Building Human Capital Analytics: A Multi-case Study of DONG Energy, Grundfos, Danske Bank and Coloplast

Asbjørn Bloch Jensen & Marco Höpfl

Student thesis: Master thesis


Evidence-based decision making has become an inevitable mantra in organizations aiming to be competitive and recently entered the field of human resources. Human capital analytics is an evidence-based approach to inform and improve people decisions in organizations. While multiple debates surround the subject, we argue for the importance of an organizational perspective by building human capital analytics as an organizational capability. To bridge the gap between data, analytics, and decision making, we argue for the need for collaboration between HR business partners and analysts. The aim of this study is to provide practical knowledge on how to enhance the relationship between HR business partners and analysts working with people data.
To explore the relationship we outline three initial propositions relating to the microfoundations of organizational capabilities: 1) Individuals, 2) Processes and Interactions, 3) Structure. Through a case study of four large Danish companies we have developed these propositions into refined versions, serving as the foundation to further discuss their interrelations. This allowed us to suggest how to build human capital analytics as an organizational capability.
To enhance the relationship and build human capital analytics as an organizational capability analysts need to establish an alliance with strategic HR business partners. The alliance is created through selective data explorations targeting strategic business issues showing the value of human capital analytics. To enable collaboration and present analytics as actionable knowledge the HR business partners must develop an analytical understanding while the analysts must develop communication skills. To generate actionable knowledge a continuous knowledge sharing of problem identification and result interpretation must take place. Finally, we provide a suggestion on how to overcome the discrepancy between the intention of building human capital analytics and the incentive to use evidence as a people decision- making tool.

EducationsMSc in Strategy, Organization and Leadership, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages181
SupervisorsDana Minbaeva