Lessons Learned from an HR Workforce Analytics Project

“It’s not a sprint, it’s a journey” shared the leader of HR Reporting and Analytics at a multinational bank.

I spoke with this leader to learn more about their human resources workforce analytics project.

This financial institution offers online/internet banking, retail banking, corporate banking, investment banking and asset management services and with $8 billion assets under management.

When asked about lessons learned, there was no hesitation: “get the data right and understand what you want to achieve.” In this case, the bank wanted to build out their analytics capabilities in human resources. Priority was to understand employee data – attrition and engagement – to gain insights and to be more prescriptive in predicting future outcomes.

Imagine having data that gives you an early warning that a team member is considering leaving the company. Often there are early warning signs in an employee’s behavior, actions or inaction. Or maybe there is a concerning pattern developing for a particular manager. Perhaps there is an emerging trend for an age group or tenure with the company. Being aware and planning for the possibility of employee churn gives you an opportunity to take proactive action, whether in retention efforts, succession planning or recruiting. Remember it’s a journey.

Evaluating Analytics Options

When the bank looked for an analytics solution, they considered three options. They could train their employees, which would take time they could not afford. They could hire data scientists, which were scarce and expensive resources. They could hire a third party who could mine their data and provide a service for them. After interviewing multiple providers, they went with the third option – they selected Pegasus Knowledge Systems.

Partnering for Insight

Fortunately, the multinational bank chose a partner in their journey who is dedicated to their success. Pegasus is a Managed Analytics Service Provider (MASP) and a recent SAS Excellence in Innovation Award winner.  As a MASP, Pegasus hosts the solution in the cloud for the bank. The bank did not have to add staff or tie up infrastructure. Instead the bank relies on experts, to not only manage the solution, but also interpret the findings.

Pegasus provided the Advanced Workforce Analytics (AWA) solution – a packaged, AI and machine learning solution built on SAS® Viya™. The pre-built solution helps clients leverage their data to reduce employee churn, hire top performers and to be more data driven in their workforce decisions.

Pegasus consultants held workshops with the bank to understand their HR priorities, identify and prioritize the key business drivers and use cases. The bank’s leader shared that Pegasus went the extra mile to drive value from the solution, sharing best practices and insights from the bank’s data based on their expertise with similar engagements. A key value is Pegasus’ ability to bring siloed data together whether from payroll, performance management, HR systems, and employee surveys with pre-built connectors, models and dashboards. By integrating all employee data, and applying advanced analytics techniques, Pegasus helped the bank develop a dashboard that provides insight into their data.

What’s next?

During the initial phase of this analytics initiative, the leader has identified data gaps that need to be addressed in the next phase. The project identified limitations in data collection, format, and missing fields. For example, when staff completed training courses, limited data was captured and did not provide insight on the type of training or the new skills acquired. Another instance was employee surveys, anonymous of course, but missing business unit or location, especially important when you support thousands of employees.

The bank leader has formulated a wish list of improvement options for the next phase, but like all projects, it all depends on funding. But as the leader knows, this is not a sprint, it’s a journey.

Penny StClair-Holmes, SAS
Champion for Small and Midsize Businesses

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