Meet Elizabeth Gonzalez, Sr. HR Data and Technology Analyst

How HR Data & Technology team drives UVA business decisions

Elizabeth Gonzalez is a Senior HR Data & Technology Analyst on the People Analytics team. After graduating from UVA as an undergrad, she found herself drawn to work for the UVA Health System and its mission. She has worked with UVA for almost 15 years, first in the Medical Center Human Resources area, and then she jumped at the chance to be part of the HR transformation to help build the new HR system and structure. She now supports all of UVA in her current role on the HR People Analytics team. The team works with HR data, building reports and other solutions for the University and UVA Health that drive business decisions and improve outcomes.

What do you love about the work you do?

My team has a unique perspective on how things connect – not just across HR data elements but also across teams, business processes, relationships, etc., to drive business outcomes and improve the experience of someone using the Workday system. One of the most common things that our team does is share knowledge about HR data, such as what report fields mean, how to interpret what our customers see, etc. The things that motivate me the most are always things that directly impact our HR customers and the patients and students they serve. I love that I get the chance to make connections between people, processes, systems, and data in a way that makes a difference.

Elizabeth Gonzalez headshotIs there one project you’ve been working on that you’re most proud of that directly benefited the UVA community? 

Recently I implemented a Workday solution for our UVA Health recruiters to improve their ability to make offers quickly and correctly. This new hiring tool will minimize accidental errors while improving visibility into options while working with candidates. I’ve also been working on a project with the Nursing Professional Governance Organization (NPGO) to help streamline how they report on HR data that is required for Magnet Certification and redesignation. As a result of this work, we have improved the NPGO's ability to report on this as well as created early identification of data quality issues and gaps.

How does your work align with your personal values or principles? With HR values/principles?

I believe in meeting people where they are and learning from them in order to see things from their point of view.  Taking a few extra minutes to understand their perspective and why they are asking for the kind of information they are can make the difference between providing meaningful insights and causing more questions. Since data is often seen as black and white, this may seem counter-intuitive, but being empathetic, and understanding what is needed and why it is needed, helps both the person asking and me to identify the best way to help them get what they need and include all necessary context.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

One of the most challenging parts of my job is translating what our customers ask for into information that we can use to support their requests. It can also be one of the most creative moments, when we find new options or look for opportunities that we can support. Additionally, since Workday provides self-service reporting capabilities, it can be a challenge for many of our customers who are not comfortable yet with data. We work with a variety of customers, and each school and unit has their own unique culture and way of looking at HR data that is essential for their business. Understanding those needs and adapting quickly to various situations, while remaining confident in your own skill set and knowledge, can be a challenge.

What about the most rewarding part?

Easily the most rewarding part of what I do is when I can make a difference in a UVA colleague's work life by doing something that no one else can do. This means pulling from my experience over the years, not only as an HR data expert and HR professional, but also as a caring and insightful human being who can provide a unique insight or solution to a problem that no one else may know or be able to provide.

What are some takeaways you would love your UVA colleagues to know about the work you do?

Data is about more than numbers. You can have all the data analysis at your fingertips, but unless you can make connections to what matters to your customers and turn that analysis into a compelling story, your data will fall short. The most compelling data storytellers may not be very good at working with the data on its own, but they understand innately how it connects to the business and why it matters, so don’t be discouraged when you do work with data!

We are here to help you become experts in telling your own story with data, and we are always so glad to hear from you when you reach out to us for help.

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