People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 36
Getting Results with
By Alexis A. Fink
he emergence of talent analytics as a differentiator for organizations' ability
to execute upon their strategy is a pivotal management innovation. Not
surprisingly, then, there has been a mushrooming of talent analytics teams
within organizations, chartered to leverage data science to improve organizations'
abilities to deliver on their strategies. Much of the influential thinking in talent
analytics has come from data science quarters, and many of the teams are led by
individuals with hard sciences, engineering, computer science or statistical backgrounds, often complemented with an HR generalist.
Several years into this revolution, we are seeing some quiet concern around the
difficulty of getting results from these teams. In blog posts and conversations, practitioners are noting the disconnect between identifying a pattern and the ability to
change that pattern.
Many of those working in talent analytics today are deeply sophisticated in
identifying patterns in data. However, they are generally less sophisticated in driving
organizational change. In the end, the purpose of talent analytics is to deliver value
to the organization, not simply to identify intriguing insights. The ability to deliver
that value is deeply tied up in the ability to execute the entire organizational change
and consulting cycle around talent analytics as an intervention.
The purpose of this article is to outline the key steps in applying change management and consulting practices to the specialty area of talent analytics. By expanding
beyond the interrogation of data to the influencing of systems, we will be able to
fully deliver on the promise of this field.
PEOPLE + STRATEGY