Guest Blog Post: Dr. Michael Moon, People Analytics Leader | ADP

Imagine if you were asked to buy a house without ever seeing it. Your real estate agent tells you it has everything you asked for and you should trust her because she has had 100% success in predicting her client’s happiness with their purchase. Would you buy it?

What if you were planning a trip to an imaginary island, let’s call it Peopletopia, and the one person you know that has been there said you don’t need sunscreen in Peopletopia because it is so far away from any major continents that the sun has little to no impact on your skin. This is someone you were recently introduced to, who coincidentally, also happens to have a PhD. You burn easily and have a family history of skin cancer. Do you go without your sunscreen?

What if everywhere you ever worked people were allowed to wear any color shirt they wanted work, but now at your new job you are told you can wear any color but purple. You ask why and you are told because a very well-known thought leader presented research that purple clothing causes increased conflict in the workplace, more than any other color. Do you believe it?

Okay, so maybe the last scenarios are a little silly or far-fetched, but hopefully you get the point. Most of us do not do things on blind faith, like the first scenario, or make serious life-decisions based on information from only one source like the second scenario, even if that source is the world’s most renowned expert on a topic like the third scenario. So why, if we wouldn’t do these things in our personal lives, would we do them as HR Professionals?

So much of what we do as HR professionals and people managers in our organizations today are actually based upon faulty logic, inappropriate application of research, based on what we think makes sense, or what we read in the latest article in XYZ Magazine. And sometimes, we do them simply because it is what we have always done.

Even worse than faulty logic, and absolutely fundamental to making the most effective decisions about an organization’s people, is the importance of establishing standards for how data is stored, retrieved and used as part of HR decision-making.

Whether we are talking about the new ISO standards on human capital management reporting launched in 2019 (ISO 30414) or standards in how you define various HR measures and metrics, developing standards is a crucial part of using People Analytics to help unravel HR mysteries and facilitate better strategic value for your organization.

HR Open Standards not only provides the forum for people to come together to discuss, establish, and define the standards but it also provides an avenue for technologists to converse about their need and solve problems. If you’d like to learn more register to attend my session “People Analytics in Standards Implementations” at the HR Open 2020 Annual Meeting.