What is People Analytics?

By TechFunnel Contributors - Published on August 11, 2020
People Analytics explained

People Analytics can also be referred to as HR analytics. The gathering of information about people is typically used by Human Resource professionals to help gauge performance and team fit. This can also help determine hiring decisions before potential candidates are brought into the company as well as measuring a current employee’s potential into a new role.

While it isn’t possible to measure a person’s emotion, personality, or intangibles, it is possible to measure a person based on their process, performance, success, and challenges. This measurement is a deep dive into data that can help determine a person’s habits and measure their ability to work in a business.

By studying people, it’s possible to showcase their strengths and work on their weaknesses in order to elevate themselves as well as the company. This will lead to sustained business health and success as well as in the industry as a whole.

Three Types of Talent-Related Data

  • People data

    This type of data is measured with demographics, skills, and engagement. These can be used to analyze candidates and potential employees for promotions.

  • Program data

    These analytics can be used to measure events such as attendance, system adoption, participation within training programs, growth in leadership development, and key outcomes of projects.

  • Performance data

    Being able to rate the performance and capture data of tools and resources can prove very valuable for assessments and succession programs.

Importance of People Analytics

Being able to measure People Analytics is important because it can benefit companies of all sizes. These analytics can be tweaked to fit in the system of a mid-size to small size business who is looking for deeper insight into how to grow. This deep-dive into their analytics can help improve their workforce from within and bring in the top candidates that fit the company’s mold.

( Also Read: 15 Ways People Analytics Can Improve Workforce Diversity )

The Process of People Analytics

People Analytics grows more predictive and innovative, it’s important to update and adapt to the following steps to improve the overall process.

  1. Data is relevant

    During the initial step of analyzing people, it’s important to recognize which data is the most relevant to the business. This helps when setting KPIs to target necessary goals right away.

  2. Use experiments to enrich

    When using analytic tools, it’s important to experiment with new processes, explore new avenues, and enrich your current staff. Using this step helps boost team morale, offers new features that weren’t thought of previously, and creates a friendly user experience.

  3. Create a plan of action

    Once an end goal is in its sights, it’s easier to hit certain targets to get there. When looking at the big picture, steps to get there are easier to accomplish. Once this plan is established a clear path for organizational and industrial success is created.

  4. Pay attention to the legal fine print

    Making sure to stay within legal compliance will always be important for an organization and the people involved. Data and information collected will have to be scanned and analyzed to make sure everything aligns legally.

  5. Streamline your systems

    It’s important to explore, enrich, and experiment, however, a well-formulated plan can also fail if it isn’t simple enough to execute. By having a simple version of it, the base foundation of the plan can help set up minimums and the groundwork for measuring data in the future.

  6. Make your HR strategy measurable

    When analyzing people and implementing a system, it’s important to be realistic. This helps avoid functional silos and align candidates to the business and business model easily. By having clear fact-driven data, analyzing becomes a powerful tool.

  7. Involve technology teams

    Technology is such a prominent tool in our society and can help assist with gathering, analyzing, and distributing data. It’s important to utilize all features in order to gather more precise data as well as freeing oneself up for more tasks that aren’t being handled by other technology.

What are the Benefits of People Analytics?

  • Strong decision making

    People Analytics helps people make sound decisions that will benefit themselves, their companies, and their industry.

  • Better retention

    By creating a system for employees to meet, will help keep interested workers as well as weed out those that don’t fit the needs of a company.

  • Accountability

    Having this system in place gives every worker accountability for their actions and tasks in order to see if they are fulfilling the needs of the company.

  • Remove silos

    In order to give people a better diverse workflow, it’s better to not funnel employees into one silo and to give them tasks that help build multiple skillsets.

  • Employee satisfaction

    When employees are hitting their marks and exceeding expectations, it’s better for the team and company morale.

  • Hire better talent

    When using Human Resource Analytics for candidates, it’s easier to determine if a potential worker is a fit for the company or not.

