What is people analytics? Everything you need to know

3 Oct 23 | Blog

People analytics is the process of analysing data about your employees, with the aim of answering business-critical questions.

What is meant by people analytics? 

People analytics involves looking at your HR data, analysing and interpreting it to understand the reasons behind your metrics – and what steps you should take to influence organisational performance. 

What does people analytics involve? 

  • Collating employee data: including characteristics like gender and age, years of service, department and number of absences
  • Analysing employee data: including looking for trends/patterns in groups of employees – for example, the attrition rate of women in sales 
  • Interpreting employee data: including looking for reasons behind any identified HR trends, using additional sources like feedback data  

    What is the difference between people analytics and workplace analytics? Is people analytics the same as talent analytics?

    Workplace analytics and talent analytics are alternate names for ‘people analytics’: they all involve analysing your employee data for the purpose of understanding and influencing metrics in your organisation.

    What about predictive analytics in HR? 

    Predictive analytics in HR allows you to proactively identify trends, like attrition risks in certain departments. It’s basically predicting the future, using numbers. Now that’ll make your senior management sit up and pay attention! 

    When did people analytics start?

    The idea of people analytics started to emerge in the beginning of the century, but it follows on from the tradition of organisational psychology. Now technology has advanced, including the emergence of AI, the practice of people analytics has become much more sophisticated.

    Is people analytics a growing field?

    People analytics is growing as a field – partly due to technological advancements, but primarily because leaders are recognising the importance of data. Organisational success depends on understanding people data, from seeing past trends to making predictions, and it’ll continue to be a big focus across industries.

    Is people analytics part of HR?

    People analytics should be a key part of HR, because it gives them data to back up their initiatives. It also guides the creation of their people strategy, as it identifies emerging challenges and opportunities to improve the organisation.

    What is the role of people analytics in HR?

    The role of people analytics in HR is to guide decision-making, and to find the cost of challenges and the cost-saving potential of new initiatives. It gives HR the evidence to back up what they already suspect about their organisation, so they can drive its success.

    How does people analytics help HR?

    People analytics can save HR’s reputation. HR is often seen as too admin-obsessed, too bossy, too critical – but it shouldn’t be that way. Short on time, budget, and backing, HR professionals need data to identify and back up their arguments. People analytics can give them a voice.

    How important is people analytics?

    People analytics is essential to data-led leadership. Without basing your people strategy on what’s happened in the past, and what’s likely to happen in the future, you’re bound to make expensive mistakes. Because that’s all it really is: looking at your HR data (like attrition rate, for example) and understanding what’s driven it in the past, what’s driving it now, and how you can influence it.

    What are the risks of people analytics?

    There are two main risks associated with people analytics: unavailable or poor quality data, and the associated financial and/or workload constraints. To get people analytics right, you need trustworthy data – and you also need the time and tools to analyse it properly. Without that, you may get inaccurate results that cost you in the long run.

    Is people analytics hard?

    Here are some of the barriers you might face, when it comes to people analytics:

    • Skills gap: not every HR professional has a background in data analytics – in fact, it’s the biggest skills gap at all levels
    • Lack of time: with 101 responsibilities, from career development to contracts, spending hours in spreadsheets isn’t always possible
    • Higher priorities: if your leadership team don’t see you as a strategic player, they’ll want you to use your time differently 

    There is another way. Qlearsite makes people analytics easy. You integrate your HRIS (in a matter of minutes!), and our platform handles the data for you. It’s fast, giving you hours and hours back, and simple, so you can always provide business-critical answers your leadership team wants.   

    How do you use people analytics?

    People analytics can be used to solve organisational problems like attrition, high absence rates, low engagement or productivity, or anything else to do with your employee’s behaviour. Use it to understand why challenges have arisen, what factors are driving them, and what practical steps can be taken next.

    How do I start people analytics?

    If you want to start people analytics, there’s two things to consider: what you want to understand, and what your process is going to be. Once you’ve decided what you’re measuring, you’ve got two options: manual analysis, or choosing software that can help.

    People analytics platforms – like Qlearsite – can make fast work of analysing your employee data, so get started by choosing the right software for you.

    What is an example of a people analytics company?

    We’ll use Qlearsite as an example: we offer automatic analysis of your people data, where all you need to do is connect your HRIS (where employee data is logged). Quickly and easily, you can compare your people metrics to industry benchmarks, see trends and predictions, and understand your organisation better than ever.

    How can I get started with Qlearsite’s people analytics?

    HR data analysis can be done manually, sure. But don’t you have enough on your plate? We’ve built an affordable, easy-to-use platform to give you the answers you need. Getting started is as simple as 1, 2, 3: 

    1. Sign up to Qlearsite’s People Analytics Platform
    2. Connect the data in your HR platform
    3. See instant benchmarks and people metrics
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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."