The term people analytics gets thrown around a lot these days. So much in fact that its use as a phrase has outpaced actual adoption by companies. People analytics is a broad term. It can refer to any aspect of HR data that touches on personnel. Maybe that’s why adoption has been so lackluster, no one really knows what it means. When a term isn’t specific it might be buzz-worthy, but it loses its ability to capture to be understood in terms of concrete use cases.
Measuring employee performance, engagement, and turnover is something like taking your company’s temperature — you know when a problem exists and look to fix it. With recent studies finding that business units with highly engaged employees report 22 percent higher profitability and 21 percent higher productivity, it’s not surprising that smart company leaders are rushing to foster greater employee engagement.
The foundation of people analytics has been around for a long time. In fact, companies have been trying to optimize human capital since the early 20th century. Think Ford Motors and the development of the assembly line or the advent of the 40 hour work week.
“People Analytics is the systematic application of statistics and behavioral science to Human Resource Management to achieve probability derived business advantages.” That sounds really difficult right? But here is the truth, it becomes a lot less daunting once you start looking at examples of how these analytics work in practice at real companies.