HR Data Analytics: Connect People Data to Company Outcomes

June 29th, 2024 – SkillCycle

Your HR data analytics can reflect what’s happening in the company, helping you proactively address employee concerns. However, moving from collecting to leveraging people data isn’t always easy. Because this data isn’t seen as tangible or easily acted upon, others in the organization may dismiss it. “Many organizations are collecting some version of people data,” says Andrew Hibschman, VP of Customer Success with SkillCycle. “The challenge is that they often don’t know what to do with the data to make it meaningful for the business.” Strengthening data- and people-analytics capabilities to rapidly share crucial insights with other company leaders is a key step in transitioning HR from a cost center to a value creation center, according to McKinsey. In this article on connecting people data to company outcomes, we’ll explore:
  • How strategic use of HR data analytics can lead to improved company outcomes
  • 10 different types of people data that can impact your organization
  • Common friction points when collecting and managing people data
  • Leveraging people data for the best results

How strategic use of HR data analytics can lead to improved company outcomes

Organizations actively leveraging HR data analytics are twice as likely to improve their recruiting and leadership pipeline, three times as likely to realize cost or efficiency gains, and 3.5 times as likely to get the right people in the right jobs, according to Korn Ferry.

“People data and associated soft skills often fill the gap where hard skills fail,” says Hibschman. “This is essential to understanding how to present and frame information for others in the organization.”

How people behave, feel, think, and perform in your business directly impacts outcomes like productivity and organizational adaptability.

With better measurement and analytics, you’ll more effectively identify and solve challenges as they arise and be able to make data-driven HR decisions at every turn.

10 different types of people data that can impact your organization

You’re likely already collecting many types of people data. The key is learning how each category of data impacts different business outcomes.  “People data is the first opportunity a leader has to proactively address a challenge before they’re forced to address it reactively,” says Hibschman.  Here are ten common types of HR data that can be meaningful when leveraged against company goals, and how this data is typically collected.  
  1. Employee performance data
  2. Collecting employee performance data through a performance management system can help identify where your employees excel and where they may need development.   
  3. Workforce demographics
  4. Employee records and self-reported surveys at hiring and over time can help you understand the demographics of your workforce. This knowledge can support diversity practices that drive innovation and growth.  
  5. Engagement and satisfaction
  6. Conducting anonymous surveys and gathering direct feedback can help increase engagement among employees, leading to higher satisfaction and reduced burnout.  
  7. Learning and development
  8. Learning management systems can track course completion rates and assessments. These insights enable you to support employees as they develop new skills, advance their careers, and grow with the company, helping to increase retention.
  9. Compensation and benefits
  10. Payroll and benefits administration systems integrate with other HR data management systems. Connected data can help you create competitive compensation packages that improve employee satisfaction and help attract new talent.   
  11. Recruiting and onboarding
  12. Tracking data from the initial job posting to hiring and onboarding can help create efficient recruitment and positive onboarding experiences while reducing costs and hiring time.  
  13. Turnover rates
  14. Exit interviews and HR data management systems can help companies keep turnover rates low. You can use the data pulled from these systems to increase employee satisfaction, provide growth opportunities as appropriate, and support company growth.  
  15. Health and wellbeing
  16. Health surveys, absence tracking, and wellness program enrollments can provide insight into your employees’ health, happiness, and work-life balance. Improvements in this category can lower sick leave and increase productivity and operational consistency.  
  17. Succession planning
  18. Talent management software can help track employee progress against internal leadership criteria. Clarity in how your workforce is growing and learning supports effective succession planning and ensures that you always have prepared, capable candidates for key roles.  
  19. Technology and tools
  20. Usage tracking and data mining within enterprise software can help indicate levels of mastery of tools and technology within your workforce. These capabilities boost efficiency and enable more strategic work, allowing for increased revenue and operational scaling. 

You can monitor and address any factors that might hamper performance within your teams so they don’t create more significant problems. Likewise, investments in each category can create a measurable impact for a better sense of actual returns.

Common friction points when collecting and managing people data

Company leaders often focus on what has traditionally been more concrete business data and how the operational functioning of the business impacts these numbers. 

However, a better understanding of how to build the organizational structure needed to achieve business goals can be lacking. Hiring, developing, and retaining people all impact a company’s performance and organizational adaptability. 

“Often organizations don’t have the infrastructure in place to demonstrate how investments in people are paying off,” says Hibschman. 

With more insight into team dynamics and functioning, organizations can make data-driven HR decisions that ensure the right people are in the right roles. Better data also ensures company and employee goals are well aligned.

Leveraging people data for the best impact

To leverage people data effectively, start with comprehensive assessments to establish a baseline, including 360-degree feedback for a well-rounded perspective. Anonymize and aggregate the data to protect employee privacy. 

Be ready to address any challenging findings as they arise. Remember, your people data will show you what is actually happening, whether you’ve been aware of it or not. Bringing these concerns to light can help you solve problems and retain valuable team members. 

“It’s important that the data being collected is meaningful, accurate, and reflective,” says Hibschman. “That data will help leaders address the root of the need and over time, reflect the growth that comes from closing those gaps.”

Offer personalized development opportunities instead of generic training for your employees to ensure the data leads to actionable steps. Ongoing feedback and coaching can support employees’ professional and personal growth. 

For ongoing growth and improvement, regularly check in on employees to track progress, adjust learning strategies as needed, and share success stories to encourage continued improvement.

People data can help you pinpoint challenges and address them proactively. Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo today.