What Is “People Analytics” and How Does it Apply To Your Business?

What Is People Analytics?
What Is People Analytics?

Ever imagined having a way to get inside the minds and behaviors of your employees using real-time data? For the first time in human resource history, business leaders have direct access to people analytics, which is a means to guide decision-making using detailed human-generated data. There’s no more guesswork involved with managing people, because the data is right there, ready to harness.

Sure, it all sounds amazing to be able to tap into what motivates and inspires people, but you may be asking, “What’s this got to do with the way I manage my business?” To better explain the practical applications, Josh Bersin writes for Forbes, “There is a major shift taking place in the market for people analytics. After years of talking about the opportunity to apply data to people decisions, companies are now stepping up and making the investment.”

In this joining of the best of business worlds – the analysts, the scientists, and the mathematicians are all behind the people analytics movement. Why? Because this is based on facts and figures, not woo woo.

How to apply people analytics to your business

While each organization has specific goals for engaging employees, boosting morale, and attaining higher levels of productivity – there are some best practices for applying people analytics.

#1 – Use data to make better decisions based on facts.

A key advantage of tapping into people analytics is being able to see real numbers as they correspond to the engagement and performance of employees. Use this data to make strategic decisions concerning promotions, changes in departments, workforce development, and succession planning. You don’t need data scientists on board to manage data, because today’s people analytics products do much of the work for you.

#2 – Consolidate all data into a central digital format.

It’s common to have a lot of data floating around an organization, in various formats and stored in multiple places. This is typical in any human resource department because there are still paper applications in place. Make an effort to digitize all data moving forward, using a central HR Information System, so that people analytics can be more actively managed through regular reporting.

#3 – Turn human resources into “People Operation”.

Much of what human resource practitioners do on a daily basis involves relationship building. Why not reinvent HR like Google did, and turn it into the “People Operations” department? By basing most of their decisions on data, Google has replaced its former subjective decision making with data-driven decision systems. And why not? Google IS the leader in analytical data, so they’ve transformed HR into an innovative and highly accurate way of managing people resources.

#4 – Use people analytics in recruitment efforts.

Don’t limit your use of people analytics just to your in-house employee management efforts. Extend the capabilities to your recruitment efforts as well. Use assessments and surveys during the first few weeks for new hires to better understand their experience. Take a look at where the best and most engaged candidates are coming from, combined with retention rates, and then use this data for future recruitment campaigns.

These are just a few of the ways that any HR department can start harnessing the power of people analytics to make better and faster decisions based on facts. It can take a bit of adjusting to change from a subjective mindset to more of an analytical thinking, but real-time data solutions help to make this a seamless and simple process.

Better business management with people-focused data

Business management, which is largely influenced by the actions and values of its people, leaders must have insight into what drives people towards productivity and success. By drawing from data sources, companies can be strategic, using real data for predictive insight while gaining a competitive advantage over other companies. It’s akin to sales data being used to create new upsells and product usage data being used to make improvements. The more you know about your people, the more you can make informed and accurate decisions that reduce risk.

Consider the benefits of using people analytics in your business:

  • Better tracking of employee engagement levels based on real-time data and visual reports
  • On demand pulse surveys that take the “temperature” of the organization during changes
  • Competitive analysis of how your company stacks up against other similar organizations
  • Enhanced corporate culture building for improved recruitment and retention programs

The ways in which people analytics can be used is really limitless. A customized employee engagement survey system that uses best in practice tools and resources is the start. It doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming to manage.


To find out more about Thymometrics’ real-time data driven surveys and how people analytics can benefit your business, email info@thymometrics.com, call +1 646 760 9323 (US) or +44 (0) 1223 750 251 (Europe) or visit thymometrics.com.

Image courtesy of nokhoog_buchachon at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About the author

David Godden

An online marketing entrepreneur with over 18 years experience in the high-tech sector, specialising in HR SaaS solutions. Responsible for the marketing success of several US and European-based start-ups and the international launch of ExactTarget, Pardot and eTrigue. https://uk.linkedin.com/in/dgodden

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