OHRM Presents “Data Driven Decision Making”

February 7, 2013

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CUNY’s Financial Management Conference on January 29th, 2013 focused on linking strategic and financial planning.  To that end, OHRM sponsored a session entitled “How HR Can Use Data Driven Decision Making to Create a Sustainable Competitive Advantage at CUNY.”  The discussion was led by Grant Schneider, president and founder of Performance Development Strategies LLC, an organization that helps businesses achieve greater results by aligning people in the organization with business strategy.  Said Schneider, “HR needs to speak the language of the business.  Numbers tell a powerful story, and metrics can help prove that your HR department is a valuable strategic partner in running the business of CUNY.  What you measure should give you data that helps support the organizational strategy and has the greatest impact on value creation.”

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From left, Bill Keller, Grant Schneider, Sonia Pearson and Esther Rodriguez-Chardavoyne

Joining Schneider and Vice Chancellor Ginger Waters in the discussion of data-driven decision making was a panel of veteran CUNY administrators:  Sonia Pearson, Director of CUNY’s Central Office Human Resources, Esther Rodriguez-Chardavoyne, Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance at Hostos Community College, and Bill Keller, Vice President of Finance & Administration at Kingsborough Community College.  Pearson shared her office’s use of metrics to improve HR service delivery to IT, with a special emphasis on recruitment and retention. “When positions are difficult to fill, our process needs to be nimble enough to allow us to quickly make offers to good candidates. With metrics, we learn which recruitment sources yield the best candidates, why people stay at CUNY, and if we have sufficient HR resources supporting IT,” said Pearson.

Rodriguez-Chardavoyne demonstrated her campus’s analysis of adjunct faculty-to-student ratios and success rates to determine the distribution of compact lines/positions in the math department: “Our Provost wanted data on faculty/student engagement and passing rates when she met with department chairs so she could be sure to put new adjunct lines where they would do the most good. Thanks to CUNYfirst, we were able to grab a lot of that information.”

Keller showed how KCC’s analysis of campus security overtime expenses over a two year period led to operational decisions resulting in substantial savings to the college.  “It takes as long time to hire a new campus peace officer. That necessitates analysis of HR data on attrition rates for those titles so you can plan accordingly.  The manpower shortage, increased number of special events, even flu season, are factors that we had to take into account to understand when and why overtime peaks.”