Using Data Visualization in Human Resources – 5 Techniques
Visual communication is nothing new as it’s typically employed everywhere – in media, art, education, and entertainment. But now, more than before, data visualization in business is quite noticeable.
In other words, businesses continue to recognize the vast potential in data visualization, especially in enhancing communication with stakeholders and uncovering insights. Fortunately, one team that can significantly benefit from visualizing their data is the Human Resources department.
HR boasts access to an assortment of data, e.g., performance reviews, feedback, employee data, email responses, and more. However, communicating this data to business managers is the only way to get the most out of it.
While data analytics can tell the story behind the data, its technical skill requirement can prove daunting to some individuals, especially those with non-technical experience. Hence, data visualization makes a relatively better case.
What Data Should Human Resources Teams Collect
Human resource metrics are crucial to achieving effective HR management. As a business manager, you no longer have to rely on your gut. Instead, you could employ HR analytics and make data-driven HR decisions.
Again, there are many forms of data human resources teams can collect. They come in two broad categories: external data and internal data. Well, let’s break them down:
External data is information sourced from other business departments by establishing working relationships. Also, it could include data obtained from outside the business, which provides a global perspective that internally fetched data can’t. Examples of external data include:
- Financial data: Acquiring financial data for the entire organization is vital during data analysis, mainly when calculating, let’s say, the hiring cost or revenue per employee.
- Employees’ passive data: This could include data sourced from employee feedback surveys and social media posts.
- Historical data: You could use different political, economic, or environmental events to analyze employee behavior patterns. That way, you’ll come across insights that you can’t uncover with limited internal data.
- Organization-specific data: The data HR teams need to source tends to vary with the type of organization and the core service or product it offers.
Internal data, in simple terms, is data sourced from your organization’s Human Resources department. The HR data analytics tool requires distinct data points, which your organization’s core Human Resources Information System (HRIS) provides. Some standard internal data metrics include:
- Reporting structure
- Performance appraisal data
- Employee wages and compensation
- Information on high-value, up-and-coming employees
- Employee tenure
- Employee training records and expenses
- Details on the organization’s disciplinary action
Even so, internal data isn’t much of a reliable measure as the data tends to be disconnected sometimes. During such events, data scientists come in handy – to formulate loads of relevant data points from the scattered data for analysis and visualization.
Role of Data Visualization in Human Resources
Remember, HR teams have access to vast amounts of data from feedback, performance reviews, employee data, and more. The data could even include name, position details, assigned organization unit, unique qualifications, personnel number, and vacation days.
Besides uncovering valuable insights, vast amounts of data can help forecast future outcomes, not forgetting to identify industry trends and key performance indicators to boot. Having access to such information will enable HR to better experience and offer strategic recommendations to its people and the company.
Nonetheless, it’s not easy for HR or any other department to collect and interpret data. But despite being a strenuous task, data visualization could make things pretty easier. You see, visualizing data inspires your HR department to better engage and interact with their metrics and data through a means easily understandable by everyone.
You’ll thus need reliable systems that boast remarkable reporting features. Moreover, it would be better to consider an HR dashboard, which through connecting to distinct HR systems can collect usable reporting data based on the metrics you set to automatically generate visualizations. That way, you save time, curtail any possible risk of human error, and establish consistency and accuracy in HR metrics reporting.
Visualizing data will make it easier for your team to narrow down the facts quickly, but only if done right. That could prove a vital component when you, the business manager, will be making high-stakes decisions.
5 Ways to Use Data Visualization in Human Resources
Strategic Human Resources management comprises standard simplified graphs and charts for graspable investor and executive presentations. Nonetheless, these reports often feature blocks of text that turn out cumbersome for most employees.
Given the lack of engagement in text-heavy HR reports, employees tend to miss essential updates regarding business operations. You might thus want to consider employing modern, unique data visualization strategies for HR data reporting. These strategies include minimal usage of text, simplified language, and, most importantly, quality visuals.
So, how can Human Resource teams use data visualization to bolster the business’ success?
1. Employ Modern Age Visualization Tools
We live in a quick-paced modern age that no longer recognizes outdated mentalities from the past. It’s thus prudent to employ advanced data visualization tools if you wish to be successful in your data presentation. Also, find the most effective approach when gathering your data as that bolsters your chances of arriving at the best possible decisions.
Consider investing in an interactive, task-specific online dashboard to enjoy a comprehensive yet digestible means of gathering, organizing, and presenting data. That enables your approach to have the maximum possible impact while saving time.
2. Tell Your Narrative
Like with content marketing, telling your narrative when visually presenting your data is essential. Keep in mind that you are using data visualization to relay an important message so that people can comprehend it without much effort. For that reason, you’ll have to engage your audience, and telling your narrative gives you a chance of achieving that.
According to scientific research by Paul Zak, telling a good story can make your audience respond better. Well, the same applies when presenting visual data. So, besides dazzling your clients, partners, and colleagues with your presentations and reports, you’ll also manage to convey a critical message. As a result, you’ll get the feedback and buy-in required to design changes geared towards achieving long-term success and growth.
3. Handle Your Big Data
A recent study estimates that, in 2020, each person on earth created not less than 1.7 MB of data per second. In other terms, the level of insights and data available today is overwhelming and continues to prove a real challenge when handling the data.
Even so, you could still break down your big data to the most digestible, logical, and focused visualizations available. If looking to achieve that, consider the following valuable tips:
- See that your team members, staff, and colleagues understand where you source your data and how they can access it. That way, all departments can handle the insights accordingly.
- Identify the data accessible to you and your business. Pick the most valuable and clearly label all information branches for easy organization, analysis, and decoding.
- Always protect your data and ensure your data handling systems stay updated, digestible and simple to guarantee an intuitive and straightforward visualization process.
- Consider employing business dashboards, which will help you organize crucial insights in one interactive, easy-to-access space.
4. Use Brief Yet Efficient Annotations
Minimizing text as much as possible is a goal of HR data visualization, and one ideal way to do that is through efficient annotations. Nevertheless, formulating a brief yet efficient annotation can be tricky as it could quickly turn into a block of text – something you’re trying to avoid.
To a greater extent, data visualization can be self-explanatory; thus, annotations must be as direct and short as possible. After all, every HR strategy’s objective is to ensure employee information is nothing but simple to comprehend. When formulating annotations, below are some tips worth considering:
- Include nouns and verbs in your sentences to avoid unnecessary wordiness.
- Stick to one sentence
- Feel free to use a non-disruptive resource or rather the shortest readable text possible
5. Apply the Color Theory
Lastly, apply the correct color scheme in your presentational data tools. Understanding the principles of color theory has a notable role in making your HR data visualization model a success.
With that in mind, always use distinguishable contrasts for varying elements. For instance, use red for negative trends and green for positive ones. Try to maintain a consistent color scheme every time you visualize data for effortless recognition and deciphering. Quick recommendation? Use green, red, yellow, and blue as they are straightforward to tell apart and decipher.
Of course, there’s substantial Talent and HR data at your disposal, and to best manage it, you’ll need a way to minimize the volume into reasonable and manageable lumps of information. Luckily, getting into a lot of trouble won’t be necessary as you can effortlessly achieve that through HR data visualization.
Outdated text- or number-heavy data presentations aren’t as helpful these days and will only demoralize your employees. Instead, leverage your HR data with a Business Intelligent (BI) platform like ClicData to outperform your competitors and make enhanced data-driven business decisions.
We’ll help you build an automated and interactive dashboard to visualize data connected from whichever source. So, build your dashboard with ClicData today and thank us later!