Data mining may vex HR, but it can unearth valuable insight

Amanda Wilkinson 80x80pxAmanda Wilkinson, editor of Employee Benefits: Do you ever get that feeling that you are drowning in data and don’t know what to do with it?

The use of technology has developed so much in the field of compensation and benefits that practitioners are potentially awash with information. The key is to select the data that can help mould HR and business strategy. Data mining can unearth information on employee engagement levels, absence trends, or unsafe working or inappropriate workplace practices. The problem, though, is where to start.

One easy win is to look at sickness absence trends as this directly affects productivity. An analysis of absence statistics can throw up issues and unsafe practices that can be resolved and so reduce levels of sickness. Also, keeping a track of when and why employees are accessing healthcare perks can help employers control the frequency and relevancy of claims and, in turn, their overall healthcare bills.

With regard to flexible and voluntary benefits, data on employee selections can also be analysed in order to determine whether some perks need to be axed and replaced with more popular options. There is no point wasting time and money on schemes that are not used by staff.

To ensure that staff appreciate their perks, employers can communicate their value through total reward statements, a tool that is heavily dependent on data.

Even with fleet management, software solutions help employers analyse mileage data or fuel consumption to ensure that staff are driving efficiently and within safe limits.

It could be so easy to bury your head in the sand and let all of those facts and figures wash over you. But if compensation and benefits practitioners are to prove their worth, then they must get to grips with the data that is now available to them and mine it to their organisation’s best advantage.