Implementing a successful HR analytics function

Nestlé Manager of Analytics and Business Optimization Jade Votava discusses the latest HR and workforce analytics trends and challenges


Implementing a comprehensive and beneficial HR function in a large organization is no mean feat – especially when balancing the personal side of staff support with broader business needs. Jade Votava, Manager of Analytics and Business Optimization at Nestlé, says that getting the buy in of the right individuals in the business, from the CEO to junior staff, can help when it comes to successfully implementing HR policy and following through on set objectives.

Ahead of her appearance at Innovation Enterprise's HR & Workforce Analytics Innovation Summit, we sat down with Jade to discuss the latest trends and pressures facing HR professionals today.

Innovation Enterprise: In spite of constant business pressures, how do you best implement an HR function across a huge global organization like Nestlé without losing focus of the personal side of staff support?

Jade Votava: While this can be tricky, it is about gaining the buy in from the right individuals. Certainly, everyone in HR needs to be on your side of the ring but getting the buy in from the CEO is the most important piece of the puzzle. This needs to stem from the bottom line up, so that by the time the notion is sitting in front of the CEO, they already know and understand the value your function brings. This poses no question on the issue's importance and ROI.

IE: Over the past few years, automated processes have been implemented on a wide scale to ensure efficient and timely delivery; how have these changes transformed the role of the HR executive?

JV: Technology, as a whole, has really transformed HR; 15 years ago, even 10 years ago, while technology was embedded within the HR function, it was never used the way we want to use the technology now. Simple reporting as we know it today was almost impossible without the advancements we have made in recent years. Looking at data and telling a story, being predictive and learning from our own employees is now the norm we need to mold our systems around. We no longer live in a time that data is secondary.

Register today to watch Jade Votava's presentation at the HR & Workforce Analytics Innovation Summit, part of Innovation Enterprise's Analytics Innovation Festival in Chicago on October 30–31, 2018

IE: How do you ensure ethical standards are maintained in HR as analytics become commonplace in HR practices?

JV: Very carefully…empowering others to use data for good is the easy part, ensuring they are using it correctly and legally is where we need to have strict controls. Streamlined reports, standardized formulas and calculations, among consistent products, help eliminate the need for non-analytic HR teams to go rogue an on analysis. It gives them information they need to drive an action and change while allowing them to come back to the root (HR analytics) to ask additional questions and ask for help to dig further. Empowering employees with an HR analytics course as a mandatory piece of onboarding can help establish the importance of the data practices, but also bring to light what the team can do to really drive home the value the data can bring.

IE: Finally, what message do you hope to convey to delegates during your upcoming appearance at the HR & Workforce Analytics Innovation Summit?

JV: Being smart and strategic on how we position our data out to the business will allow us to be more successful as an Analytics function. The buy-in from leadership is important, but getting buy in from the business you support will be what helps you take the team to the next level.

Jade Votava will be speaking on Day One of Innovation Enterprise's HR & Workforce Analytics Innovation Summit in Chicago on October 30–31, 2018. To attend and hear more great insights from HR professionals across some of the biggest organizations in North America, register here.

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