People analytics is a data-driven technique to take strategic decisions on Human Resource Management. This process involves studying all the facts, functions, processes, opportunities, and challenges concerning employees to establish and maintain a database to elevate the Human resource department by informed decision making.
The idea behind this approach to apply statistical techniques and other interpretation tools are to make decisions for people in the organization. People analytics is also popularly called HR analytics.
Data is the most reliable thing for making compatible and rational decisions. In contrast, earlier the process of decision making used to be largely based on intuitions and observations alone which is biased and irrational in spirit.
Herein, the Merit and performance aspects have not received their due acknowledgment. Analytics helps in establishing a knowledge base, by clearly defining terms early on. Data provides insights and helps you make strategic decisions while answering key business questions.
Currently, the People analytics approach focuses mostly on employee’s two kinds of data-
- Static data- It includes the trait-based data which does not change. For Instance- Work history, ethnicity, gender, etc.
- Non-Static data- The Data which keeps changing. Likewise-Age, working conditions, job roles, education, tenure, experience, days in/out of work, life aspects, etc.
How people analytics is useful in different areas of HR?
Ranging from the process of recruitment, training to hire; performance management to the retention of employees; the usage of people analytics is on the rise for an endless string of HR things.
Augment decision-making criteria-
People analytics helps the managers unlock the power of data and generate the right insights by improving the way they identify, train, and retain the best talent in the industry. Such decisions are strictly guided by the scientific and mathematical calculations and interpretation, thus, higher rational compared to decisions taken based on intuitions and instincts.
Some of the key functions like establishing the key standards of performances, mapping their achievement, identifying and analyzing the gap, training needs, etc help in developing the evidence-based strategies and redefine the growth drivers for the organization.
Tailor Staff assignments-
By understanding the likelihood of an employee as an individual, within a team, within different groups, or within the entire organization helps in tailoring particular assignments to achieve the performance goals more effectively.
Higher Employee Retention –
Employees with higher skills and aspirations might feel frustrated and face decreased morale if their efforts are not counted. With people analysis, it is possible to identify the causes of attrition and maybe employee at-risk. Before they leave, some pre-emptive decisions can be taken to retain good talent.
How People Analytics is poorly used in organizations?
Companies are making moves in number and magnitude to enhance the overall productivity and pinning the hopes high on their workforce. However, in reality, People Analytics seems to be more of a hype and as found in a report, just 5% of the big-data investment goes to Human Resource Practices. It means-just the modest progress this talent management tool has made.
Practicing Narrow approach
Perhaps because most of the organizations have a narrow view on adopting data analysis. They use the data merely concerning individual employees while skipping data about the interplay among the employees. Trait-based data is necessary; however, organizations should not undermine relational analytics which involves more than one person. For instance- communication between two-person, exchange of information, networking between the people from different groups, etc.
Missing Science of Human Networks
Research on the human network is not new. Decades of research and findings have established the significance and co-relation of individual attributes and interpersonal relationships among the workforce to understand the pattern or how the most productive and the least productive employees operate. It helps in cracking the formal or informal aspects of human relations at the workplace which guide their actions, strategies, and future course of action concerning their work.
Constant update is required
Organizations are dynamic bodies and so are the employees, their behavior, project-related performance, and interpersonal network. Here the essence is in collecting and updating the information over a while to stay correctly informed and make the analysis more accurate and predictable.
Lesser Minds with analytical capacity
How do I get the required information? Where will I use this information? How this will improve its effectiveness? All these questions need answers from the mind with a strong capacity to analyze. The fact of a shortage of such minds is in contrast to the hype around HR analytics.
The psychology behind people analytics
HR analytics is the lifeblood to the success of an organization. It leads to putting a high premium by companies to adopt the process and practice of people analytics. People Analytics has made room for thought to strategist the human capital and identifying the employees who are capable of helping the organization in meeting business goals and who are in silos. The rationale behind using the technique is that decisions are guided by facts and figures rather than merely based on intuitions.
Measuring and analyzing data on recruitment, training, performance, compensation, demographics, employee behavior, challenges, and attritions helps in doing an overall SWOT analysis for the organizations.
It helps in designing workforce patterns, HR Planning, forecasting, addressing recruitment and retention-based challenges, mapping ROI through HR practices, and uncover future potentials of growth which otherwise may have missed. Collapsing narrow silos, HR analytics causes to intersect and join the employee’s talent, experience, and wellness.
How technology helps in people analytics
This shift from the traditional HR approach, begin a few decades ago, is triggered by increased use of machine learning, big data science, artificial intelligence, interactive data visualization, etc. And, the best among all, is more energy and intensity are being put to be a proactive organization rather than the reactive one. Some technology-enabled way out is-
1) Using Technology, HR analysts feed workforce data to draw sophisticated algorithms, data models, and tools to gain actionable insights. Through such mechanisms, actionable insights are produced in the form of visualizations, reports, and dashboards.
2) Techno-driven analytics is different from merely HR reporting. These are enabled for making the assessment, driving strategies, and making constant data updates. Technology tools have the inherent capacity to do such functions with ease.
3) The customized analysis is possible with the self-serving option of technology. Based on the best practices of people analytics, technology will support the need of the time and meet all the ad-hoc queries and establish communication.
4) Technology scales up for ease of use of data with flexibility and effectiveness. Especially, when the people within the organization are not experts in analytics, technology will offer simple and easier solutions to lead good outcomes.
5) Beyond Human Resource Management Solution- Data capacities of HRMS are not sufficient rather labor-intensive and costly. The organization might need consultants to do desirable things. Cloud-based solutions will fetch true data from HRMS to innovate intelligent solutions.
6) Cloud-based people analytics solution will make you in charge of your human resource data. It will never let you go off roads but ensuring you keep the whole control of your important information under your control.
People analytics is a new path to improve the effectiveness of organizations. Meanwhile, merely focusing on individual attributes will not let organizations truly harness this concept.