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Do You Have an Organizational Talent Data Analytics Strategy?

Technology is collecting a deluge of information that has the potential to make or break any organization. In a 2019 Gartner survey of HR leaders, only 21% believe their organizations effectively use talent analytics to make better decisions. To extract value from the vast amount of available information and thrive in the reality of everyday chaos, organizations must face two significant challenges. The first challenge involves gathering, processing, and warehousing high-volume, high-speed, and highly diverse data sets. The second challenge is managing the sheer volume of information mined from the data. If not done well, organizations can get buried in the data missing the opportunity presented.

"Analytics-based decision making is essential for making big decisions and thousands of little ones." Bartlet, 2013

Talent Data Analytics Strategy

If you have a talent strategy, the data analytics journey begins for many organizations with moving from bad data to high-quality data. This involves working to clean existing data and restructure the data into a format aligned with the talent strategy. Based on my personal experience, this step can be costly and sometimes involve moving two steps back for every single step upward. It is easy to feel like the journey is not worth the challenge, but you will love the view when you complete this first step. The next part of the journey then involves figuring out how to get clean data into the hands of decision-makers to be analyzed and used in a timely manner. The journey's final leg typically involves developing or hiring data science expertise for advanced analysis and tools such as R, Python, and SPSS. Taking these steps can unlock a competitive talent advantage and lead to transforming the work, the worker, and the workplace.

Unlocking Competitive Advantage

There are many creative examples of how descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive data analytics create a competitive advantage through performance improvements, efficiency, better management decisions, and increased revenue. One company used the competing values framework and operational performance descriptive analytics from 250 firms to identify which operational practices best benefit specific corporate cultures. In another example, a company used insights to ensure the right talent is placed in the right jobs and ensure optimal workforce planning levels to provide outstanding customer experience. Another company used health and wellness data to deliver preventative care avoiding spending millions of dollars on urgent care costs. The trick to creating a competitive advantage through organizational talent data analytics is to discern what is needed from what is wanted.

If you need help getting started with a talent strategy or data analytics strategy, we can help. Use the following link to contact us: Link.


El-Khalil, R. (2015). Simulation analysis for managing and improving productivity: A case study of an automotive company. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 26(1), 36-56. doi:10.1108/JMTM-03-2013-0024

Gambi, L. D. N., Boer, H., Gerolamo, M. C., Jørgensen, F., & Carpinetti, L. C. R. (2015). The relationship between organizational culture and quality techniques, and its impact on operational performance. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 35(10), 1460-1484. doi:10.1108/IJOPM-12-2013-0563

Ledet, E., McNulty, K., Morales, D., & Shandell, M. (2020). How to be great at people analytics. McKinsey & Company.


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About the Author:

Jeff's knowledge and expertise include leadership development, coaching, and workforce strategies to achieve influence and grow organizations. Jeff Doolittle is the founder of Organizational Talent Consulting in Grand Rapids, MI. He can be reached at or by calling (616) 803-9020. Visit to learn more about executive coaching services provided.


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About Dr. Jeff Doolittle

He is the founder of Organizational Talent Consulting in Grand Rapids, MI, and Program Director of online graduate and continuing business education at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL. Executive leaders who work with Jeff describe him as thoughtful, decisive, intelligent, and collaborative. Jeff is a business executive with over twenty years of talent development and organizational strategy experience working with C-suite leaders in Fortune 100, Forbes top 25 private, for-profit, non-profit, and global companies in many industries.

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