This is how the question ‘why?’ adds value to the digital transformation

Know your business needs

For some time now HR AnalyticsPeople Analytics or Human Capital Analytics are trending topics. Numerous blogs are written and many expensive events are organized to discuss these topics. It has become a sharing knowledge business model. But the question is: does it really add any value?

At Talent Peaks we truly believe in the value of People analytics, because it can bring great insights into how your organization is performing. That’s why we choose to read these blogs and attend webinars and events to explore insights and stay on top of the trends and gain knowledge.

But at the end of a must read blog or must see webinar the same questions keep popping up:

  • What are the follow up actions on these insights?
  • What is the added value of what we do?
  • How can we go from thinking to doing?

To get more feeling towards an answer to these questions, we decided to attend the National HR Analytics Event 2017 hosted by the HR Academy.

The recurring theme at National HR Analytics Event 2017: fact based actions on business needs and the return of investment.

Know your business needs

The recurring theme of all workshops and cases (from well know organizations as Friesland Campina, NS, Post NL) was: fact based actions on business needs and the return on investment. What these cases have in common is that they have faced a business need related to the performance of their organization and decided to first ask themselves: why do we want this?

These companies have successfully taken the next step by setting concrete objectives: designing a roadmap based on their needs, collecting data and analyzing and translating it into decisions, concrete policy and the return on the investment.

The essence of the next step may sound like taking a step back. Instead of going for the short term value addition, we should instead challenge and dive deeper into the reason and the why of analytics.

Understand the ‘why’

So the next step is understanding the ‘why’ question and to be able to explain the answer to those who are involved. That answer should include the vision and way forward regarding a digital transformation.

By diving into the why, the reason will become more clear and the involvement and acceptance of people will increase.

Understanding and recognizing your real why might make you decide to reconsider your actions right away and make decisions that are truly adding value.

Tell the story

A digital transformation should be the story that people in the organization recognize and understand. It has to stick to make any impact. Questions you could ask to establish your story:

  • Do you have full support of the organization?
  • What are the objectives?
  • Why do you want to measure, report and analyze on a topic?
  • Is the transformation aligned with your business needs and objectives?
  • Is a transformation a problem or an opportunity?
  • What are you not doing, that you should be doing?
  • Or what are you doing that you should stop doing?

Deep Dive

Taking on a question, designing a dashboard and then assume that this is what the organization wants, is not always the answer to a question or a solution to a problem.

The next step of People Analytics should be guidance towards the right questions. Those questions that really matter and you really want answers to. By using the deep dive approach you will have an honest and open dialogue with all the relevant and involved stakeholders about why action is needed.

The outcomes of a deep dive session are:

  • New or different perspectives on the original plan.
  • More alignment and support.
  • A concrete plan to make decisions from.

Need guidance through your digital transformation?

At Talent Peaks we are able to guide you through this journey, using a deep dive approach.

Additional value

Results are not the same as sustainable added value or return on investment.

Asking questions are the road to your root cause. They are an investment, but the answers to the why will return a much higher value. Understanding and recognizing your real why might make you decide to reconsider your actions right away and make decisions that are truly adding value.

Talent Peaks

Are you about to start your Digital Transformation and looking for answers to your questions? Please contact us via or! We would love to dive in deeper and help you start telling your story.

Manola van Diest

Manola van Diest

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