HR Jetpack

Glossary of Terms

This video is premium content

Register or sign in to gain access.

Lesson:

Glossary of Terms

  • Course: HR Analytics
  • Module: Setting the Foundation
  • Lesson Type: Video
  • Lesson Duration: 10:18

Lesson Content

Let's start by reviewing a glossary of terms to build a complete definition of HR Analytics.

First and foremost, what does it mean to “analyze data”? The term analyze means, "to examine carefully and in detail so as to identify causes, key factors and possible results." According to a Deloitte study released in June of 2015, 80% of HR professionals scored themselves low on their ability to analyze data. It’s not too surprising since the HR function has been evolving over the past decade. As business partners we are expected to have a full understanding of how the organization operates and this has come to include the analysis of data.

Data is a body of facts, a collection of information or statistics. With the immergence of more sophisticated technology, according to Webopedia, "every minute we create: more than 204 million email messages, over 2 million Google search queries, 4,800 hours of new YouTube videos, 684,000 bits of content shared on Facebook, More than 100,000 tweets and $272,000 spent on e-commerce."

That seems unbelievable. This isn’t just data, this is Big Data! It refers to an incredible amount of information. So much information it makes it difficult to process using traditional software methods. However, big data is what we can use to identify trends and patterns eventually to predict behaviors.

A more modern term has evolved to better define how businesses are capturing, assessing and depending on these large amounts of data – Datafication. We are all becoming dependent upon methods to quantify everything we do - Datafication of Business, Datafication of Marketing, Datafication of HR, Datafication of the Music Industry.

There are two major types of data or big data. Structured and Unstructured. Structured data is essentially organized. Think database. When data is structured, it’s searchable. When you look up an employee name or work location in your employee files, you are using structured data. Other examples include legal records, library catalogues, even phone numbers in the phonebook! Unstructured data is just as the name implies, disorganized. The volume of data in websites, emails, photos, videos, presentations and numerous types of documents are all unstructured since you can’t neatly categorize them in a database. Sources claim 90% of data is unstructured while only 10% is structured.

When Big Data is in an unprocessed state it can be overwhelming and is of little valuable. On to our next term, Business Intelligence or BI. This encompasses all the tools and methods used to take big data and transform it into usable information. Business Intelligence systems are key to the strategic planning process by helping analyze data. As a result, business leaders can make better decisions.

According to Computer Weekly, "Business intelligence applications include the activities of decision support systems, query and reporting, online analytical processing, data management, statistical analysis, forecasting, data analytics and data mining." According to Gartner, "it’s an umbrella term including all the applications, infrastructure and tools for accessing and analyzing data". This enables better decision making and improved performance.

Data analytics is a Business Intelligence activity! These methods and techniques are meant to examine raw data and draw conclusions from it. You may be thinking statistics. Stats are an important part of data analytics but they are not synonyms.

On a side note, don’t confuse data analytics with data mining. Data mining is a separate Business Intelligence activity. The practice involves sorting through data to find undiscovered patterns.

Data analytics breaks down the information to assess trends over time typically associated to measuring key performance indicators or other measurements that tell you whether your business is doing well or not.

I’ll define three major categories or types of Analytics. Descriptive, Predictive and Prescriptive

Descriptive analytics sets the foundation for your department’s analytics activities. It focuses on what happened in the past and what’s happening here and now. Typical descriptive analytics include dashboards, ad hoc reporting, standard queries with structured, workable data.

Predictive analytics goes a step further. It includes a variety of techniques that aim to provide predictions about the future. Statistics and data mining are used to analyze historical and current data for producing insights into the future.

Prescriptive analytics reaches beyond predictions. Not only does it predict outcomes, it also makes recommendations based on them.

It’s like three different levels of analytics starting with Descriptive and progressing to Prescriptive.

Now, analytics involves the examination of raw data to identify trends, produce insight and determine outcomes. Place the letters HR in front of the term analytics. Our definition will change ever so slightly. HR analytics involves the analysis of people data in an effort to identify trends, produce insights and determine outcomes. The ultimate goal is to improve decisions YOU make impacting your employees and organization.

In a separate section, I'll dig deeper into HR analytics at the Descriptive, Predictive and Prescriptive levels.

To make matters more complex, sometimes HR analytics is referred to as talent analytics, people analytics or workforce analytics. I’ve found these terms to used interchangeably! During our course, I will continue to use the terms HR Analytics.

