Is it Information Technology (IT), Human Resources (HR), People Analytics team (PA), Project Management Office (PMO), or Analytics Center of Excellence (ACoE) that contribute to business performance?

Businesses value that People Analytics is important and needs to be addressed as soon as possible as it creates the foundation for the employees’ growth and company’s performance, but recently, it seems to be stagnant and no clear direction is available.

Over the last 12 months, workforces and internal processes have changed dramatically. As we continue working in a semi-hybrid environment, Ragu Veeraraghavan, VP Analytics at SplashBI discusses the value of HR data and the importance of analysing people analytics by showing how it is key for businesses to continue to adapt, evolve and thrive as we look to the future.

Data driven decision making is critical

For any analytics to be successful one must know what the end goal is. The goals throughout the business from sales to marketing or fulfilment to shipping mean that data is being collected. This raw data needs interpreting into data driven decisions to support each department further.

But now, businesses must take the next step and use this data to drive decision-making, ensure access to reliable insights and effect meaningful change. Organisations need to rely on that data to establish goals and provide context for future direction in order to obtain leader buy-in and support. It’s also important to leverage the data to illuminate patterns and trends that require action in order to build trust with employees and address issues.

Companies will not see the dividends of the numerous pledges they make around DE&I or their investments in employee training, mentorship, wellbeing, mental health, and other types of programs without the visibility that deeper people data offers. Therefore, data-driven strategy is critical.

Analytics tools

Human resources can use people analytics to benefit both companies and their employees if they take into consideration what factors matter to employees. People analytics tools offer HR the ability to identify behavioural patterns, pick best-fit profiles for roles, design development plans to boost employee performance, map attrition trends within the organisation, and design mitigation strategies. Therefore, resulting in both short-term and long-term gains.

Data can be either the raw data from your system or data warehouse or data models created on top of raw data. Sometimes the access to data is restricted or delayed and data quality is not verified. Data sources are not customisable in some cases due to enterprise standards, especially if there is a data warehouse team. Most of the HR data is divided among three or four systems, from core HR, performance, time and attendance, and engagement to recruiting. Getting consistency among these data sources itself could cause your People Analytics journey to come to a grinding halt.

Leveraging the data

Having a dedicated People Analytics team is a good approach, and requires very strong and thoughtful leadership. The team should be led by a strong leader from within the organisation who can identify the strategic goals that will form the cornerstone for success that will bring savings and value to the company. This independent team should operate outside of the IT, HR and HRIS organisations and decide the key goals to pursue that will maximise the IRR for this effort within a six to twelve months span.

People Analytics teams should leverage themselves as enablers who highlight the improvements in different areas in the organisation with a recommended path forward. The HR team is still responsible to put it in action to see the results and IT should be helping capture the results and make sure there are no roadblocks to access the data. Feedback from the HR team is critical since they see the reality of how things progress in the real world.

In light of the increased value of data, HR departments will have more opportunities to leverage this information. In addition, it can assist HR in aligning its strategic plans with the company’s business goals and in determining the value it can provide. As the workforce becomes increasingly complex, HR departments should take responsibility for interpreting people analytics and designing the workforce of the future.