whole. As always, the benchmarks provide a different insight into HR analytics functions. Using thousands of data points, we attempt to answer questions such as: What are the different types of HR analytics function? What is the difference between a function that can create description value vs prescriptive value? How long does the journey take? Are some areas of HR easier to analyse than others?

    If you have taken part in the research and would like your personalised benchmark report, please email us. If you missed the benchmark session, please sign up to the ThinkTank newsletter to read the written report when it is shared.


    Community Support: Webinars and Events
    From this month, we will begin the begin our monthly webinar series featuring HR analytics leaders sharing their stories with the ThinkTank community. As with the previous segments featuring Nestle, Experian and others the webinars try to take a practical angle, and share addition data about the functions unique to the ThinkTank. If you are a research participant, please join us.

    Finally, we continue to provide general support to Meetup communities around the world. These groups - all of which are independent of the ThinkTank - can be found on the Global Meetup Map and upcoming sessions can be found on the Forum's Calendar page. We also continue to provide free resources and training to anyone who wants to setup a Meetup in their area. If you want to start a meetup in your area, or if you want to find your local community of practitioners, please get in touch.



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    Latest Community Blog Entries

  • Blogs

    1. The Global Community Content library is an open area of the ThinkTank site where anyone can add content for other people to access, read and use. It is completely open and anyone can add content - although there are some general rules (below). This blog is a quick guide to explain how to add content to the site.


      Rules for Global Community Content

      There are only two rules to adding content to the global library:

      1. You are responsible for having the rights to post the content. 
      2. Any sales content will be removed.



      How to Upload Content to the  Community Content Library


      Step One: Go to the Community Content Library and click "Add New Content" (Click Here)






      Step 2: Enter a Title and the Text for the Content

      Note 1: If you are posting a video from Vimeo or YouTube, you can just put the video URL and it will load as a video!

      Note 2: You can tag other site members by using "@". For example, @Johann Friedrich Gauss.






      Step Three: Complete the other fields

      Note: If you need a new Content Type, Topic Category or Language, please use "Other" and let us know by messaging @HR Analytics ThinkTank. We will add the new category and update it for you.




      If it is older content, you might need to add the date it was original recorded or written, and who is featured in the video.




      Step 4: Agree to the Disclaimers, add a Banner (Recommended) and hit "Save"

      Tip: If you do not have a banner, we will add one when we post it.





      And that's it... The video should appear in the library immediately! Thank you for adding it!

    2. In September last year, I write a guide for How to Run an HR and People Analytics meetup. In those pre-COVID19 days, the guide was really talking about in-person events when we could come within 2 metres of each other and most of us had probably never worn a face mask. Like everything else meetups have gone digital. Since March, HR and people analytics meetup organisers around the world have been experimenting with ways of taking our communities digital.


      It has been a learning journey, and there are pros and cons to this new format. In this blog I wanted to share the experiences of the London HR and People Analytics Meetup community, as we've adapted for this new world. We invite other meetup organisers to contribute their own blogs or comments.


      We also invite you to download our Virtual Meetup Slide Deck Template by clicking here on the image below:


      HR Analytics Template Deck



      So what tips do we have for moving your meetup virtual...?


      Virtual Tip 1: Replicate In-Person Feel and Vibes

      Many of us have learned that the success of virtual meetings requires a shift in attitude - not just from the person leading the session, but the people attending it too. We send an email out 48 hours before the meetup and open with some guidelines to help everyone get into the right frame of mind. My general guide to the community is a simple challenge: "As a community, we need to work together to replicate the feel and vibe of an in-person meetup. Would you feel comfortable doing something at a physical event? If yes, then feel free to do it at the virtual meetup.".


      More more specific guidelines:

      • Webcams On. We think the 'connection' people feel in meetups requires an eye-to-eye connection, so unless you are invisible in real life we ask everyone to switch their cameras on.
      • Be Present. In a normal meetup, people tend to respect the presenter and they don't walk around and do distracting things. The great thing about a virtual event means you can join from anywhere, but please don't join in a way that negatively impacts the experience for other people.
      • Ask Questions. We allow anyone to unmute themselves so they can ask questions whenever they want (just like in real life).
      • Have Fun. It is just a meetup, so don't stress!





      Virtual Tip 2: Be Inclusive

      You shouldn't assume everyone feels as comfortable as you are with your web platform - in fact, it can be a great way to alienate some of your community if they feel unable to navigate your sessions. At the beginning of every session, we do a quick 3-4 minute demo of all the functionality they need to know about.

      Zoom Instructions


      Virtual Tip 3: Your Networking Will be Fine (it might even improve)

      Most meetup organisers feel that the biggest value their sessions bring is the networking and sense of community - and they are worried that this will not translate into virtual webinars. At the in-person London meetups the networking is high energy, and it was a concern for us - but the feedback on our networking as been extremely positive.


      Some ideas for you to consider:

      • Use Breakout Rooms (Zoom). Zoom has a great feature called 'Break Outs', which allows you to create mini virtual meetings within your big Zoom meeting. You can click a few buttons and send everyone into mini groups of 4-5 people to chat on their own. This works very well for us.
      • Given Enough Time. Make sure you give people enough time to network. You can always end the networking early if you need to.
      • Use Digital Tools. Other groups are using tools like Mentimeter, Miro and more to improve their experiences.
      • Suggest Questions or Themes. Suggest questions for people to ask each other in the virtual meetups to help them get started.
      • Eat and Drink. This is probably my personal view but there is something human about eating together and our networking usually happens over pizza and beer. Encourage people to bring a snack for the networking.




      Virtual Tip 4: Keep Recording and Writing Up and Keep Going

      The biggest trick to long-term Meetup success is still the same trick as a successful change management programme... Keep going, maintain clear momentum and communication and share successes. If you can, tell people when the next meetup will be, and share the blogs and recordings of your sessions (on the ThinkTank?) so other people can see what they missed and join in the future.






      I hope this helps. If anyone has any other questions about the London meetups or suggestions or ideas, please let me know. Here are the useful links if you want to start your own meetup:

      1. Register Your Meetup on the Global Meetup Map
      2. Put your Meetup Event on the New Global Meetup Calendar
      3. Join our the Meetup Organiser Linkedin Group.



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