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We now live in a data economy.


Data is the new currency and we have to work hard to acquire it, but more importantly, we need to make it work for us.

People Analytics is the process by which we extract value from data.

Value is created when we are able to answer questions that the business has about its people, but the greatest value is created by giving the business question which they haven’t thought to ask.

There are two big challenges with people analytics:

1. Analytical Skills

There is a perception that to work with analytics you need a post-graduate degree in statistics. While there is some heavy lifting that needs to be done, we can start with some basic critical thinking by asking the ‘what’, ‘how’, ‘why’, ‘where’, and ‘who’ questions.

2. Data availability

Good quality data is notoriously difficult to find, maintain and manage. In this introduction we are going to work with some data that almost every organisation will have access to and start telling stories by combining simple data points together.

The evolution of HR data management

Data is the foundation of analytics.

The way data has been acquired, stored and managed by HR has evolved over time.

The past relied on an HR-Centric, employee compliance model, i.e. HR wanted it, and employees had to provide it.

This is evolving to an Employee-Centric, HR engagement model. i.e. employees derive direct benefit from the data they provide.

HR need to provide technology that creates a user experience that make employees want to give their data, willingly.

Why analytics is increasingly important for HR

HR has fought for a “seat at the table” for a long time. This is now a reality at almost all companies where the value. But in a data economy, being “data rich” is a critical quality that ensures that the people at the table are heard, and trusted.

Every other function, e.g. finance, operations, sales (the list goes on) has had a history of reporting on data and that data has shaped the decisions and influenced strategies. HR is still grappling with this role.

HR may have to manage “soft” issues, but there is hard data that can provide guidance on how to do that.