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What is moving in the world of People Analytics?

An audience of over 300 people was in attendance at the People Analytics World conference in in London this year. The speakers included high level management from big companies such as ING, Nestlé, Twitter, Swarovski, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and many more, all eager to learn more about the next big thing: People Analytics.

From a customer point of view, focusing on analytics right from the beginning of a project is a good idea. Even when discussing processes and modules, the analytics and reporting that these enable ought to be on the agenda, right from the get-go. We have seen that sometimes an entire HRIS implementation can be for the purpose of doing People Analytics. So, let’s take a look at the 7 main trends in People Analytics.

1. People Analytics is now

The biggest trend seems to be that People Analytics itself is becoming a larger item on the agenda for large companies. Conferences with specific focus on People Analytics have been growing steadily over the last five years. According to a recent study by Deloitte, 69% of large organisations now have a people analytics team. In fact, many companies have whole departments of 15-20 people dedicated only to People Analytics.

2. People Analytics vs. Business Intelligence

It seems that even though People Analytics is growing, People Analytics is still being kept somewhat or separate from Business Intelligence and Financial Analytics departments and functions. we will likely see a change in this constellation. How can HR/people data be combined with data from the rest of the organisation such as finance data and/or sales data? The idea is to elevate People Analytics to a level where it is no longer an island of knowledge and insights focused solely on HR, but where you can successfully identify e.g. correlation between employee engagement data and sales performance and prove the causality as well.

3. Start with People Analytics

Something else that seems to be prevalent on the People Analytics scene is that People Analytics itself can be a main driver right from the beginning of a project. It seems that even the decision to implement an organisation-wide HRIS system can be the result of wanting to do People Analytics. This was the case for Swarovski who, when delivering their speech at the People Analytics conference in London, focused mainly on their people analytics journey, and the choice of a cloud based HRIS system was in service to this agenda.

4. Forecasting and planning

Another hot topic was forecasting, planning and predictive analytics with HR data. All three are related to each other, and they enable the analysis of a plethora of data types in order to predict the future demand for labour – and plan for it. The goal is then to be able to provide this type of analysis to the CFO or other top-level management.

5. What about ethics?

On a less technical note, ethics and legality is also a big topic these days. There’s GDPR, of course, but there are also concerns like will we lose the trust of our employees? Is it even legal to analyse, for instance, age related metrics and make decisions for specific employees based on their age? In a world of increasing surveillance and privacy issues, the fear that employees might react negatively when they learn that they are being monitored and analysed by their employers is real and valid. This is something that HR-IT and PA departments and projects will have to take into account when planning their People Analytics strategy.

6. Using People Analytics insights to impact strategy

There is generally a strong desire in the world of HR to impact the company’s overall strategy through people analytics. Being able to present top management with substantiated KPI’s and actionable insights from analyses, is a highly coveted position to be in for most modern HR departments in large organisations.

7. Retaining talent with People Analytics

Lastly, there is the ever-difficult subject of using soft HR topics in an otherwise hard realm of statistics and data analysis. In other words: using talent data from various performance modules in order to spot trends and developments in order to retain top talent. According to a recent report on talent in the digital age published in Forbes Insights, employers’ perception rarely meet the reality of how many employees are at risk of leaving the company.

Digital HR: Foundation for the future

People Analytics is a powerful tool that will help companies bridge many existing gaps by adding visibility. With People Analytics, managers can see their organisations and use information to drive insights for decision-making about talent and human capital performance. Although SAP Analytics Cloud is a future concept, GP Strategies will continue to deliver tactical solutions on existing reporting tools as well as WFA on HANA, so do get in touch with us to learn more.

Read more about SAP Analytics Cloud here and Workforce Analytics here.

How to get started?

GP Strategies SuccessFactors EMEA Practice has completed more than 650 SAP SuccessFactors projects in more than 80 countries worldwide during the last 15 years. We are covering all major industries and we provide continued operational support and maintenance for more than 75 companies. We are an SAP Gold Partner, and we have been awarded SAP Recognized Expertise in all SAP SuccessFactors areas. Together with our customers we have won 13 Quality Awards in three years. Contact us for expert guidance on tactical solutions, analytics and reporting.