A note of caution, not everyone is 100% in agreement about these definitions. However, they serve as a great foundation for understanding the world of analytics.

Timeout! There’s one term I haven’t mentioned yet that you might be wondering about. Metrics. What happened to the word, metrics and how does it fit into all this?

Do not confuse the word metrics with analytics. Instead, HR metrics are a part of the foundation for analytics. Metrics are measurements. For HR this means building a dashboard or scorecard listing metrics such as turnover rate, time to fill, number of trained employees, etc. Remember the term Descriptive analytics? Metrics are descriptive of what happened in the past and what's happening here and now. We monitor metrics and through HR analytic techniques we want to go a step further. We want to pull insights from that data for making better decisions.

I know I've gone over quite a few terms. Now let me summarize…

Having the ability to carefully examine, or analyze, a body of facts, also called data, has become very important for HR professionals. Understand that our businesses are depending more on data everyday, datafication, and that such a large volume of it is available called big data. Most big data is unstructured, like websites, emails and videos. While some of it is structured, organized and searchable, like a database.

Tools and methods are necessary to transform big data into meaningful information or business intelligence. Data analytics is meant to examine raw data and draw conclusions from it. Sorting through data to find undiscovered patterns is another Business Intelligence activity, data mining.

I defined three major categories. The first, sets the foundation by focusing on what happened in the past and what’s happening here and now, descriptive analytics. We move from looking at the past and present to making future predictions, predictive analytics. There are complex tools used to go beyond predictions to identify outcomes and make recommendations or prescriptive analytics.

Talent, People and Workforce analytics are the same as HR analytics. This means to carefully analyze people data for identifying trends, producing insights and determining outcomes.

Christina Danforth

Instructor:

Christina Danforth

Christina A. Danforth, SHRM-SCP & SPHR, launched HR Jetpack in 2016 to support the development and professional growth of her fellow HR colleagues. She started her HR career in 2002....

Christina's Full Bio

HR Courses

Human Resources Training Programs

Self-paced HR Courses

The following HR courses are self-paced (asynchronous), and qualify for both SHRM and HRCI recertification credits. These courses are included in the HR Recertification Subscription.

Effective Disciplinary Action Policies and Procedures

Duration: 1 hr 1 min
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Liz LaForte

Liz LaForte

RFP Process for HR

Duration: 1 hr 19 mins
SHRM: 1.25 PDC
HRCI: 1.25 General

Mark Fogel

Mark Fogel

Organizational Ethics for HR Managers

Duration: 1 hr 30 mins
SHRM: 1.5 PDC
HRCI: 1.5 General

Dawn Tedesco

Dawn Tedesco

HR as a Business Partner

Duration: 1 hr 5 min
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 Business

Scott Pitts

Scott Pitts

Blockchain for HR

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson

HR Strategic Planning

Duration: 1 hr 2 mins
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 Business

Hayley Buonopane

Hayley Buonopane

Employee Engagement & Retention

Duration: 1 hr 4 mins
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Hayley Buonopane

Hayley Buonopane

HR Metrics That Matter

Duration: 1 hr 16 mins
SHRM: 1.25 PDC
HRCI: 1.25 Business

Christina Danforth

Christina Danforth

Finance for Absolute Beginners

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 Business

Anna Samorukova

Anna Samorukova

Change Management 101

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 Business

Hayley Buonopane

Hayley Buonopane

Labor Relations

Duration: 1 hr 42 mins
SHRM: 1.50 PDC
HRCI: 1.75 General

Matthew Kerzner

Matthew Kerzner

Diversity and Inclusion

Duration: 1 hr 25 mins
SHRM: 1.25 PDC
HRCI: 1.50 General

Christina Danforth

Christina Danforth

HR Analytics

Duration: 1 hr 31 mins
SHRM: 1.50 PDC
HRCI: 1.50 Business

Christina Danforth

Christina Danforth

Performance Management: Development & Deployment

Duration: 1 hr 18 mins
SHRM: 1.25 PDC
HRCI: 1.25 General

Christina Danforth

Christina Danforth

The Role Assessments Play in Talent Management

Duration: 2 hr 5 mins
SHRM: 2.0 PDC
HRCI: 2.0 General

Craig Haas

Craig Haas

AI for HR

Duration: 1 hr 3 mins
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson

Compensation 101

Duration: 1 hr 8 mins
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.25 General

