HR Data Labs – Season 1 – Episode 1 – HR Data is Flawed!

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When people say “Labor of Love” they really mean it. When you try to make something out of nothing… a garden, a tapestry, an invention, a consulting business during a pandemic, or a podcast with literally no experience in podcasting; it is true. Sweat makes the result even sweeter.

While that might not be apparent on the first episode you hear right now, it is certainly true of the next few. I have interviewed and talked to a wealth of HR and organizational expertise around HR Data and Analytics. The people who are guests on the podcast are wonderful, brilliant, funny and insightful.

This episode was my first attempt at getting my thoughts into the microphone and I was tempted to rerecord but was dissuaded from it by the experts. I hope you enjoy it and am looking forward to your input and feedback.

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Episode Summary

Welcome to the HR Data Labs Podcast, I’m your host David Turetsky. This is your one-stop-shop for everything happening in People Analytics today, with passionate industry leaders inside and outside HR. Together we are going to tackle issues with HR data and analytics as well as how to approach them in a creative way that can lead to success in whatever business you lead. 

Let’s dive right into this episode and talk about how although HR data may be inherently flawed our assumptions are critical for filling in the gaps, and using your employees to keep your data clean will ultimately provide your clients with enough trust in your analyses to keep turning to you for insights.

[00:01 – 03:16] Opening Segment

  • Welcome to HR Data Labs Podcast 
    • Created to discuss HR insights using modern People Analytics techniques 
    • We will help you identify areas of noise, errors, and issues
    • Look forward to industry experts from multiple fields to provide their insights
  • Challenging convention 
    • Asking why
    • Creative solutions 
    • Passionate conversations 
  • A little about myself
    • Over 30 years in the HR space 
    • Analyst, executive, and entrepreneur (forgot to mention consultant too… UGH)
    • Visit to learn more  

[03:16 – 06:14] Why HR Data is so Important

  • I talk about why HR data matters 
    • 123.6m employees as of August 2020, down from last year according to BLS
    • HR activities of all kinds collect data
  • HR data is inherently flawed 
    • These processes were never meant to be used as measurements 
    • Art and not a science 
    • Document your assumptions 

[06:15 – 10:31] So Who Owns the Data?

  •  I talk about owning your data
    • Employee self-service
    • Keeping the data clean 
  • Employees should have access to their pay data 
    • How all the variables translate into their paycheck
    • Employees should be process owners of their own information
  • Inherent ‘dirty data’
    • Updating the data is a necessity 
  • Provide a communications campaign designated for cleaning up the data
  • Lottery/drawing idea for finishing the process on time

[10:32 – 14:09] The Flaws in the Process

  • I talk about examples to the flaws
    • Headcount discrepancies  
    • How you count employees on Leaves, for example, matters
  • I talk about measurement 
    • Be sure of the assumptions 
  • We’ll talk about these things with upcoming guests  
  • Give suggestions for topics and questions 

[14:10 – 18:58] Closing Segment

  • I summarize the topics we touched on 
    • Human Resource Data is inherently flawed but is fit for this purpose 
    • Employee data ownership is critical for an accurate representation 
    • All of these process weren’t meant to be measured but can be as an “Art not a Science”
    • The assumptions are critical for trust in your insights
  • Final Words

Resources Mentioned: 

Tweetable Quotes:

“The use of HR data needs to be thought of with kind of the ‘art and not a science’ technique. We need to think of it as a way of being able to drive insight out of HR processes… “ – David Turetsky

You can connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter, or email me at This show is brought to you by Turetsky Consulting LLC, our company provides business consulting on Analytics, HR Processes, and Rewards with a focus on getting answers that organizations need by demystifying People Analytics.  

Did you get value from the show? LEAVE A REVIEW and tell us what you think about the episode and give us suggestions around content for new episodes,

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