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When you look at a talent analytics report, do your eyes start to glaze over? Human capital means dealing with people, not numbers, right? Not exactly.

With all of the new tools available to recruiters and HR personnel, organizations have access to more data than ever. This would be great news for companies looking to stay up to date – if they had employees that could successfully read and interpret that data. Unfortunately, too many HR professionals are at a loss as to how to gain proficiency in analytics.

One thing is certain. There is a huge need and opportunity for HR professionals to become proficient in analytics. In Aberdeen’s recent study, 44.4% of survey respondents reported that a lack of people who understand how to use analytic software and interpret results is a major barrier to their HCM initiatives

Unfortunately only 21.4% of organizations provide training on human capital analytics. However, the Best-in-Class organizations that understand the need for employees with analytics proficiency are 70.1% more likely to provide training.

With these barriers holding your organization back, those who become analytics proficient will prove to be invaluable almost immediately. Whether your company offers training or not, here is a guide to how to become analytics proficient for the sake of clients and your own career as an HR professional.

Be the Domain Expert

In order to become an essential part of any organization’s team, you need to have a clear and in-depth knowledge of their industry. In the field of recruitment and talent curating, generalists are unprepared for the level of specialization required. Domain expertise is one of the top three skills that Best-in-Class companies look for when filling HR positions. HR pros need to be able to communicate with candidates and employees on a level that demonstrates expertise within that field. In layman’s terms, you need to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. So the first order of business to become analytics proficient is to choose your niche and know your market inside and out.

Develop Software Proficiency

As stated, developing software proficiency can be hindered without agency support. There are ways to circumvent the problem, though. Look for data technology, such as CRM, that offers free trials or tutorials. Offer to apprentice yourself to a company that is using things like the latest candidate tracking software so you can see firsthand how it operates and how it can be used. In short, if your agency is behind the times, you have to draw upon your own resources to get ahead in the game. When you can say that you’ve got firsthand experience and proficiency with these software tools, you’ll be on your way to analytics proficiency.

Build Your Own Team of Advisors

As an HR professional, you must have a network of people who, like you, want to advance their careers. There’s no reason you can’t practice your skills in your own life. Build a team of professionals who hold varying skills related to what you are trying to achieve. Draw upon each other for instruction and advice.

Best-in-Class employers are 24.3% more likely to create a role or function to support their talent analytics efforts. No one is saying you have to do this alone. The most successful people in the world all have teams of people around them who helped with their experience, networks and even encouragement.

Don’t let your organization or others stand in your way of becoming a much needed resource in the area of analytics. There is a huge market for HR professionals who understand how the world of talent curating and retaining is changing, and you have the opportunity to be on the cutting edge.

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