are you data literate?


Happy Monday! 🌞

This is Mariam Mushtaq from HR Brain Pickings - bringing to you this week’s edition, every Monday and Tuesday.

By the way - we are starting some new this week! Be sure to check your inbox on Thursday. 📥️ 

In This Edition:

While the use of data to inform decisions is not new, its application in HR, particularly with the advent of people analytics, is still unfolding. In this edition, we explore how HR professionals can incorporate data-driven strategies into their everyday work to enhance decision-making and drive strategic outcomes. 🔢

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The Data Challenge

Picture yourself on the HR team at a rapidly growing company. You're up to your ears in data—employee reviews, retention figures, recruitment stats—and yet, trying to make sense of it all has you breaking into sweats. 😓 

While 94% of business leaders acknowledge that their companies have access to some form of people data, a significant 62% of HR leaders confess that they struggle to use people analytics effectively to identify trends and provide actionable insights.

HR teams today still end up bogged down in admin work or tangled up in legal matters. To truly capitalize on this powerful resource, HR professionals need the proper tools and knowledge at their disposal.

Data Literacy: Tips for HRs 📖 

You might find that you don't always have the backing of your leadership, or you may need to advocate for yourself to access data training opportunities. So, how can you kickstart this shift toward a more data-driven approach in your HR role? 🤔 

Here are some practical steps to help you get started:

1. Start Somewhere:

  • Create our own opportunity instead of waiting for one to come your way. If your company offers data literacy training—perhaps even for a different function—jump on it.

  • Alternatively, explore online courses in people analytics or HR metrics that offer hands-on practice. 💻️ 

2. Learn from Your Co-Workers:

  • Connect with data-savvy colleagues or analysts in your organization. Leverage their expertise to understand how data works and how you can use it to improve HR processes.

  • Consider organizing informal "lunch-and-learn" sessions to explore data literacy topics relevant to HR.

3. Boost Your Excel Skills:

  • Familiarize yourself with basic formulas and functions relevant to HR. (scroll down to see some basic HR metrics + formulas)

  • Excel is invaluable for organizing, analyzing, and presenting data, and mastering it can give you greater confidence in handling your department’s data needs.

4. Use Data in Meetings:

  • Once you're more comfortable with data, start bringing your insights into meetings. For instance, if you’re discussing recruitment strategies for the next year, present data on metrics like time to fill and yield ratio.

5. Keep Learning:

  • Seek to understand the 'why' and 'how' behind the data, not just the 'what'. This approach will deepen your understanding and prompt more questions, leading to richer insights and more informed decision-making.

By taking these steps, you'll not only enhance your own capabilities but also contribute to a more data-informed HR practice at your workplace.

💡 I also came across this insightful report on Upskilling the HR Profession | Building Data Literacy at Scale that includes in-depth details on how HRs can go about investing in Data Literacy. 💡

Quick Examples of Companies Leading with Data

  • Google: Previously requiring candidates to undergo up to 25 interview rounds, Google's analysis showed successful hires could be predicted after just 4 interviews with 86% confidence. This reduction drastically cut the hours and staff needed for screening.

  • Under Armour: Predicting that 500 out of 5,000 employees would resign within 6 months, they implemented enhanced people strategies, including incentives and rewards, based on these insights. These interventions successfully halved the expected attrition rate, significantly improving employee retention.

Sources: 1, 2

From Data ➡️ Decisions 

Basic HR Metrics to help you get started:

HR metric


Employee turnover rate

(Number of terminations during period / Number of employees at beginning of period) x 100

Absenteeism rate

(Number of absent days / Total working days) x 100

Employee net promoter score (eNPS)

eNPS is based on the results of an employee survey. Responses are given on a scale of 0-10 as follows:

9-10 = Satisfied (Promoters)

7-8 = Neutral (Passive)

0-6 = Dissatisfied (Detractors)

eNPS = % promoters – % detractors

Cost per hire

(Internal costs + External costs) / Total number of hires

Making Data-Driven Decisions:

➡️ Employee turnover

  • Use the turnover rate to pinpoint areas where employee satisfaction might be waning.

  • Share these insights with leadership to back up strategies for improving the work environment and benefit offerings.

➡️ Absenteeism

  • Apply absenteeism statistics to draw attention to health or morale issues.

  • Suggest health programs and flexible schedules to improve employee well-being and productivity.

➡️ Employee net promoter score (eNPS)

  • Leverage eNPS to gauge and share how likely employees are to recommend your company as a great place to work.

  • Use this to shift some focus on enhancing your company's reputation and workplace culture.

➡️ Cost per hire

  • Discuss recruitment cost effectiveness with leadership using cost per hire figures.

  • Recommend more efficient hiring methods, like improved referral programs, to save costs and streamline hiring.

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EngageWith Feature Highlight 💡

💰 Redeemable rewards: With our Global Reward Catalog, redeem points on your preferred platforms like Nike, Amazon, Dominos, Walmart, Apple, Dunkin Donuts, and more.

Bonus Resource: Curated Templates for Productivity

What’s Inside: A list of productivity template collections. These have been created by veritable names in the work and productivity space.

What’s Happening at TSOW?

We also have 2 community calls lined up for April:

1️⃣ Fostering Empathy and Connection: Prioritizing Mental Wellness in the Workplace

2️⃣ Empowering Remote Teams: Nurturing Employee Engagement in Remote Settings

Become a member and connect with global HR experts → Click here to join.

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That’s a wrap for today!

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