Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Do You Fear the Data?

The following post is another in the #NoFearHR series between Mike VanDervort and me discussing human resources, social media, and professional life.

Hey Mike,

I loved your last #NoFearHR post about the critical role data plays in any social media strategy (or any meaningful strategy for that matter.) I'm back from a fantastic week away and realized that one of my downfalls about the use of data played out every day last week...I never thought about it! I think many of our colleagues take this same approach when they consider using data in their professional lives, particularly when it comes to something so new, and constantly evolving as social media. Tracking turnover is one thing, but being able to discuss the impact of your facebook metrics is an entirely different conversation around the Board Room table.

What Are We Afraid Of?
Here's what I think is really going on here Mike...if we dig into the numbers and are afraid they will prove our efforts are not living up to expectations then we'll look like a failure. The reality of course is that the metrics are like a compass, they help us stay on course, they are not judge and executioner. But when HR falls into the age old trap of playing it safe versus taking risks that will result in real progress, we end up fearing the data.

Where Are You HR?
What do you think Mike? Is HR simply too afraid to really push the data; or, have we found comfort in the traditional reporting that somehow seems to give us plenty of excuses to avoid accountability?

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