How do you build a data-driven culture in HR?

We had the privilege to catch up with Rosa Lee (SVP, HR at Bosch) recently at the Insight222 annual executive retreat and ask her about her experience of building a data-driven culture in HR at Bosch. Check out the video of her interview below as well as the transcript from our discussion. For more videos on the future of HR, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

myHRfuture: How do you convince business leaders of the importance of people analytics at Bosch?

Rosa Lee: I think with business leaders actually it's easy to convince them that they want it. Business leaders are used to data-driven insights for all aspects of their businesses and for evaluating business performance. You have to realise and show that decisions can be demonstrated by data. So for us it's not difficult to convince business leaders with data. Once they understand it, they ask for it and they want it.

myHRfuture: How do you convince the rest of HR that people analytics is important?

Rosa Lee: I think convincing HR is comparatively more difficult than convincing business leaders because HR is used to managing the people side with qualitative things but not really quantitative things, so most of HR does not have a data background and data-driven decision-making is not a common practice.

In the past, we really needed to show why, what's the benefit of data or insights from data that can help HR perform a higher strategic business partnership? And then once they were convinced it's really about helping them to understand how can we enable them and create a mindset change to really drive a data-driven decision process?

myHRfuture: How do you use people analytics to drive change at Bosch?

Rosa Lee: Implementing people analytics as part of a digitisation strategy is a change for the HR community at Bosch. So, just like for all other change initiatives, you really need to embrace a small portion of early adopters and they can positively influence the people in the norm of the adoption bell curve and also those that show resistance. That's why we try to identify people who really have a passion for digital HR and people analytics. Then we form a community and we apply design thinking and a UX-driven approach to identify pain points via our scrum and UX-based process. Then, when we focus on the things they want to focus on, they get even more energised or stimulated and that's the process we try to use to drive people analytics as a change initiative in Bosch.

myHRfuture: As a global head of HR, where do you think people analytics should sit within the HR organisation?

Rosa Lee: Again, people analytics is a new change initiative, and like all change initiatives, in the beginning it has to be positioned to be highly visible, highly important, and highly impactful. That's why in the beginning we have positioned people analytics at Bosch to report directly to the three HR board members. I think once our HR business partners not only have the mindset but also the (analytics) capabilities, and when the changes are really implemented, then maybe we won't need a big team in headquarters. Maybe eventually it can be embedded much more on the business side, but in the beginning we really have to position it to be highly visible.

People Analytics Online Training

If you are looking to learn more about how to get started in people analytics then check out the myHRfuture academy online course on people analytics titled 'An Introduction to People Analytics' that is taught by David Green and Jonathan Ferrar. It's a great introductory course for anyone interested in learning more about people analytics.


Ian Bailie is the Managing Director of and an advisor and consultant for start-ups focused on HR technology and People Analytics, including Adepto, Worklytics and CognitionX.  In his previous role as the Senior Director of People Planning, Analytics and Tools at Cisco Systems, he was responsible for delivering the tools and insights to enable and transform the planning, attraction and management of talent across the organisation globally.  Ian is passionate about HR technology and analytics and how to use both to transform the employee experience and prepare companies for the Future of Work.