Analytics, and especially predictive analytics, arrived in the human capital market in 2007 and 2008. Still today, many people are uncertain as to just what analytics is about and how it can add value to managing.

My view is that analytics is a meeting of arts and science. The arts teach us how to look at the world. Sciences teach us how to do something. When you say analytics people immediately think of statistics. That is incorrect. Statistics are a tool of analytics, not the essence of it. Analytics is a mental framework, a logical progression first and a set of statistical tools second. It looks like this:

The word analytics comes from the Greek: analutika. It is defined as the process of dismantling or separating the whole into the parts for study.

Simply stated analysis is about taking something apart to understand it better. In complex physical or behavioral science issues statistical methods are often utilized. For complex organizational problems we need a logical structure to parse out the many variables that can affect human performance. Once we have that we can apply statistics as necessary.

Analytics for Human Resources
Analytics offers HR professionals an opportunity to make a quantum leap in human capital management. This breakthrough first appeared in 2008. It was result of over 18 months of study in the Predictive Initiative, a consortium of major organizations and thought leaders committed to transforming people management into a strategic function.

We named the new model HCM:21 for human capital management in the 21st Century. It is the logic framework that gathers, organizes and interprets data, and subsequently knowledge, for the purpose of foretelling the probability of upcoming events. HCM takes the gambling out of decision making. HCM overcomes reliance on past data and obsolete experience by replacing it with insights regarding the future and the tools for influencing it. This is called “managing tomorrow, today.”