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New Visier Survey Data Reveals Best People Analytics Practices of Leading Organizations

August 16, 2018

The Age of People Analytics: Survey on Characteristics, Value Achieved, and Leading Practices of Advanced Organizations provides insight into the four common characteristics of organizations gaining the most value from people analytics solutions


SAN JOSE, CA and VANCOUVER, BC – August 15, 2018  A new survey from Visier, the recognized leader in people analytics and planning, sheds light on the value gained by People Analytics and establishes leading practices. The report entitled The Age of People Analytics: Survey on Characteristics, Value Achieved, and Leading Practices of Advanced Organizations, prepared by veteran HR analyst Lexy Martin, draws on data from a comprehensive survey of 259 organizations. The survey was responded to by leaders with people analytics responsibilities, across a range of industries.

“Developing a better understanding of the characteristics and leading practices of advanced organizations, as well as the value that these organizations derive from people analytics, is necessary for emerging organizations to make internal improvements and work toward maturity,” said Lexy Martin, Principal of Research and Customer Value at Visier and the author of the report.

Age of People Analytics Figure 2 showing the four stages of people analytics process maturity (1)

The report offers an in-depth analysis of organizations with mature people analytics—known as “advanced” organizations—and compares the characteristics of these organizations with those just beginning their journey to maturity: “emerging” organizations. In addition to leading practices, the report also uncovers the financial advantages of more advanced use of People Analytics finding that advanced organizations in the survey outperform the emerging organizations on profit margins (56% higher) and return on assets (22% higher).

The survey found that advanced organizations share the following traits:

  1. Adopt more people analytics solutions
  2. Use more data sources and a wider range of analytics topics
  3. Extend usage to more stakeholders within the organization and also have larger people analytics teams with more advanced roles
  4. Foster a data-driven culture of decision-making through change management practices


Through a value chain analysis, this report shows that improvements through more solutions, data sources, analytics topics, user types and leading practices in change management predicts improved financial performance.

The full Visier report can be found here, which includes detailed findings and recommendations that organizations can take to derive greater benefits from People Analytics.

Key Findings:

  • Advanced organizations are more sophisticated with the role that data plays in decision-making. Respondents from these organizations more frequently use data to analyze the workforce proactively, make predictions, and create and monitor comprehensive workforce plans. The role of data in emerging organizations is not as robust: These organizations more frequently base decisions on operational reports and use data only for critical workforce decisions.
  • Across all organizations, the majority (54%) use people analytics to improve HR effectiveness today. Advanced organizations, however, more frequently rely on people analytics to improve business outcomes, but this is still not a common achievement. However, the fact that advanced organizations also more frequently report achieving labor cost savings further indicates their attention to obtaining better financial outcomes through people analytics.
  • Advanced organizations have more user types at higher levels within the organization. On average, advanced organizations have 24% more users types. Increasing the number of users and user types, especially among executives and people managers, increases the variety of people using data to drive decision making. Ultimately, this can yield more results and greater value for an organization.
  • Advanced organizations report twice as many data sources than emerging organizations (4.8 vs. 2.4). These organizations include almost all data sources more frequently, with some sources such as talent management and employee engagement data included 20% or more frequently. This indicates that the analytics efforts of advanced organizations are strongly focused on the support of talent decisions. Financial data is the other data source more strongly integrated in advanced organizations, which enables these organizations to juxtapose business outcome measures with workforce data.
  • Advanced organizations establish an analytics Center of Excellence: The advanced organizations adopt a COE 100% more frequently than emerging organizations. These centers typically support HR business partners, people leaders, and other HR centers of excellence for talent acquisition, development, and retention while freeing the analytics team to focus on more sophisticated analysis.


Survey Demographics


This survey, conducted between November 2017 and March 2018, targeted organizations that are either very or somewhat familiar with people analytics. The 259 respondents are from organizations representative of early adopters of HR technologies. The survey garnered a higher than representative response level from high-tech organizations, as well as very large organizations with more than 3,000 employees where business results are most differentiated by talent. These organizations are often the first to adopt new technologies. Being representative of early adopters, the findings from these respondents, particularly those assessed as “advanced,” are indicative of leading practices in adoption and worthy of attention by all organizations that are considering adopting people analytics.


About Visier

Our curiosity, the desire to understand, is inseparable from what it means to be human. But, in the hype of big data analytics, we’ve forgotten that data does not equal knowledge.

Visier was founded to focus on what matters: answering the right business questions, even the ones a person might not know to ask. Questions that shape business strategy, provide the impetus for taking action, and drive better business results.

Visier is dedicated to transforming business analytics, to providing leaders with clear answers to critical business questions — out-of-the-box, without the hassle and cost of data management, statements of work, and long and risky development projects.

Visier lets companies say goodbye to data quality problems, to complexity, to costly tools, to endless service fees, and to guesswork. A people strategy platform designed by domain experts for leaders, Visier lets leaders say hello to clarity, to confidence, to meaningful answers — and to better business performance. Say hello to Visier. Outsmart, outperform.

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Media Contact:

Julie Galla

[email protected]