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What are people analytics?

The fact that data are at the centre of every company's attention and that most decisions are driven by data is nothing new. Many marketing decisions, for example, follow these dynamics. A data-driven approach, however, can also find fertile ground in HR. People Analytics are not only about data related to HR processes, but potentially all data about people in the company.

Why a data-driven approach is essential in HR

The fundamental importance of data in HR is easy to understand if you think about the centrality of this department in companies and the large number of strategic decisions that are entrusted to it. It is a function that can no longer be reduced to simple recruiting, but has now become a real business element. How? The management and analysis of data relating to human resources in the company has, in fact, a very specific role: to support what could prove to be significant - if not fundamental - at the decision-making and strategic level in the various phases of the work of HR management and beyond. Knowing how to collect, transform and interpret the available data into valuable information allows the most enlightened companies to accurately measure performance, retention rates and turnover, but also to ground and make the most of the tools one can use such as surveys and tools for the continuous assessment of the climate and engagement within the company itself.

Metrics and reporting: tools and KPIs to measure success

The tools of a Digital HR Leader

There are different tools available to current and future Digital HR to support the function, as well as different levels of depth and importance of the data we can obtain. It is therefore possible to identify some levels of complexity in this area:
  • Beginners | For those approaching People Analytics for the first time, it is necessary to learn how to handle data by starting to find, aggregate and visualise it. Power BI, Tableau and Qlikare agile tools and help keep the system simple and affordable.
  • Confident | Making more impactful decisions requires more insight, which brings with it the use of a more sophisticated analysis tool. Visier, for example, is an insightful tool that provides excellent answers.
  • Advanced | At the highest level we find data analysis capable of making intuitive predictions based on future trends. A predictive dashboard such as Python or RStudio can help Digital HR make key decisions and anticipate the future.

Success starts with Smart KPIs

As we have seen, there are several ways, more or less complex, to extract data. However, it is very difficult to analyse this data profitably without having defined objectives that can be measured by effective metrics. A few premises:
  • Let's keep firmly in mind that metrics for measuring employee performance are diverse and variable;
  • We are talking about people and not machines, so accurate quantitative metrics need to be complemented by qualitative considerations;
  • Digital HR has to deal with more than just employee performance.
In addition to the more immediate metrics relating to the performance of commercial employees, for example, one could look in a smarter way at the revenues for Full Time Equivalent, able to give us the economic value generated by the individual resource, or the Net Promoter Score, which represents the satisfaction of a customer and his tendency to recommend our product or service to others, a parameter that can also be transferred to the context of their employees.

How to become a People & Data expert

These are just examples, but in a world of work tinged with infinite nuances and at a time when enormous changes are the order of the day, it is not difficult to make an estimate of how fundamental a Digital HR leader is in a company, specifically to accompany every type of transformation and, thanks to data, to make decisions at every level. The starting point is always the data-driven mindset and then the skills. Finally, of course, knowing how to use the technology to support it. This is why Talent Garden has created the Master in Digital HR, to create and disseminate a culture of change that finds its origin and ultimate goal in people.
Article updated on: 09 August 2023
Talent Garden
Written by
Talent Garden, Digital Skills Academy

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