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In the vast ocean of BIG DATA, where giant companies swim with their armies of analysts uncovering quirky correlations (like jelly beans consumed versus rest breaks*), smaller businesses might feel like they’re paddling in the kiddie pool when it comes to people-data.

But let’s talk about the might of ‘Small Data’ in the world of SMEs.

Contrary to what many think, SMEs aren’t data deserts. In fact, many SME HR pros are data ninjas in their own right, using what they have to make smart decisions. They may not have flashy dashboards, but they’ve got the knack for spotting trends that spell either triumph or trouble.

You don’t need a data scientist’s hat to make the most of small data. It’s all about starting simple and focusing on what matters most to your business.

So here are some top metrics for SMEs to start Tracking:

  1. Time to Hire: Speed matters, but it’s not just about being fast. A swift hiring process could mean you’re a hot ticket employer.
  2. Quality of Hire: After six months, ask yourself, “Would I rehire this person?” It’s a simple yet telling metric.
  3. Recruitment Channels: Think of it like customer feedback. A high referral rate might feel great, but it could also hint at a diversity drought.
  4. Voluntary Turnover: If people are leaving in droves, it’s time to look at what’s influencing this by doing a bit of a deep dive on engagement.
  5. Involuntary Turnover: High numbers here could signal a mismatch in hiring or management skills.
  6. Performance Issues: These nuggets of insight can reveal a lot about skills and expectations within your team.
  7. Complaints (aka. Grievances): Track these from the get-go. They’re like canaries in the coal mine for engagement and management health.
  8. Time Spent on ‘Noise’: This underrated metric can show how much time is spent on people issues, reflecting the overall vibe in your business.
  9. Absence Rates: Use this carefully, as it’s most meaningful over a longer period. It’s a barometer for both obvious risks and subtle engagement issues.
  10. Costs and Customer Data: Blend these with the above, and voila! You’ve got a treasure trove of insights to boost productivity.

Remember, you don’t need to track everything under the sun. Just pick what resonates with your business, and soon you’ll see patterns and stories emerge that can guide your decisions.

Want to find out how you stack up? Contact us via or call on 020 3951 1208

*About that jelly bean study… nope, never happened (but in the world of big data, stranger things have surfaced!).