Three key lessons to make better use of data within NHS organisations

26 February 2021

Liaison Workforce

On Wednesday 17th February, Liaison Workforce hosted the first session of its new training programme for HR professionals, the HPMA Analytics Programme: Making better use of data to deliver the NHS People Plan, which looks at driving more effective and efficient use of workforce data within NHS organisations. 

With a month to go until the next session, we look at three key messages from the first session, and how these can transform data use to improve NHS staff teams.

1. Move reporting from informative to transformative

Rather than spending time producing report after report with basic data, we recommend implementing a robust process to ensure that the required pillars of data management are in place, enabling organisations to start to use solutions which automate Standard and Targeted reports. This can then free up resources to produce the most impactful Diagnostive and Predictive reports, enabling HR teams and organisations to make informed decisions and influencing transformation and cultural change.

People Analytics can cut through the noise of repetitive reporting, automate analysis and identify outliers of data. By redistributing the time to produce this reporting, data can be used more effectively to triangulate relevant information, and help find root cause issues and obtain early warning signs affecting the workforce.

2. Transform your data into a story

To allow users to see the value of transformative data, you should seek to move it from numbers on a page, to becoming understandable and timely information, to telling a story which shows how change can be implemented to affect beneficial change.

This means taking data from its basic building blocks to spotting and analysing trends, before developing it into a compelling narrative which provides a true understanding of what the original building blocks are telling us. Getting to that “a-ha” moment takes time and careful interpretation, but taking these steps are essential for effective decision making and assisting organisations to move towards fulfilling the aims of the NHS People Plan.

3. Don’t rule out data collection to meet wellbeing requirements

A current workforce priority across the NHS is improving health and wellbeing for staff and teams, particularly in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Measuring wellbeing might be perceived as a challenge due to collection of qualitative data but there are hard metrics we can use, supported by a large range of rich data sources. Some examples may include turnover and sickness, exit interviews, or pulse/engagement surveys.

By utilising this data, HR teams can identify areas for improvement or that are of concern, and make better decisions to improve wellbeing.

We are looking forward to further insights relating to HR and using data to progress the NHS People Plan in our next training session on 23rd March. Places are fully booked but to find out more and register your interest in our future events, please visit:

In partnership with HPMA.