What is people analytics? It’s more than just statistics and data. People analytics is a method of analysis that helps managers to make informed decisions about their workforce. Imagine using real-time employee data to decrease attrition rates, or improve succession planning strategies.
At our July Breakfast Seminar, Professor Max Blumberg, from Leeds University Business School, suggested that rather than lean on the old ‘gut feel’ approach to doing things, we can now rely on the data available at our fingertips. However, that data needs to be properly analysed for us to truly reap the benefits. He said: “Today, there’s so much data available that sometimes it’s helpful to have a machine or computer to process some of that data to assist your decision making.”
How can it help your business?
People analytics can support your business needs by providing you with better insights into learning and development, performance management and organisational and design decisions.
The key to using the data from people analytics effectively, is to map out the business requirements, then create a feasible plan that your organisation can work from. You can start this process by separating the different areas within your organisation; workforce capabilities, business ROI, and employee processes. For example, when we talk about workforce capabilities this should include, workforce performance, human capital efficiency, talent management, and cultural alignment. Business ROI should include revenue growth, future value and if applicable, shareholders’ return, while employee processes should cover things like career development, performance appraisals, and succession planning. Importantly, people analytics decisions can only be made about people processes, rather than workforce capabilities and business ROI. Once that data has been obtained, it’s then up the businesses to extract and use that data sensibly, and in the right way. For example, workforce performance can be mapped against talent management to determine whether top talents have the highest levels of efficiency and employee appraisals can be aligned to the promotion activity and succession planning of the business.
Use your data to improve productivity. Ultimately, organisations will need to align their findings with their KPIs and it might also be a good idea to onboard a people analytics expert if your HR department currently does not have one.
Overall benefits of people analytics
If people analytics is used effectively, HR departments will be able to improve employee development needs, staff morale, and prove their ROI to the business. Increased productivity leads to increased value tenfold to an organisation, which helps to support a business’ sustainability and shape the company’s future.
For more insight from Professor Max Blumberg on how you can utilise your data to improve business performance, view our video ‘People Analytics: five steps to drive success through data’ below.
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