Ideas and insights for today’s people-centered leaders.



People Analytics Maturity: Where Are You on Your Journey? [Quiz]

People analytics has been trending in the HR community for a decade now, but the majority of organizations are still only in the earliest stages of analytics adoption. This has been partially due to the financial barriers of people analytics solutions—the cost of having an in-house analytics team and the price point of most analytics solutions have been prohibitive for midsize organizations. 

74% of all organizations surveyed by Deloitte see the future of HR cloud technologies as important, but only 41% felt ready to take on this challenge.

Today, the doors have opened for growth-focused organizations to adopt new HR analytics solutions with enterprise-grade technology–without the enterprise-grade price tag. Visier has released a new people analytics solution, built specifically for the needs (and budgets) of midsize organizations. 

Before you begin your journey into data analytics, it’s important to understand where you stand today. Whether you’re experienced in people analytics or are still considering your first steps, take this quiz to figure out where your organization sits within the people analytics maturity model. 

What are the people analytics maturity model stages? 

Basecamp: “What is happening right now?” 

Everybody has to start their analytics journey somewhere. Organizations at the basecamp of people analytics maturity are usually generating transactional people data, but not putting it to use. While this data provides the basis of all people analytics, it’s important to remember that data and reports are not analytics.

How to level up: Getting started with people analytics can feel daunting when you’re beginning from ground zero and aren’t familiar with using digital HR tools. If you haven’t already begun utilizing HR systems like an HRIS or ATS, it’s time to start. If you have, now is a great time to take an audit of your HR data and begin a data cleanup. 

Descriptive Analytics: “What is happening in the past and present?” 

Many organizations that use digital HR tools do look at their data, usually using built-in reporting features in their HRIS. These reports can provide a snapshot of where their workforce is today, and cross-reference it from the past data. While this is a step up from traditional HR reporting, these reporting tools aren’t truly people analytics

How to level up: This can be one of the most frustrating stages of your people analytics journey. You’ve got the ball rolling, but are beginning to spot the challenges ahead. Fortunately, it’s also the easiest stage to level-up from. You’re already aware that your HR reports aren’t giving you the data you need. Now it’s time to simplify your business goals before you invest in a people analytics platform. 

Identify about 3-4 key questions that would not only improve your HR function, but also overall organizational goals. It’s important to keep this number in a manageable range to avoid biting off more than you can chew. Leadership teams that can see clear value in solving key workforce challenges are more likely to invest time and money into people analytics.

Diagnostic Analytics: “Why did it happen?”

Organizations at this stage have made the investment in people analytics and are comfortable reviewing and analyzing their data. Diagnostic analytics enable companies to not only understand what happened, but why it happened. Executives and HR leadership are using HR data to understand and solve critical business problems.

How to level up: The next step up from here is upgrading to a predictive analytics function. Consider what business problems you’re already solving with diagnostic analytics and how you would change your workforce management if you could make predictions on things like when key employees are at risk of leaving, or when you’ll need to hire more people in a growing department.  

Predictive Analytics: “What’s happening in the future?” 

Predictive analytics uses historical and present HR data combined with artificial intelligence to predict change-events in the future. Here is where people analytics takes the leap from being informative to being truly actionable. Not many organizations have reached this level yet. 

How to level up: Once you’re using analytics to predict future change events, the next step is to utilize this data to design a roadmap to get where you want to be. Your people analytics function will be proactively predicting organizational success so ensure that you are communicating this value to your leadership team. This is where analytics can help HR leaders become strategic business partners who are invited to take a seat at the board table. 

Prescriptive Analytics: “How can we design the roadmap to get there?” 

When an organization reaches the level of prescriptive analytics, every organizational decision made is backed by data and analytics. Financial data, people data, sales data—all of this information is being filtered through machine learning capabilities to create roadmaps for future success. 

Where are you on your people analytics maturity journey? Take the quiz here to find out where your organization is today, and how you can grow tomorrow.

About the author: Zack Johnson

As GM, Embedded Analytics & Mid-Market, Zack Johnson is focused on building strategic partnerships with organizations that believe analytics unlocks critical, untapped value for their customers. Zack manages Visier’s OEM analytics business, where we partner with other software providers to bring world-class analytics to their customers. Prior to Visier, Zack was the co-founder and CEO of Syndio, a people analytics platform that helps business leaders make informed people management decisions around retention, engagement, and driving a more connected organization. Beyond Visier, Zack advises Grammy-nominated artist Mike Posner (Island Records) and regularly lectures on analytics and entrepreneurship at the Kellogg School of Management.

Be the first to know!

Never miss a story! Get the Outsmart newsletter.

Related Articles