Pamela Sande

Pamela Sande

Effective Leadership Communications for HR Professionals

Duration: 2 hr 30 mins
SHRM: 2.5 PDC
HRCI: 2.5 General

Christina Danforth

Christina Danforth

Recruiting Strategies to Hire the Best Candidate

Duration: 1 hr 6 mins
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Lois Krause

Lois Krause

Cybersecurity 101 for HR Pros

Duration: 1 hr 2 mins
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson

EQ Competence: Fostering a Talent Advantage that Drives Organizational Performance

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Craig Haas

Craig Haas

Thinking Lean

Duration: 1 hr 8 mins
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.25 Business

Christina Danforth

Christina Danforth

Coaching for HR Professionals

Duration: 1 hr 2 mins
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Stacey Zackin

Stacey Zackin

The Employment Cycle

Duration: 1 hr 45 mins
SHRM: 1.75 PDC
HRCI: 1.75 General

Christina Danforth

Christina Danforth

Behavioral and Situational Interviewing

Duration: 1 hr 8 mins
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.25 General

Stephanie Legatos

Stephanie Legatos

Dynamic Dialogues

Duration: 1 hr 10 mins
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.25 General

Stacey Zackin

Stacey Zackin

Employment Law 101

Duration: 3 hr 11 mins
SHRM: 3.0 PDC
HRCI: 3.25 General

Mark Addington

Mark Addington

Thrown to the Wolves: Preparing Your New Leaders to Lead the Pack

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Karen Hinds

Karen Hinds

Introduction to Organizational Development

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Hayley Buonopane

Hayley Buonopane

Practical Meeting Preparation: Getting Ready for a Productive Meeting

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Christine Gatti

Christine Gatti

Succession Planning: Build Your Bench

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Hayley Buonopane

Hayley Buonopane

Practices for Hiring Successfully

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Hayley Buonopane

Hayley Buonopane

Team Development: Building Collaboration & Effectiveness

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Christine Gatti

Christine Gatti

Leading and Managing the Need for Both

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Hayley Buonopane

Hayley Buonopane

Coaching: Guiding the Management Team

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Hayley Buonopane

Hayley Buonopane

Being A Change Agent

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Hayley Buonopane

Hayley Buonopane

Leading a Multigenerational Team

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Karen Hinds

Karen Hinds

Multi-Generational Workforce: Problem or Competitive Advantage?

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Christine Gatti

Christine Gatti

Virtual Reality: The Future of HR

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Christina Danforth

Christina Danforth

Unconscious Bias: Impact on Recruitment and Retention

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Christina Danforth

Christina Danforth

Business Fundamentals for HR Pros

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 Business

Jack Antonich

Jack Antonich

Influence and Communications as an HR Pro

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Stacey Zackin

Stacey Zackin

Value Based Decision Making for HR Pros

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Stacey Zackin

Stacey Zackin

Strategic Planning to Support HR Initiatives

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 Business

Dr. Deborah Osgood

Dr. Deborah Osgood

Meet in the Middle: Best Methods for Conflict Management

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Christine Gatti

Christine Gatti

Economics for HR Professionals

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 Business

Jack Antonich

Jack Antonich

Business Plans: Why HR Pros Should Care

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 Business

Jack Antonich

Jack Antonich

Emotional Intelligence: What is it and Why Does it Matter

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Christine Gatti

Christine Gatti

Marketing/Selling Continuum (From Idea to Revenue)

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 Business

Jack Antonich

Jack Antonich

Diversity Equity & Inclusion The Lens We Wear

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Stacey Zackin

Stacey Zackin

Welcome! What HR can Learn from the Field of Hospitality

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Stacey Zackin

Stacey Zackin

Accounting and Financial Reporting for HR Pros

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 Business

Jack Antonich

Jack Antonich

How HR Can Establish & Influence a Culture Of Hospitality

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Stacey Zackin

Stacey Zackin

Raising Capital (Who, What, When, Where, Why & How)

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 Business

Jack Antonich

Jack Antonich

Cultural Competence: Fostering Diversity Equity & Inclusion

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Stacey Zackin

Stacey Zackin

DiSC Communication Styles: What are They & How They can Help You

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Christine Gatti

Christine Gatti

Effective Meeting Facilitation for HR Pros

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Christine Gatti

Christine Gatti

Best Practices in Providing Effective Performance Feedback

Duration: 1 hr
SHRM: 1.0 PDC
HRCI: 1.0 General

Christine Gatti

Christine Gatti