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Top 18 People Analytics Articles of 2018: Great Power, Great Responsibility

Over the past year, the full power of people analytics has come into focus.

More organizations climbed up the people analytics maturity curve and gained new insights into business-critical trends related to employee job progression and performance. At the same time, Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) applications entered the spotlight. These tools enable businesses to track and analyze employee data from a variety of sources, including sensors and the IoT.

But with great power comes great responsibility. People analytics is proving to be too valuable to be ignored, and yet, organizations must also consider some key ethical and legal implications.

For our top pick of people analytics articles for 2018, we focus on two central themes: how people analytics can elevate the entire business, and what leaders must do to remain conscientious when harnessing its potential.

How People Analytics Can Help You Change Process, Culture, and Strategy

Data storytelling is “a lightweight way to build trust among stakeholders and bring behavioral science to culture transformation,” state the authors of this HBR post. Here, analytics experts reference several real-world examples to show how people analytics can drive transformation.

How People Analytics Supports Change Management

Change management is an often overlooked — but important — opportunity for people analytics to add value within an organization. In this blog post, people strategy consultant Morten Kamp Andersen highlights how analytics can be used to build engagement about a practical path forward when organizations are embarking on new initiatives.

In Analytics, the Questions Come First

When building a people analytics capability, it can be easy to forget buy-in. This post by organizational strategy expert Giovanni Everdui demonstrates why getting senior level and HR community support is key to analytics success.

Why Data Culture Matters

In this McKinsey article, the firm’s researchers share advice from executives of leading companies who have grown strong data cultures that amplify the power of analytics. It’s a must-read for leaders who are looking to prepare key stakeholders for a major transformation in the way the organization gathers and acts on its people data.

Reports vs Analytics: What’s the Difference?

While the number of businesses taking advantage of analytics may be steadily increasing, the average person’s understanding of analytics remains vague. In this Visier blog post, we focus on the differentiators between reports and analytics, demonstrating how analytics can be a much more powerful business transformation tool than reports could ever be.

Why Having HR Measurements is No Longer Enough to Grow HR’S Strategic Role

There is an important distinction between merely having analytics — and using them to get results. In this post, business management expert John Boudreau provides HR leaders with practical advice on how they can deliver impact with people data.

Create a Crisis With Analytics to Engage Senior Leadership, HR is Told

“The key to motivating senior leaders into acting on data is to turn those numbers into a narrative.” This is the main piece of advice given by Kim Saunders, senior people analyst for the British Office for National Statistics, at a CIPD HR Analytics event in London. This article provides an overview of several key takeaways from the conference related to driving business impact with people data.

Experts Explore Best Practices for HR Data Analytics

Featuring advice from experts interviewed at the recent Work Rebooted conference held in San Francisco, this is a must-read for those who want to better link analytics to outcomes such as business performance and customer satisfaction.

5 Misconceptions about People Analytics

In this HR Dive piece, the co-founder of a community for people analytics professionals emphasizes that people analytics should help HR indirectly on the path to a larger strategic outcome. The article also provides advice for those who are just getting started on their analytics journeys as well as a few reminders for more advanced users.

Become Data-Driven or Perish: Why Your Company Needs a Data Strategy and Not Just More Data People

For the data scientist who authored this post, one of the best parts of working with data is “knowing that the work that you did help to make a decision.” Here, he demonstrates how having a data strategy ensures that data is managed and used as an asset — and not simply as a byproduct of the application.

Tech Can Spot Workplace Diversity Issues, But Actions Count

This TechTarget article highlights analyst Stacia Garr’s observations on the role of tech in the #MeToo movement. Specifically, it references how data can measure the impact of programs intended to combat harassment and alleviate workplace diversity issues.

Could Data Analytics Solve the Skills Shortage Puzzle After Brexit?

With Brexit and likely immigration restrictions, British employers could face huge skills deficits by January 2021. This Personnel Today article is a good read for any HR leader who is confronted with a confusing labor market and wants to leverage data to chart a path forward.

Insights Into People Analytics

This article provides an overview of an emerging discipline called relational analytics, which can help businesses identify which key players they need to retain and where silos exist in their organizations. Here, the author outlines the “six structural signatures” of relational analytics as defined by academics Paul Leonardi and Noshir Contractor.

The Role of Organisational Network Analysis in People Analytics

ONA is witnessing a resurgence, thanks to advances in technology and other drivers. In this post, people analytics leader David Green covers the basic definitions of ONA and some tips for those who are looking to harness its power.

Social Capital: The Next Frontier for HR

In this article, the Chief Talent Officer for General Motors argues that organizations must bring out the best in people, and not just hire the best people. This is a good foundation for understanding the strategic context of ONA.

People Data: How Far is Too Far?

“As organizations start to use people data in earnest, new risks, as well as opportunities, are taking shape,” states this article summarizing results from the Deloitte 2018 Human Capital Trends report. On this front, the article provides practical advice for how to execute people analytics while being mindful of legal and reputational implications.

7 Surprising Facts HR Pros Should Know About the GDPR

As a comprehensive law that is designed to give Europeans more control over their personal data, the GDPR contains significant requirements. It also contains some nuances that may surprise HR pros in terms of collecting employee data. This Visier Clarity blog post outlines seven important facts about the new law that every HR professional should know.

The Happy Tracked Employee

“Just because you can measure something doesn’t mean you should,” writes the president and CEO of Humanyze, Ben Waber, in this HBR post. Here, Waber shares his playbook for the ethical, smart use of employee data — particularly when gathering granular information about employees from sensors and the IoT.

About the author: Karra Barron

Karra Barron is Visier's Sr. Content Marketing Manager and has over a decade of experience using storytelling to move people into action. At Visier, she is responsible for developing a wide range of thought leadership resources that educate and inspire business users to become data-driven leaders.

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