People analytics. Sounds complex with no clue where and how to start? That is the challenge that most organisations struggle with. Here is what people analytics means and the benefits of utilising it in the organisation.
What is people analytics?
People analytics, as defined by Gartner, is the collection and application of talent data to improve critical talent and business outcomes. It also helps business leaders to make data-backed and well-informed decisions when it comes to human capital strategies.
In today’s competitive war for talent, people analytics play a cruical role in helping organisations with their talent attraction and retention strategies. It also offers business leaders insights on their existing workforce, and allow them to use those insights to forecast future workforce trends and movements.
How can organisations benefit from people analytics?
Numerous research has highlighted the benefits of people analytics in organisations. Based on research by Mckinsey, people analytics can improve recruitment efficiency by 80% and increase business productivity by 25%. At the same time, it has the potential to reduce attrition rates by 50%! There is no doubt that people analytics is directly linked to driving business value. The big question is – where and how to start?
Recipe for success
The trick is to start small. People analytics can be a herculean task for HR and business leaders to grasp and implement. Breaking up the implementation phase allows employees, HR and business leaders to maximise the use of people analytics.
The first step is to identify the problem statements that the organisation is facing in terms of human capital. Is the organisation currently facing high turnover rates in certain departments or within certain employee groups? What is the headcount requirements for digital or tech talent in the next five years? Listing down these human capital issues help business leaders and HR to determine the various people metrics to analyse and data that needs to be collected.
The next step is to conduct a holistic assessment of the type of data that needs to be collected to analyse these people metrics. More often than not, organisations lack readily-available data to accurately compute these key people metrics. On the same note, data may be stored in various systems and there isn’t a centralised repository that contains all people-related data. Hence, organisationscan consider implementing a centralised platform where key data such as employee records and payroll data can be easily accessed and retrived for people analytics purposes.
Once the key people metrics and data systems have been established, it may be wise to cross check the accuracy of the metrics and analyses. Start with the more straightforward metrics such as turnover rates or employee to team leader ratio. While it may not work for the first few iterations, it help HR to identify areas where there may be potential discrepancies and eventually recognise and flag out anomalies in future.
When the team is more comfortable and proficient at using and analysing people analytics, that is when HR and business leaders can use more complex metric such as forecasting or workforce predictions depending on business needs.