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Mar 9, 2019

People analytics is consistently one of the top 2 trends in HR today (the other being candidate experience), but despite the fact that more than 70% of CEOs identify human capital as a key source of competitive advantage (IBM), only 5% invest in big data (TATA). And while 70% of companies intend to increase automation, only one-third use People Analytics to determine the impact on performance outcomes!

That's why we're grateful that Reed Shaffner, Cornerstone OnDemand's VP of Product Strategy, agreed to stop by the Geeks Geezers and Googlization Show to talk about the Future of People Analytics. In another fast paced show, Reed shared best practices for getting started, even if you're a small business, and how many organizations are using analytics to solve business problems associated with turnover, retention, pay equity, and skill gaps.

 People Analytics - A new venture for most HR departments, it refers to the information that companies use to make decisions regarding their employees and workforce. When the right questions and strategies are in place, the information collected through people analytics can allow companies to prepare for the future, move the right employees to the right positions, and make overall better decisions for the company as a whole.

On the hiring end, predictive analytics through people analytics helps recruiters see if applicants could be a good fit for the company. Internally, these analytics are a great way to show which pay structures are working for employee performance and if pay is equal and fair across the board.

Reed gave us a great example on the show of analytics at work when it comes to salaries and pay structures.

When Google came out with their pay equality announcement, they were able to do so because of the analytics used to detect areas where they were underpaying women or minorities. A similar case was Amazon, who realized that the algorithm in their system was causing inequality within pay scales. People analytics is not only showing where areas of improvement are within these giant tech companies, it’s also giving them a chance to accept responsibility and change things within their company for the better.

So, when it comes to implementing people analytics in a way that works just as well as the above example, where should you start?

Reed keeps it simple and to the point with this question,

“Are you collecting the right data in the first place?”

The answer is quite basic and gets to the root of why you would want to use analytics in the first place. “Pick one or two focused questions that you, as a company, really want answered.”

Figuring out what these two questions are will obviously differ for every organization depending on the size and niche of the company. However, if you want to gather quality data that is actually useful, you have to start by answering this question first.

Once you start asking the right questions, other benefits of people analytics start coming through the pipeline- analytics that answer questions such as,  “How do I invest in the right people, get them to stay with the company, and also predict roles that might open up in the future?”

So, once you have the right questions in place, and the right data coming through, how should you go about analyzing it in a way that is useful for the company? There are a few things that need to be in place for “successful analytics” to happen.

  1. Make sure the right people have access to the data: Does everyone need access? No, but you bet that the HR, Recruitment, and Front End Management departments certainly should! Analytics is a partnership between groups such as these, and keeping communication between these departments open is a huge must when it comes to aggregating the right data.
  2. For some companies, hiring a data scientist can be a great investment. Reed warns companies to do their research and not hire just anyone who says they have a magical fix for deciphering data. You want someone tested, skilled, and able to go through the company’s data to decipher the right information.

At the end of the day, people data is business data. If you want to set your business up for success, whether you’re a titan of industry or a small business with less than 200 employees, people analytics is certainly key when it comes to the future of work.