Blair Hopkins

Blair Hopkins

Blair Hopkins

Director, Global People Data, Reporting & Analytics, EY

EY HR Analytics

Securing Executive Support with Retention Analytics

Find out how a start-up analytics function secured executive support for further investment by starting simply, relentlessly focusing on commercial benefit, and taking the HR function up the maturity curve.

The EY Global People Analytics team was set up in 2014, and quickly set about establishing a record for delivery of commercial benefit to the global EY organization.

Choices had to be made regarding where initial investment should be made - for example people skills or technology, and what topic the efforts should focus on, all the while being cognizant of the analytics maturity of the Talent function across the business.

This presentation focuses on one initiative – improving retention - that was able to deliver real commercial return in the order of tens of millions to the bottom line.

They achieved this by starting simply, utilising the skills of the talent they secured into the team, focused relentlessly on commercial outcomes, and in the process helping the Talent function move up the analytics maturity curve.

A key outcome of the initiative was to establish the case for further investment in the Global People Analytics team, allowing the function to focus on a larger number of initiatives, and deliver more value to the business.

The Context

  • An increasingly competitive market, with downward pressure on direct costs across the business
  • An increasing attrition rate, driving upwards pressure on costs
  • A relatively new People Analytics function seeking to establish its value

The Project

  • High level cost of turnover analysis completed, using literature research and basic excel modelling
  • Engagement with executive, outlining potential benefits to the business and recommended path forward
  • Major project initiated ‘Retention Project’ across the business, combining analytics efforts to identify problem areas, with HR Business Partners to identify response required at the local level
  • Detailed analysis to segment the workforce and identify high risk groups
  • Development of a Spotfire dashboard to provide regular monthly measures of retention broken down by workforce segment, allowing frontline HR Business Partners to manage at the local level
  • Introduction of retention measures to management and executive level reporting

What You Will Learn

  • What ‘starting simply’ looks like when you are tight on investment
  • The importance of focusing on commercial outcomes when doing people analytics
  • A practical view on how to take a back office analysis into an enterprise wide project

Analytics Sophistication: Early - Medium

Day: 2

Track: Action

Blair Hopkins is Director of Global People Data, Reporting and Analytics at EY, where he led the establishment of the People Analytics function three years ago.

Blair’s philosophy is simple - and that’s to keep things simple. While staying abreast of the latest that analytics has to offer is a lifelong passion, he understands that better business decisions are made taking into account much more than the numbers, and needs to be translated in easy to understand terms.

His background contains a blend of operations and human resources roles, with a decade in a business advisory role with learnings across industries as diverse as aviation, FMCG, financial services, defence, utilities and health services.

Company: EY

Industry: Professional Services

Employees: 231,000


EY (formerly Ernst & Young) is a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom. EY is one of the largest professional services firm in the world and is one of the "Big Four" accounting firms.

The organisation operates as a network of member firms which are separate legal entities in individual countries. It has 231,000 employees in over 700 offices around 150 countries in the world. It provides assurance (including financial audit), tax, consulting and advisory services to companies.

In 2016, Fortune magazine ranked EY as 49th of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, and in 2016, EY is the 11th largest privately owned organization in the United States.


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