Disruptive Trends in HR Technology and People Analytics: 5 Things We’ve Learned

Research has shown that 87% of business leaders are highly concerned about customer retention and engagement. Companies desperately need to figure out what makes people join, what makes people stay, and what will lead their business to success. These are all questions that can be answered by using People Analytics.

1. People Analytics are about to take off

Applying People Analytics to HR has had a lot of attention in recent years. However, as with most business trends, People Analytics will grow exponentially. This means that although now – in the early days – it may seem like development is happening very slowly (since companies are in the experimental stage of using analytic technology), soon the industry will take off. Leading companies are already starting to apply it in practice with very positive results. Experts are also now predicting that the market is ready to soar and should begin doubling at a bigger and bigger increment each year. We expect that People Analytics will soon be a standard part of HR.

 2. Most companies still don’t know what People Analytics really are

Many seem to think that People Analytics are about computing things like retention rates or identifying how many employees a company has. People Analytics is much, much more than this. It uses hard data about people to solve business problems, such as sales productivity, customer satisfaction, fraud, as well as retention.

Research has shown that almost half (48.5%) of organisations do not use HR technology which is suited to their business, significantly reducing the effectiveness of such technology. Using the right technology is the first step in forging an effective HR People Analytics system.

However, it can be difficult to know what kinds of HR technology is suited to your company’s needs. Many HR professionals are unsure whether they should be using standardised or context-specific measures for their organisation. This is why it is important to firstly consider the business outcomes you want, before leaping into analytics.

3. Data management and the implementation of models are key

Firstly, managing data can be a huge challenge. Many companies agree that HR data is inconsistent, difficult to read, and difficult to find. It is common for businesses to be unaware of how many salaried or contracted employees they have at any given time, as they are dealing with a huge data-integration problem. Studies have shown that over 80% of companies are getting stuck dealing with reporting issues, agreeing that there is a lot of “technical debt” to sort through so that they can scale their operations properly.

Secondly, you need a model to make it work. A model expresses how data are connected to each other and how they are processed and stored inside the system. Properly implementing the right model can help you predict retention, predict the most efficient path to success, tell you how much to pay your high performers, and so on. But implementation is easier said than done as it requires a degree of transformation of existing business processes. You may need to bring in change-management consultants to make it happen and make it work.

 4. New types of data require new analysis methods

Gone are the days of analysing payroll, Human Resource Management System, attendance data, etc. Today, all sorts of data need to be analysed, such as employee engagement survey data, email history data, employee badge and sociometric data, as well as all the data which comes from wearable devices.

These new types of data need to be analysed in specific ways which may be different from traditional methods. With more than 1.2 billion smartphone users on the planet, the presence of video cameras and GPS on devices means that a lot of the data getting looked at will be based on time, location and visual identity. These kinds of data require new, innovative measuring systems.

5. Security and anonymity will become your middle name

As a result of numerous credit card and security breaches which have happened recently, employees and legal departments are often nervous about the analysis the HR sector does. It is important that HR and People Analytics teams are informed about data security, privacy and identity protection. Data needs to be properly stored and handled so that no personal information can get leaked to the public.


People Analytics can provide helpful information about your company and how to improve it. Being able to properly integrate HR technologies is key to successfully using People Analytics and making your business the best it can be.

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