How to Successfully Implement HR and People Analytics in a Company

HR analytics and people analytics assist businesses in the hiring and retention of employees. Proper usage of analytics can save a business time, money and resources.

Analytics, when properly implemented, can lead to treasure trails of data that can be used in the future when a person in HR leaves the company. People analytics can also help, allowing a workforce to continue running smoothly even when a key member of the human resources team leaves the business.

Implementing an analytic solution is a tedious process that needs to be done strategically to ensure that you’re able to gather data without interrupting the business’ workflow.

Companies that want to implement analytics first need to have a good understanding of the different types of analytics that are available.

Types of analytics and how to choose the right type

When you start looking for HR data analytics, you’ll find that there are a lot of solutions available. Collecting data and big data is the way forward for many businesses. You’ll find major players in the field, including Oracle HR analytics and solutions from:

  • Microsoft
  • Tableau
  • Qlik
  • SAP
  • SAS
  • IBM
  • Salesforce
  • Oracle
  • Dozens of others 

It’s important to find a solution that provides you with the dashboard that works best for your business. Remember, many stakeholders may need to use the data collected:

  • HR
  • IT
  • Finance

HR departments will need to communicate with IT departments to ensure that the workforce analytics put in place are able to provide a solution that collects the right, most important data. The data needs to be accurate, accessible, complete and consistent to be accurate.

IT can help a business collect data in a meaningful way.

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Dashboards that provide smart solutions for the data will allow an analytics manager to pull up information with graphics and analytics custom reports.

You’ll need to first determine what type of analytics will best suit your business:

Descriptive analytics

A common form of analytics is descriptive, and this data is used to understand current and historical events in a business. These analytics are going to provide new HR with a thorough understanding of a business, by years, months and weeks.

Predictive analytics

Another key form of analytics is predictive analysis. When predictive analytics techniques are in place, this allows your business to use data to predict what may happen in the future.

It’s often most beneficial to use both descriptive and predictive analytics at once.

Predictive analytics are often the most important because the data can be used for:

Smarter hiring

Smart tools are and can be added to organisations that allow for smarter higher practises. These tools can gather data on employees and judge if they’re a good fit for the company by gathering data from a person’s social media pages and background checks.

Tools can also be implemented that uses data to determine if the potential employee will accept a job offer and what incentives increase the chance of acceptance.

Forecasting turnover

Employee turnover is costly, and the costs can be as much as $15,000 when lack of production and training costs are included. Analytics can help with reducing turnover using machine learning and specific employee attributes to determine turnover rate.

Experian used these tools to reduce turnover drastically and save over $3 million with every one per cent increase in employee retention.

Forecasting employee behaviour

Employee behaviour will also help businesses better be able to prepare for lost production beyond turnover. Machine learning and data can be used to predict sick days per year and the days off employees will take per year. HR can better predict unscheduled absences and reschedule shifts in an effort to add more staff for common times when employees take off of work.

The right system analytic dashboard and data collection can help provide smart workplace planning. HR departments are better able to manage employees and ensure a robust workforce with predictive analytics.

Most HR departments with the proper budget will find that analytics is beneficial for better understanding the current workforce, behaviours and for future guidance and hiring.

Implementing big data and dashboards

Implementing analytics into your business must be done strategically. You’ll need first figure out the following:

  • What metrics will be included
  • What KPIs should be monitored

Measuring data requires features and goals to be in place to better understand the workplace. Organisations must also consider what data sources will be collected and from where. This is the first step in the entire process and will require an advanced IT team meeting so that everyone understands the needs of HR and goals of the system.

Indicators, or data points in this case, can include everything from social media posts to overtime hours and average vacation days used. The initial step includes all of the metrics you’ll want to collect and what you’ll want to track. The next step goes into this process a little further.

HR People analytics report

Image: Pexels

Data sources

HR and executives will have to locate the sources that can help provide information for analytics. These sources may include:

  • Current HR tools
  • Recruiting tools
  • Training systems
  • Excel files
  • Schedule systems

You may even want to collect more data, such as internal survey information or other individual data points.

The more that you understand HR’s goals and the goals of business owners and managers, the easier it will be to collect the right data.

Solution choice

Data is useless without a means of organising the data in a meaningful way. The right solution may not exist and will have to be created by your team, or you may be able to use an off-the-shelf solution.

Off-the-shelf solutions for HR teams include:

  • Microsoft Power BI
  • Zoho 
  • Namely
  • IBM
  • SAP

Sit down, demo the solutions available and choose an option that best helps your organisation reach its goals. The goals of predictive analytics may be best met with SAP and other solutions that have been developed specifically for predictive analytics.

In most cases, off-the-shelf solutions make more sense for organisations because these solutions are routinely updated and will allow for fast implementation. Tech support teams can help your organisation put a solution in place that meets your goals and needs.

A custom analytics solution only make sense when you have complex needs that can’t be met with out-of-the-box solutions and you have the resources to deploy a developer to work on your analytics platform and dashboard.

If everyone agrees on developing a custom solution, you’ll need to assemble a group of key employees:

  • HR managers
  • Database administrators
  • Front-end and backend developers
  • Data analysts
  • UX/UI developers
  • IT team

Infrastructure to house the data

Data and processing power will need to be utilised, often in large quantities, to be able to make sense out of the data you collect. You may need to choose between:

  • Personal servers
  • Cloud solutions powered by aiops

You’ll need to decide if all data will be housed internally and how privacy will be upheld. Scaling may be an issue, and you’ll need to determine if a scalable cloud solution is ideal, or if there’s another solution that would be a better fit.

Significant investments must be made if you plan on running systems internally, and management will need to sign off on these investments, which may be difficult to achieve.

Pilot the system

Once information is collected, dashboards are in place and you have an analytics system that is ready to be tested, it’s time to refine the solution to HR’s needs further. Piloting allows HR to test the dashboard and analytics to determine if it is able to provide the analytics and insights needed to run more efficiently. 

Continuous improvement may be required to develop the analytics system that is right for your .

The system may provide some, but not all, of the functionality that you need in the future. As you continue to use data and HR is able to confidently view all of the data on the dashboard, it’s not uncommon to add additional tools, such as predictive tools, to better understand future issues with employees.

In Summary

HR analytics and predictive analytics are only possible thanks to declining storage costs and the option to process information in large quantities. Pricing has come down enough that a lot of small businesses can leverage analytics that were once only offered to large corporations.

Once implemented, current and future HR employees will be able to work more efficiently with tools that provide past, present and future information about the organisation that they work with.

Has your organisation used HR analytics to improve operations, or do you have plans to add analytics into your current operations?


About the Author

Thomas Quarry owns a growing treasure hunting business and has learned how to handle the struggles a growing business has first-hand from handling human resources to retaining employees. During his free time, he helps train managers and other business owners how to grow their businesses.


Team 6Q

Team 6Q