Data analytics could be an HR breakthrough for your business

Collaboration between HR and finance teams is being held back by short-term mindsets and entrenched cultural habits according to new research from Oracle.

The company's new study, HR Moves Boldly into Advanced Analytics, was compiled using responses from 1,510 HR, finance and business professionals. 

Oracle found that to unlock value from data and help organisations adapt to the changing nature of the global talent market, HR teams need to rethink analytics technology, skills and processes to improve collaboration with finance which will allow their organisations to be more competitive.

The company's Director of Organisation and Talent Development, Donald Anderson explained why HR and finance departments should be working more closely, saying:

"HR and finance departments bring different, yet complementary skills to the table. While they traditionally have not worked together closely, that needs to change in order for organizations to create a competitive advantage in today's evolving market and talent economy. The first step to overcoming traditional barriers and bringing HR and finance teams together is having a collaborative mindset with the right skillsets to both gather and analyze data so that it can be used to make impactful business decisions. That alone will deliver significant benefits to an organization's performance." 

Barriers to collaboration

Data and analytics are both widely used by HR and finance but to reap their benefits fully, both departments need to collaborate. Oracle's study found that the biggest barrier to collaboration between HR and finance is a short-term mindset with 71 percent of respondents saying their teams focus on quarters rather than future strategic direction.

Culture clashes between departments were another top challenge with almost a third (29%) ranking traditionally separate habits as the biggest barrier. Other barriers include mismatched skillsets (27%) and organisational silos (17%).

The study also found that HR teams lack the necessary skills to act on data and solve issues (70%), cultivate quantitative analysis and reasoning (67%) and use analytics to forecast workforce needs (55%).

Of those surveyed, 88 percent believe improved collaboration between HR and finance teams will lead to better business performance and 76 percent believe it will enhance the agility of their organisation.

Babson professor and analytics expert, Tom Davenport noted how HR teams are looking to emerging technologies such as AI to help drive business results, saying:

"The world of analytics and AI opens tremendous doors for HR to harness meaningful insights in order to make smarter decisions and create a talent advantage. Seeing that so many HR professionals are planning to invest heavily in AI over the next year is promising. It means we'll begin to see more strategic results and businesses competing on an entirely new level to find the right talent."