Europe's analytics capabilities lag behind rest of world

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Just a quarter (24%) of practitioners from Europe indicated they could show ROI for their workforce analytics projects

Europe is lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to utilising people data, according to a whitepaper from the IBM Smarter Workforce Initiative and HR Tech World.

HR Analytics Readiness, which surveyed 347 participants, found that just 27% of European HR practitioners believe that when it comes to analytics they have the right mix of skills from HR, psychology, statistics, data science and consulting. In contrast, half (49%) of respondents from outside Europe answered positively.

In Europe only a quarter (26%) of respondents reported that their companies had the right technology for their analytics projects. However, outside of Europe 42% of practitioners replied that they had the right technology.

The research suggested that there appears to be either different capabilities between Europe and the rest of the world when it comes to HR analytics, or there are different expectations of HR analytics leaders. In Europe 44% of HR analytics practitioners reported that their organisation had an effective workforce analytics leader. This was five percentage points lower than the 49% of practitioners outside of Europe who said they had effective analytics leadership.

Additionally, less than a quarter (23%) of European HR practitioners reported that their organisations had a succession plan in place for core HR analytics roles. The percentage in Europe was again lower than the figure for the rest of the world (31%).

Speaking at the HR Tech World conference in Amsterdam, David Green, co-author of the report and global director of people analytics solutions for IBM Watson Talent, said there is a strong business case for getting to grips with analytics. “We sometimes shy away from ROI [return on investment],” he said. “But research shows that for every dollar spent on analytics you get $13.01 back. Whatever your priorities are in your organisation, this is a low cost for a big impact.”

Despite this, just 24% of practitioners from Europe indicated they could show the ROI for their workforce analytics projects, compared to 35% of practitioners outside Europe.

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