HR Analytics

Five Steps to Getting Started with People Analytics

Source | | David Green

With the inclusion of People Analytics as the second of a quartet of Global Talent Trends by LinkedIn that are shaping the way that are shaping the way companies attract and retain talent, we can finally say that the practice of people analytics has arrived.

Despite People Analytics being the fastest growing area of HR, I still regularly get asked questions like: ‘What is People Analytics?’ and ‘Why should we care?’ So, let’s try and address those questions.

What is People Analytics & why should we care about it?

People Analytics is about considering your workforce, candidates, and all types of talent, from a data perspective. People Analytics helps organisations move beyond making decisions around hiring, firing or promoting purely based on gut instinct. Instead, business leaders and managers can make evidence-based decisions, centred around the analysis of data and focused on something more sustainable, reliable and forward thinking than what they have typically used to make people decisions in the past. And for those traditionalists rooted in their ability to ‘just know’, people analytics may be the tool they need to help confirm their ‘gut feel’ before making a decision.

The potential people analytics offers to help create real value and drive improvements in business outcomes, employee experience and the impact of the HR function itself is enormous. 2019 proved to be another momentous year for people analytics, which continues to be the fastest growing area of HR as more organisations create, grow and expand their people analytics teams.

According to research from the Corporate Research Forum from 2017, 69% of organisations with 10,000 employees or more now have a People Analytics team. LinkedIn’s aforementioned Global Talent Trends report found that in the past five years, there has been a 242% increase in the LinkedIn profiles of HR professionals with data analysis skills.

However, if your company hasn’t already started to develop their people analytics capability, don’t worry it’s not too late. If you want to get the ball rolling, here are five practical steps, you can take to help accelerate your progress.

1. Learn the business, focus on the business, answer the right questions

The first commandment of analytics is ‘thou shalt start with the business question’. Successful people analytics teams help solve business problems rather than HR challenges. This means understanding the business and the challenges that they’re facing. What are the challenges keeping your CEO and board awake at night? Think sales productivity, product quality, customer retention and risk. This is where the company makes money and what determines its ultimate success – all have a significant people element to them. Learn the business and when you are ready to commence your analytics initiatives, focus your efforts on identifying the right strategic questions to answer with analytics and you can expect to flourish.

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