  • Obtain efficient sourcing pools

    In addition to the point above, this will help create a better job pool for positions by only pulling in quality potential candidates.

  • Secure HR support

    By creating a system that works, the company will see HR as a viable resource and rely on them for future projects and business development.

  • Clear time management

    Once an established plan is followed, this can help save time for measuring people and improving business processes in the future.

  • Acquire talent effectively

    By creating a diverse source pool for positions, a company is also taking in stronger candidates for positions and will lead to more potential strong candidates in the next hiring sequence.

  • Increase employee growth and experience

    As employees work in a company, their experience will grow, and their skill sets will develop. This will lead to a stronger workforce in the business and industry overall.

  • Reduce turnover

    By implementing stronger metrics for analyzing data, employees will be more successful in roles that suit them and also promote inside promotions to new positions.

  • Improve training programs

    As workers become more successful and gain new responsibilities, training new employees or adding to leadership development programs will become easier.

Challenges in People Analytics

  • Design models carefully

    If People Analytics implementation isn’t done correctly, it can re-institute biases that were otherwise neglected without a proper system.

  • Ensure reliable data sources

    It’s important to note that sometimes the numbers aren’t always reliable. It’s also important to realize that data can be measured incorrectly as well.

  • Gain people analytics experience

    Some HR departments aren’t as experienced with People Analytics(1), so that may be another challenge for a company to go through. Once this department is able to work with other teams and develop this data, it will work better for the company.

People Analytics Implementation

  1. Create data-based decision-making mechanisms

    By creating a data-based decision-making system, a company can create a culture surrounded by data, analyzing information, and test applications. This helps encourage innovation, toleration of mistakes, and emphasizing learning.

  2. Guide through questions and uncertainty

    It’s important to address items that are areas of improvement for a company in order to use data to guide them towards success. By looking into areas of improvement, a company can strengthen its weaknesses and improve upon their already established success.

  3. Manage your data

    When beginning to take in a lot of data, it’s important to be able to organize it. Without data management, it is difficult to look back at previous data and look to future ways to improve upon that data.

  4. Take action around results

    People Analytics and information are a pathway to seeing what needs to be improved and taking action upon it. Sometimes the path towards that eventual success isn’t as clear, so being able to understand that data and put it to use is a way to implement People Analytics into the workspace.

  5. Diversify your pool of analytical tools

    It’s important to be able to diversify analytical tools, metrics, and KPIs in order to discover possible new solutions for problems. This can lead to creative ways to improve performance and find a possible quicker and efficient method to reach success.

  6. Collect efficient research

    By collecting efficient data, this will ensure that the method is working towards being properly implemented.

  7. Turn data into action

    Putting the necessary steps into implementing data change in the workplace will be an important way of justifying an emphasis on people analytics for a company.

  8. Implement continuous feedback channels

    Continuing the conversation about analyzing people, using performance data, measuring KPIs and an overall work of human resource data will drive productivity and success towards a business. The data collected is a story that can help drive towards new goals and objectives.

  9. Monitor for compliance

    With new people coming in and out of this system alongside the growing skillset and responsibilities of other people in a company, it will be a constant challenge to stay acclimated to legal compliance.

  10. Set realistic expectations

    When working with people, it’s important to realize the variance in doing so. This variance can relate to people’s intangible, personalities, and emotions, so it’s vital to look into realistic expectations from humans in the workplace.


Miguel Pobre is a freelance content creator based in Portland, OR. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and a minor in Business Administration. Alongside writing, Miguel has a passion for photography and design. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

TechFunnel Contributors | TechFunnel.com is an ambitious publication dedicated to the evolving landscape of marketing and technology in business and in life. We are dedicated to sharing unbiased information, research, and expert commentary that helps executives and professionals stay on top of the rapidly evolving marketplace, leverage technology for productivity, and add value to their knowledge base.

TechFunnel Contributors | TechFunnel.com is an ambitious publication dedicated to the evolving landscape of marketing and technology in business and in life. We are dedicate...


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