Banging on about HR analytics.

Regular readers will know this is one of my regular themes. HR,  analytics and a bit of cricket.

Tom Davenport, over on his Harvard blog, picks up on how HR could learn from Basketball.

How do analytics spread in sports? It usually starts with a few individuals who have seen their application in other domains (Daryl Morey of the Rockets, for example, was a fan of Bill James, the baseball stats Geek of Geeks), and figures they will work in a new context. Some like-minded rich people bankroll the experimentation (in the Rockets’ case, owner Leslie Alexander), and the team starts to perform pretty well (Houston had a 22-game winning streak last year despite injuries to key players). New metrics get developed–both by teams and amateurs outside them. Then other teams catch on. The last time I checked about a year ago, roughly half of NBA teams had statisticians on staff.

I wonder how many HR department have statisticians on their staff?

As a boy I wasn’t good enough to be in the cricket team, so I ended up being the scorer. I enjoyed it, and since then I have had an interest in how to measure performance. My German friends think it very odd that I can derive enjoyment from following a text based cricket commentary for 5 days, but anyway. There is beauty in these numbers (unless you are an Australian cricket fan).


  I’m continuing to focus on HR analytics in my research, I recently did a note on absence management. Absence  costs UK organizations 3% of payroll, yet less than 50% of organizations measure or analyse it.  Time to train up a few scorers I think.


photo from vapours cc flickr. thanks.


Now this is a mashup dashboard that I like.

 Via newteevee.

A group of Adobe employees have teamed up for the third year running to make a live tracking dashboard for the Amgen Tour of California, which starts Saturday right in their backyard in Sacramento.


This really impressive, it brings in feeds from multiple sources, mashes up fan commentary, maps, profiles and rider information. Very neat indeed.  Thanks Adobe, now if you could just do the same for ERP…

Tombstones and social software as literary forms.

A significant portion of my job looks at the impact of social software on organizations, especially the HR related space.  Make no mistake, social software is making a impact on HR processes, whether HR departments get it or not. Some do some don’t.  There is a lot of innovative stuff going on, and I hope to see more HR departments using it. And twitter is one of those tools that can play a role in modern HR collaboration.

Anyway, on a lighter note,  I’m most impressed with the complete works of Shakespeare on twitter.  (hat tip JP)  my favourites:

Merchant of Venice. MoV: A greedy lender loses out due to a poorly-phrased contract, women practice law in drag & w/out licenses, and lovers are united.

Henry V HV: Bad-ass Henry V kicks France’s butt with a rag-tag army, many long-bows, and excellent speeches. Henry then marries a French princess.

MacBeth M: Kingship is just not in the cards for an ambitious and superstitious Scotsman.

Hamlet  H: Mommy issues are just the beginning for a prince with a murdered father and new Uncle/Step-dad. Most everybody ends up dead.

For those of you on Facebook, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice  as a Facebook group is  unmissable.

Yes, these are a lot of fun. 

Composing and reducing ideas in to 140 characters or less is not always easy, but constraints are not always detrimental. Powerful constraints often create powerful results.

The constraints of the tombstone size mean that Epitaphs have to be relatively short.  This doesn’t weaken their poignancy, but strengthens it.


(from wikipedia)

Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by
that here, obedient to their law, we lie.

Simonides‘s epigram at Thermopylae

Constraints can be goodness.  In decades to come, a very very very very small  portion of tweets will be revered as much as an e.e.cummings poem. My tweets won’t! But in the meantime it is a very good way to stay connected and meet interesting people.

  You can follow me here.

Light Sabres and conferences

As an Industry Analyst, one gets to go to lots of conferences. This generally means lots of swag. Lots of stuff isn’t useful, piles of brochures, a logo laden bag and a t-shirt 12 sizes too big for me tend not to make it on the flight back. But sometimes the haul is excellent. Soft but bouncy balls make for excellent indoor cricket with the kids (please don’t tell my wife). The new trend of giving refillable water bottles is great, because they don’t leak over the homework. USB-sticks that double up as mp3 players score big points with baby sitters.

But the best swag yet has been the  light sabre.



Take one hot wheels track, preferably yellow, some masking tape, a nespresso capsule box and a swag laser pointer. Assemble together.  Time to implement 5 minutes. ROI 4 seconds, customer satisfaction  level ecstatic, maintenance costs approaching zero.   Not even Hans Solo could manage that. May the force be with you.

Grokking d-land.



photo from the saugeil flickr stream of  abbilder.

My readers will know by now that I’ve lived in Germany for a while now.

An Australian on-line twitter follower who cycles and does clever code stuff sent me this blog link.  Who says Twitter isn’t useful?

From what I can gather the blog is written by a 20 something ex-pat living in Berlin. It has the air of someone who thinks 40 is old, but anyway.

Ich werde ein berliner  is still a relatively  new blog, but I hope it has ausdauer. 

An example

Ordering coffee must be handled with extra care. If you have no clue about coffee varieties, stop reading this NOW and head to a bookstore to get a book on the topic. There will be plenty to choose from. Once you’re fluent in the language of caffeine, imagine a “coffee coolness pyramid” with “Latte Macchiato” at the bottom. Latte Macchiato has been the favorite since the mid-90s but then, it was picked up by the “wrong type of Germans”. Thankfully, German people discovered “Galao”, which is the exact same drink, just from Portugal. Put “Galao” above Latte Macchiato in our imagined pyramid. The next level is, surprisingly, plain Espresso. Many Germans who are considered “cool” by other Germans stopped worrying about what the current coffee specialty is, and now just order Espresso. This gives them the aura of being special, easy-going, and culturally versed. The tip of the pyramid though, would be to order “just a mug of filter coffee”, not because you like it, but to show you are an avant-garde intellectual who is too special to follow any trend. This is an advanced move not recommended for new arrivals in Germany. If you do it the wrong way, you will be seen as an uncultured “Proll” and your chances to earn respect from your German acquaintances are severely diminished. Alternatively, you can order beer (gives you an air of being connected with the working class, like a poor but brilliant artist), or Bio-nade, which is anti-Americanism in bottles.