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An ROI-based review of HR analytics: practical implementation tools

Presented by:

Hunter Higgs


Research Question

This paper is a review paper in which a four-step review and analysis methodology was used.

RQ1: What are the major themes that have been developed within HR analytics research?

*found in tables i – iii

RQ2: What are the focus and ROI-based critique of HR analytics research?

*found in tables i – iii

RQ3: What is the future of HR analytics research?

*found in table iv


Review and Analysis comprised of four steps:

Developed a database by conducting a search to identify all relevant literature on HR analytics that have been published in peer-reviewed academic journals.

Developed a template to analyze articles between theoretical and empirical themes.

Conducted content analysis of the articles to separate descriptive and qualitative conceptual data.

The results were interpreted and the findings meaningfully organized.

Emergence of HR analytics research Table I

Table I shows an increase interest in the topic of HR analytics.

Three distinct periods of growth found.

2000 -2005

The beginning

4% of HR analytics research was published

2006 – 2010

Initial growth

10% of HR analytics research was published

2011 – 2016

Substantial growth

86% of HR analytics research was published

The growth also shows that HR analytics started out not being in any HR management or business journals, then 40%, and finally 91%.

Trends in HR analytics research Table II


“The research is overly focused on evidence-based approach, and they offer an analysis of five key questions and potential explanations for the paradox of low adoption of HR analytics.” (this is why we don’t have more HR analytics)

“We thus move to our substantive contribution, an ROI-based analysis of HR analytics that sets the ground for our proposed future research avenues in HR analytics.”

ROI-based analysis of HR analytics (Definitions)

*ROI (Return On Investment) – is a strategic HR metric that reflects the financial value added by the workforce as a result of the money spent on employees (recruiting, employee compensation, talent management, training, etc.)

Why use ROI?

1) suitable in light of the limited high-quality research that has been conducted in the field

2) analyzing HR analytics from an ROI-based perspective can increase the chances of the practical adoption of HR analytics

LAMP Model – Logic, Analytics, Measures, and Process

drives change in organizations to be more effective

ROI-based analysis of HR analytics (Definitions)

*Empirical Studies – based on observed and measured phenomena and derives knowledge from actual experience rather than from theory or belief.


The results were either quantitative (data that is number based, and measurable) or qualitative (interpretation based, and described by language).

Increased organizational performance

Greater accuracy

Accurate and rapid assessments process

Better HR processes

High on the LAMP model

ROI-based analysis of HR analytics (Definitions)

*Conceptual studies – research is conducted by observing and analyzing already present information.


They articulate a clear connection between the HR investment in analytics and organizational effectiveness.

They show increased ROI.

Presents a robust approach for strategic alignment with updated organizational process, which complements their overall effectiveness.

High on the LAMP model

ROI-based analysis of HR analytics (Definitions)

*Case-based studies – using stories as a teaching tool to show the application of a theory or concept to real situations.


1) It covers studies that provide practical examples of organizations that have implemented HR analytics and recommendations for successful implementation.

2) Some studies were written by scholars who have consulting experience in the field of HR analytics.

Draw Backs

Low results on the LAMP model

Majority of articles do not articulate a clear connection with HR analytics, organizational effectiveness and ROI

Provide little scientific evidence to aid decision-makers concerning whether to adopt or implement HR analytics tools within an organization.

ROI-based analysis of HR analytics (Definitions)

*Technical Studies – research that is more to find out the practical purpose of the field being studied.**

Four areas of focus

Informative research on the topic of HR analytics

Specific subject within HR analytics

Literary review

Illustrate future trends in HR analytics

Draw Backs

LAMP model does not apply to majority of Technical studies

Most papers do not articulate a clear connection between HR analytics investment and organizational effectiveness

They provide limited scientific evidence to aid decision makers concerning whether to adopt HR anayltics

ROI-based analysis of HR analytics Table III

HR Analytics practical implementation tools and expected ROI Table IV

Table IV illustrates the implications of HR analytics for organizations. It addresses how HR challenges using various analytic tools, namely, descriptive and predictive, may impact the expected ROI. The analysis may help assist future scholars and practitioners in the being able to improve HR analytic tools.

ROI model to guide the way forward Table V

This table answers RQ3.

It reiterates the study’s contributions and emphasizes the ROI approach as a model to guide the way forward in HR analytics research.

Challenge for future research

The challenge for future research in HR analytics is to reach beyond general studies in order to identify important contextual variables of HR analytics and to consistently add value to existing HR systems on both the contextual and practical levels.

They believe that much of this potential added value lies within the empirical and conceptual research in HR analytics.

For future research contributions should focus on both empirical and conceptual studies in HR analytics since these are the noticeable directions where the highest return rates are expected.

My Thoughts


I appreciate anytime there is an effort made to collect and categorize data.

I will always appreciate and encourage new ways to look at data and interpret future trends.

They utilized a wide range of data for this analysis.

Showing the growth of HR analytics was interesting to see.


Does not properly define ROI in Human Resources, especially why they feel it was a better metric to judge by. (I’m not oppose to the idea, but I wish they had explained in a clearer way why they chose ROI) (i.e. do they believe in people analytics to find ROI?)

I don’t like how they seem to promote the dismissal of data because it doesn’t fit their ROI or LAMP models.

No data is bad data. It’s just not being used properly.

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