Service Center (888) 213-7483 Open 24/7

How to use People Analytics in an Intuition-Driven Workplace

by Charlotte Freed | Oct 26, 2018

People Analytics help you find the right talentCan we apply Big Data to the human resource and management side of business? We have been, but it may not be a practice that entirely makes sense...yet. People analytics, a data-driven method of hiring and management, seems like the most logical approach: using information from past experience (aka employees) to choose workers who tend to prove more efficient and effective in their roles. In a 2013 Bloomberg Businessweek article, Ben Waber defines people analytics as this: “When we use data to uncover the workplace behaviors that make people effective, happy, creative, experts, leaders, followers, early adopters, and so on, we are using ‘people analytics.’” But some argue that ultimately, people analytics have already been flawed by the influence of human psychology.

While historical data does set a benchmark for what has and hasn’t worked in the past, personal opinions and perceptions play a large part in ultimate hiring decisions. In short: executives have proven to rely on their gut instincts rather than data they may or may not understand. While executives tend to trust analytics in regards to finance, the idea of relying on data when hiring employees is less palatable.

The problem does not lie in the actual collection or aggregation of data, but rather the lack of understanding in how to digest the data and apply it to processes. It turns out, the actual people in people analytics can prove to be the biggest roadblock. So how can management use the promise of people analytics in business without dismissing instinct?

  • Identify a problem you want to solve. Work with your data team to help understand what data should be looked at to address the issue. How can that data guide decision-making in the future?
  • Make a point to collect the data that applies specifically to solving the identified problem. Use accurate measurement tools and software to confirm standardized data collection. Software can help pinpoint patterns that need to be addressed.
  • Use said data to make better decisions. Read the story that the data is saying and take action. Whether the issue be efficiency, turnover, or recruitment process – you can determine what needs to change based on collected analytics. 

Leave a comment