People Analytics: The New Frontier

By May 2, 2017Uncategorized

people analytics

As Human Resources (HR) continue to look for ways to gain a seat at the table and be seen as strategic partners instead of administrators, the demand for people analytics opens up such opportunities. According to an article from the Deloitte University Press (2016), the interest in HR’s capabilities for providing organizational decision-makers with analytics is growing aggressively. Only 24% of companies, in 2015, felt ready or just about ready to take on people analytics, that number jumped to 32% in beginning of 2016. In addition, 77% of organizations believe people analytics is important.

What does People Analytics really mean and how will it contribute to the overall growth of a business?

People Analytics is about using people-related data to solve business problems and drive new strategic business decisions. The key here, will be to start small and build upon those analytics. Here are a few tips on getting started:

  1. Low hanging fruit. Take a look around the organization and ask: What business problem can I solve with people data? Some of the common challenges here are around hiring the right people, turnover, performance issues, etc. The key will be to listen to the business leaders and look for problems that seem to come up around people on a more consistent basis.
  2. Data quality and integrity. Once the problem is identified, and before analyzing the data, you’ll need to evaluate the data gathered for accuracy and validity. You will need quality, consistently inputted data. For example, when looking at turnover, ensure job titles or classifications are accurate. If there are 2 people doing the same job at the same job level, but classified differently within the system, it will be difficult to get accurate turnover data per job.
  3. Delivering the information. Once the data’s integrity is evaluated and determined, analyze it and present the findings in palatable way for your intended audience. For example, in continuing with the turnover example, when analyzing turnover for various jobs, you notice there is an unusually high turnover rate for one department. In delivering this information, consider your audience and how they would potentially respond to the situation. In keeping your audience in mind, paint a clear picture on how this data impacts the business. Most often, giving people the raw data, even in percentage form, will not create a call to action. Rather, delivering the data feedback with more detail on what it means, how it impacts the overall business operations and cost, key decision-makers will be more likely to listen, remember, and act on suggested improvements.

Getting started in People Analytics doesn’t have to be a daunting task. The tips here are great starting points on getting HR noticed. It is imperative to remember to keep business needs first and tie the people analytics back to the business vision and strategies. This will ensure HR gets noticed and gains a seat at the table. It’s very beneficial for organizations to partner with HR and it is time to show business leaders why.

References

Bersin, J., Collins, L., Mallon, J., Moir, J., Straub, R. (2016). People analytics: Gaining speed. Retrieved from Deloitte University Press: https://dupress.deloitte.com/dup-us-en/focus/human-capital-trends/2016/people-analytics-in-hr-analytics-teams.html

Collins, M. (2013). Change your company with better HR analytics. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2013/12/change-your-company-with-better-hr-analytics

Galer, S. (2016). People analytics in HR: A business boon or bust? Retrieved from http://www.digitalistmag.com/future-of-work/2016/09/05/people-analytics-in-hr-boon-or-bust-04425486