HR is challenged on data

To understand why data isn’t used adequately and which challenges the Danish HR managers and directors are focusing on, ag analytics has carried out qualitative research that accounts interviews with 44 HR managers in large Danish companies within service, trade, industry, and finance.

The research show that a lot of Danish companies can achieve a large profit by creating overview and structure in their data sources as well as needs. By aligning data and to combine and analyze across sources and units, you can gain valuable insight in what drives employee engagement and attract and maintain high performers. Like data – it they are aligned and used properly – can explain, and even to a certain extent predict, the risk of unwanted loss of employees and increasing sick days.

Focus areas for HR

The HR managers points to the following central areas of action, which create value and document the effect of HR work.

  1. Reduce and prevent sick days: The HR managers we spoke with, unanimously see reducing and preventing sick days, especially due to stress, as central areas.
  2. Unwanted employee loss: It is costly to recruit new employees and it can have great negative effect for customer loyalty, the balance, and business development when valuable employees change job e.g. to a competitive company.
  3. Recruitment of new talents: The fight about the best employees is an important parameter of competition for companies.
  4. Lack of customer feedback and link to employees: There is not a clear link between the performance of frontline employees and the customer experience and the assessment hereby. Inappropriate behavior and mistakes are uncovered late (if at all) and damages customer loyalty. By linking HR data with customer data, actions can be executed goal oriented and fast.

The challenges

HR managers say that they experience these challenges when working to optimize HR actions in the companies.

  1. Lack of documentation: It can be difficult to document the effect of the initiatives that HR set in motion. HR is seen more like being a support function than that of a trusted business partner for the management.
  2. The data quality is poor: HR data is often fragmented an in unaligned data formats, and the collection is done random rather than systematic. That causes the validity of analyses and conclusions often to be doubtful, if they are carried out at all!
  3. Access to systems and availability of data: HR does not always have access to the right toolbox and systems to collect and process data. There are challenges with linking different data sources to prepare effective analyses and basis for decisions.
  4. Access to analysis competencies: This applies both the execution, and interpretation and implementation of results. About one of every five HR manager we talked to had internal analysis competencies, and generally, they are significantly further with documenting the effect of HR work that the other HR managers.


About the research: 

The research was carried out in September 2015.

The target group was large companies that are registered within retail.

All the reply’s was collected by phone interviews.

The identity of the interviewed are known by ag analytics, but will not be revealed.

The participants all have management responsibility within HR.


Engagerede medarbejdere er en væsentlig forudsætning for vækst, indtjening og kundefastholdelse. ag analytics’ medarbejderprogrammer gør det muligt at afdække og bruge medarbejderpotentialet optimalt.

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