British Petroleum (BP) has hosted the first leg of The Chapman Consulting Group’s Spring 2014 Global HR Leader Series. Attendees included senior HR Leaders from the likes of British American Tobacco, BP, GlaxoSmithKline, HSBC, Jones Lang Lasalle, Pitney Bowes, Sky Broadcasting, TUI Travel, and other organisations.
Kerry Dryburgh, Global HR Head for the Integrated Supply and Trading business of BP (IST), opened the session and welcomed the 25 Global HR Leaders in attendance. Dryburgh gave an overarching view of the BP business and the company’s current HR challenges, before leading into a short discussion on ‘Big Data,’ the theme of the Spring 2014 Global HR Leader Series.
Attendees heard three presentations on the growing importance of ‘big data’ in making smarter HR and business decisions. In the first of these presentations, Sarah Odell, Head of Organisational Effectiveness in BP Integrated Supply and Trading, spoke of the increased focus on analytics, which has developed in the IST business. According to Odell, “Big data’ can be the key to unlocking answers to the big questions that the business is asking.” She shared that because HR is truly embedded in the organisation, and already uses data to drive HR and business strategy, the business has been open minded about the potential positive effects of HR data analytics.
“BP has historically used data regarding talent, diversity and inclusion to inform scorecards, or as an input into processes such as succession planning. Going forward we will use historical data, predictive data and regression testing to assist in driving diversity and leadership goals,” said Odell. “We are also currently investigating the use of data to quantify what makes a high performer and what makes a high performing team,” she added.
Kerry Dryburgh reinforced BP’s openness to what analytics can offer, “We are very focussed on delivering better people outcomes for the entire organisation. We are fortunate to work in a business that values data and wants to see a more proactive analytics function that demonstrates the commercial value of HR, and enables them to solve their business issues.”
Stephanie Russell, a Global Talent Lead from GSK, emphasised the importance of planning the data capture process carefully. GSK is using Workday software, and a lot of the emphasis right now is around ensuring that consistent and accurate data is being captured in the system. Russell outlined the organisation’s current focus, from a data analytics perspective, on determining which talent measures HR and business leaders at GSK want to see four years out.
A Global Projects Head of HR from one of the worlds leading leisure travel groups indicated that leaders in the organisation were craving new information on their people to help make smarter business and talent management decisions. “Clearly there is an appetite for the smart use of data in our organisation: we just need to be focused and understand what metrics are most important and how these will be applied.”
Matthew Chapman, CEO of ChapmanCG, closed the session by stating that perhaps the most exciting aspect of the current global focus on smarter data management is that the science remains in its infancy. “Now is an excellent time to learn from others’ mistakes and to be bold and innovative in devising and applying data analytics measures.” Chapman predicts that the demand for HR analytics experts and HR talent with an analytics backbone will continue to intensify in the future.
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