More and more big organisations are using people analytics to help improve their employees' well-being, productivity and performance to ultimately create a more effective workforce. To understand people analytics is to understand the very thing that will form the foundation of your organisation’s sustainable HR strategy.

People analytics, or talent analytics, is the method of analytics that helps managers to make informed decisions about their workforce. So just how important is the concept of using people analytics to help executives and managers make decisions about their workforce?
As cloud-based systems and the need for big data grows, this type of data analysis will continue to provide valuable insights. Organisations have traditionally focused their resources on sales departments, clients and production processes, people analytics is an area that has typically been overlooked. The success of your employees will impact your business, so being able to negate risk and identify gaps in performance will help enable employees to work more efficiently which will have a direct impact on profits.

What are the benefits of people analytics?

From a business perspective:

  • Businesses become smarter when applying their post Brexit strategies. 
  • Employee issues and needs can be quickly identified, leading to decreased attrition rates. 
  • Employee performance can be monitored.
  • Succession planning strategies can be improved.
  • Top performing employees can be easily identified and rewarded. 
  • HR departments will be able to prove their return on investment (ROI) and increase their value tenfold to their organisation, helping to shape company initiatives.
From an employee perspective:
  • Identifying training needs will aid in the design of tailored employee development plans. 
  • Learning what motivates and helps employees can lead to increased well-being and a happier, more productive workforce. 
  • Needless tasks can be eradicated, freeing up time for more important projects. 
  • Companies will be able to get to know their employees better which can facilitate improved employee engagement and support services.

Are there any drawbacks? 

There are some and the common ones that arise are that HR departments will need to be ready to fully implement people analytics. Those HR practitioners must possess the right skills with the right analytical acumen; and the data-led approach of people analytics reduces the human ability to be subjective. 

A clear plan is required

HR departments can help shape the use of this technology by having a clear plan of where people analytics can have a major impact on the organisation. This might include making the hiring process more streamlined, removing unconscious bias from the process and using analytics to get a better fit. With a refined algorithm, your organisation can obtain the best-suited candidates for your vacancies. For example, Google uses an algorithm to sift through rejected applications so that they don’t miss talented candidates. Use your people analytics to improve employee retention and engagement.
We now have a host of wearable tech that can help facilitate people analytics and this kind of analysis may be more useful in some industries than others. For example, a building site could gain useful data from the close monitoring of the building projects that their workers are assigned to and stored on a secured cloud server for further analysis. Data could be extracted on the size of the project, how long it takes and how much personnel are required – labour costs vs profit. However, other industries might analyse differently. Some may see the collection of location, age, gender, and personal likes and dislikes data as encroaching too much and it raises the question of just how transparent should people analytics, and data storage be? 

The next steps need to be defined

Many companies have real-time data at their disposal but they’re still not utilising it properly and there are some key data sources that those who embrace people analytics should definitely invest in further to improve manager effectiveness. These include but are not limited to: 
1. Participation in leadership programmes;
2. outcomes of key projects;
3. participation in training and development; 
4. gender and demographics;
5. employee skills;
6. engagement levels and performance ratings; and  
7. business labour costs vs profit.
People analytics can play a huge role in an organisation’s future growth. With the ongoing digital transformation of our society, the concept and implementation of people analytics are set to drive business decisions, which will see an increase in the demand for the technology and for the people who understand it. 
If you would like any more information about people analytics, or to discuss how we can help with your recruitment processes, get in touch with one of our specialist HR consultants today.