Time for HR leaders to learn from Football analytics

Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships. This quote is not merely just a quote, but it works wonders if we decide to action the same. It is human to praise the leader who was heading an event or the marketing director who heads an organization’s most successful campaigns. 

But, we often forget to look at the efforts that a team makes in order to land success. Therefore, it is imperative for a successful organization to appreciate the various contributions that employees make as a team towards closing a particular task.


Today, organizations have crossed barriers by leaps and bounds in order to bring in the essence of corporate team building and through football analytics, they have been able to understand the nuances of team building. Traditionally, players were rated and known based on the number of goals they scored. As a result, all the “best” players were strikers.

Today, more nuanced analytics allow teams to track the contributions of each player on the pitch. A midfielder who has a touch on 70% of their team’s goals or breaks up 80% of opposing team’s attacks is clearly invaluable, even if their name rarely makes it on the scoreboard. 


In the world of business, we have a similar situation. Today’s talent analytics technologies allow companies to analyse each employee’s contribution to their team’s overall effectiveness, be it by driving collaboration, galvanising employees, or directly contributing to the company’s bottom line.  

It may be tempting to exclusively target high achievers, but a business needs the perfect mix of strengths, skills and temperaments to excel. Also, just as in professional sport there are a limited number of “superstars” available on the market. Watching some of the biggest football clubs play ball, it’s easy to see why they remain the most successful  clubs in the global history. Yes, they have many skilled players, but these come and go. 

It is their ability to consistently attract people who fit in with their way of playing and excel at their role that keeps them winning. The same is true of today’s most successful businesses. Even if you offer the best products and services on the market, it takes a team of engaged employees working in unison to successfully take those to market. 


There is a huge difference between a good manager and a great manager even when the terms sound similar. The difference lies in the way they manage their people and teams. A good manager will focus only on their high achievers, but a great manager sees through their teams and employees. They are able to gauge their respective potential and are able to bring out the best in them. 

This is where technology come into the picture. It has the strength to help HR teams manage each person’s contribution to the business by bringing in modern talent analytics. 

Believe it or not, but talent analytics holds a significant value, and HR teams have a clear opportunity to polish each person’s passion and interests with the help of talent analytics. Organizations need to up their game in order to embrace the modern recruitment practices and leave the traditional ways behind. 


Business leaders are learning that companies with mature analytics capabilities are two times better at recruiting and developing leaders and more importantly, are three times more likely to see cost reductions and efficiency gains. Leveraging talent analytics to drive business outcomes could be a real market differentiator.


Organizations that succeed at talent analytics view data through the lens of a scientist. Scientists test hypotheses, and that’s exactly what HR should be doing. HR leaders need to gather anecdotes and opinions from executives and managers, then collect and analyze the data to test the validity of those opinions. 

HR leaders are differentiating themselves by becoming proponents of talent analytics in their organizations and bringing the skills and tools needed to provide relevant, provocative, consumable workforce analysis and information to their executives. This is the business intelligence that will help companies make fact-based decisions that drive business results.

Author-  Shaakun Khanna, Head of HMC Applications, Asia Pacific, Oracle  

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