Implications of People Analytics

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss the implications of people analytics trends for HR professionals
There are three very similar illustrations of a person's silhouette next to a bar chart. The charts all have different values.

Research by Deloitte, Bersin, LinkedIn, and others highlights the implications of people analytics trends for HR professionals. In particular, the data reflects a significant gap between the perceived importance of people analytics and associated analytical skills. In their 2018 Human Capital Trends report, Deloitte noted that 85% of participating companies consider people data “important” or “very important” but only 42% indicated they were either “ready” or “very ready.” Similarly, Deloitte’s 2017 Human Capital Trends report found that 71% of companies see people analytics as a high priority, but only 9% believe they have a good understanding of which talent dimension drives performance in their organizations.[1]

Bersin’s conversations with executives underscore these findings. He relates a conversation with a CHRO who stated: “I’m tired of hiring HR professionals that don’t know the difference between a median and a mean. I’m thinking of asking all my HR teams to take a course in statistics.”[2] Related perspective point: “research shows that one of the biggest factors that predicts success in People Analytics is not just the skills of the analytics team – it’s the skill set of the HR business partners, analysts, and staff.” Bersin notes that it is human resources management’s responsibility to interpret people analytics for leaders—“[showing] him or her data which points out that their team has bias, poor work practices, weak skills, failing culture, or other problems that can be proven with data.”

Practice Question

From a market perspective, LinkedIn reports that in the last five years (since March 2018), the number of HR professionals who list analytics skills and keywords on their profiles has tripled.[3] On the demand side, workforce productivity research firm Institute for Corporate Productivity, Inc. (i4cp) states that approximately 50% of high-performance organizations plan to increase their people analytics budget in 2019.[4] However, the firm notes that “as people analytics functions mature, finding and/or developing the right talent continues to be a barrier.”

  1. Collins, Laurence, David R. Fineman, and Akio Tsuchida. "People Analytics: Recalculating the Route." Deloitte Insights. February 28, 2017. Accessed August 06, 2019.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Chensoff, Grace, Catherine Coppinger, Pooja Chhabria, Candice Cheng, Alvin Kan, and Huiling Cheong. "The Rise of Analytics in HR." LinkedIn. 2018. Accessed August 06, 2019.
  4. Mattsson, Alexander. "New Report: Four Ways to Advance Your People Analytics—I4cp." Institute for Corporate Productivity. May 30, 2018. Accessed August 06, 2019.