Companies across the globe are operating in the midst of constant change and complexity. HR leaders and people analytics teams are critical to making data-informed decisions that impact the business—from preparing for a recession while avoiding layoffs to rolling out new policies like hybrid work. Yet, only 31% of HR professionals said they’re good at making data-informed talent decisions to support business outcomes in a recent HR.com survey.
In order to make the strongest impact on business goals and drive important business decisions, people analytics teams must work together with a variety of HR and business stakeholders to solve important talent problems and drive business value.
At Visier, we wanted to learn more about the way this works in practice. We interviewed 20 senior EMEA-based people analytics professionals about how their teams work better together to achieve business goals with people analytics. Here’s a quick summary of what we found—download the report for the full details.
Room to grow: Using people analytics to meet multiple business goals
In our sample, people metrics are employed most commonly in the realms of workforce planning and cost. Tellingly, they are used far less often to solve problems or make progress with innovation, business transformation, culture, and productivity—but they could be. This represents both a risk and an area of great opportunity for businesses that can move up the people analytics maturity curve and drive business performance by getting the best out of their people.
From an electronic company working to establish a strong leadership pipeline to an American tech company wanting to maintain delivery excellence through learning, the examples and variety of ways in which people analytics are deployed are rich and instructive.
People analytics teams fuel data-hungry managers
People analytics teams are working with an ever-growing number of stakeholders. HR teams, HRBPs, CHROs, finance, business leaders, and IT are increasingly hungry for people data—a need that has grown over the COVID-19 years.
The demand has uncovered a number of capabilities that need to be built and strengthened—more collaborative behaviors and processes inside and outside people analytics teams, for instance.
Collectively, business and HR stakeholders are still learning how to engage with data and insights coming from the people analytics team. More than any other element, insufficient levels of data capability hold back the speedy execution of projects that use people analytics.
This might manifest itself as a lack of experience in asking the right questions, or setting strategic targets, or identifying the most relevant metrics to track and align targets with actionable insights.
Solving the last mile problem for people analytics improves both employee experience and business value. Find out why in our white paper: The Last Mile Problem: Getting People Managers to Make Better Talent Decisions.
The path to a more data-oriented culture
Softer skills are also sometimes in short supply and must be built to demonstrate value to the businesses that are desperately in need of people insights, whether they are fully aware of this or not. As more ad-hoc data requests hit their desks, people analytics teams are often challenged to respond.
They often don’t have enough contextual information to understand what the business is seeking, or what precise problem they are trying to solve. Silos, snowed in by competing requests, mean teams can lose sight of how best to help. Focusing on richer and more intensive collaborative efforts when solving the major business and talent problems of our time can jumpstart the journey to building a data-oriented culture.
The good news: Business, HR, and people analytics teams can start working closer together at any time. Read our report to find out how the organizations in our research tackled a variety of business goals with people analytics, how they describe success, and the tips they shared for how to create a more data-driven culture.
And thank you to all the professionals and businesses who participated in this research project. We’re at an exciting phase of people analytics, with the function maturing in terms of size and capability, and business leaders increasingly seeing people analytics as a cornerstone of their choices and decisions. 2023 will not be a quiet time for HR, business leaders, and workforces around the world. Let’s make sure we’re ready.
About the author: Andrea Derler
Dr. Andrea Derler is the Principal, Research and Customer Value at Visier, an organizational researcher, and previously, a human capital analyst. She has a background in management research, human science, and human capital consulting. At Visier, Andrea leads research efforts and helps produce data-based, practice-oriented, and actionable insights for business and HR leaders.
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