How (and why) to choose people analytics software

9 Feb 24 | Blog

We live in a data-driven era. That’s because we know we’ve already got a lot of the answers, it’s just a matter of interpreting existing information. But if you’re a people leader, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed – or even sceptical – about analysing your employee data.

How can human behaviour be quantifiable? And even if it is, who has time to record and analyse all the available data points – from sick days to productivity levels – on top of everything else that needs to be done?

That’s where people analytics software comes in. It makes sense of all that information you couldn’t possibly hope to capture and, if done well, it’ll guide your decision-making too: whether it’s defining your people strategy, starting initiatives to reduce attrition, or just trying to make your team happier.

What is people analytics, anyway?

What do you mean by people analytics?

People analytics is the practice of analysing your people data – as the name suggests! You already have a wealth of information about your employees, hidden away in whatever HRIS you use – tenure, absences, performance, demographics, and salary, to name a few. 

People analytics can take all of that data, view it holistically, and show you interesting trends to investigate i.e. sickness absences in the sales department have risen dramatically since 2022, and it appears to be mainly involving women aged 25-30. Some people analytics tools can even predict future risks!

What is another name for people analytics?

People analytics is also known as HR analytics, HR data analytics, people metrics, and HR metrics.

What is the goal of people analytics?

Why bother with people analytics? It’s a good question! If you’re involved in people management, you’ve already got 101 other things to do – from 121s and performance plans, to daily check-ins and disciplinary issues. 

But the goal of people analytics is to make your life easier. It will show you spikes in attrition, so you can investigate why and prevent it happening again. It can show you warning signs, by flagging high absence rates in certain groups. It might identify a problematic manager, or an over-stretched department – saving you from future problems.

Why should you use a people analytics platform?

In theory, people analytics can be done manually or long-form. All you need is the data, and the expertise to make sense of it. But there’s a few problems with that:

  • It takes a lot of time: as we mentioned, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Ploughing through the data and making sense of it involves a shedload of spreadsheets, a lot of patience, and the expectation that you won’t be interrupted. Not gonna happen.

  • It takes a lot of know-how: we all have our strengths, but not every manager is an expert in data analysis. Getting it wrong is risky, as you’re then basing decisions on untrustworthy intel – not good for you, not a good look in front of your board.

That’s why we’d recommend saving yourself time (AKA money!), effort, and stress by choosing a people analytics platform instead. 

What is people analytics software?

Generally speaking, people analytics tools will take all available data – either by manually uploading it, or by integrating with your existing HR system – and analyse it for you. The sophistication of different platforms varies – sometimes it’ll just give you snapshots of the big numbers, sometimes they’ll show you trends and risks, and sometimes they’ll even compare your data to relevant HR benchmarking data.

How to choose which HR analytics software is right for you

How do I start people analytics?

First things first, ask yourself the following questions – then you’ll have an idea of what capabilities you definitely need, and what’s feasible for your organisation:

  • Who is going to be using the software – do I need multiple users?
  • How does the platform get my HR data, is it a manual process or an easy integration?
  • What level of simplicity or complexity do I want? And how tech-savvy am I?
  • What specific data points do I actually need to guide decision-making?
  • Will my data be secure, and is privacy upheld?
  • What’s my budget, especially before I’ve proven ROI?

How to do a HR analytics software comparison

There’s a lot of options out there. Some are blindingly expensive and incredibly complex, some are cheaper but very simplistic. If you’re seeking a people analytics tool that will give you the answers you need, you might be looking for something that’s free to try out, has powerful people metrics and HR benchmarks, and is easy to use. But where are you going to find a platform like that?

Introducing… Qlearsite’s free HR analytics tool

We know data-led leadership isn’t easy. We also know how crucial it is to organisational success. That’s why we want to give you a headstart: a free account for our people analytics and HR benchmarking platform. 

Here’s what it includes:

  • Automatic analysis of your people metrics, showing you data trends and risk predictions
  • HR benchmarking data that’s relevant to your industry, so you can make comparisons
  • Auto-insights, like suggestions for where you should be focusing your efforts next

Here’s how it works:

  • Connect your HR platform: everything the platform needs is in your HRIS. Securely connect, and the platform pulls your data – in a safe, secure, GDPR-compliant way
  • Compare yourself to benchmarks: get an instant sense of how your organisation is performing, with industry-specific HR benchmarking metrics
  • Explore trends & drivers: see trends in your own data, identify potential risks, and look closer at what drives your employees – with auto-insights to guide you

Virgin Media & HR data analytics: a case study

When Virgin Media started working with Qlearsite, they immediately saw high levels of absence in a particular group: sales employees in the North-East of England. After using our technology, they identified a simple driver of this: bad weather, and ill-suited clothing. That led to an even simpler solution: rain-friendly uniforms!

This led to further efforts of making sickness absence champions, eventually resulting in a halved rate of attrition and cost-saving of £1million. Now that’s a result!

Read the full case study ->

Want to explore how our free-to-use platform can help you improve your organisation? There’s no time like the present – and no commitment either. Sign up for free, connect your HR platform, and get the answers you need:

Get HR analytics for free – sign up today


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Anne Therese Bogen, Head of HR, Thommessen

"Qlearsite’s platform is a really helpful tool to push through OKRs – it’s easier when you have statistics and concrete evidence to back up initiatives."