Seven incredible uses for People Analytics

Updated 21 April 2023
Originally published 10 March 2022
Written by Helen Ramsey

People analytics is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal as a business leader. But which parts of the employee lifecycle to measure and analyse? What will help you deliver the most significant improvements for your organisation?

This article discusses seven amazing things you can do with people analytics to improve your business.


Review past performance and metrics

People analytics can help you identify patterns in behaviour and assess past performance. This analysis can be used to make informed decisions about where to focus your efforts to achieve the best results.

Measure current state

Create management reports that provide insight into your organisation's workforce and progress towards your goals. Track your diversity, productivity and performance with effective dashboards.

Predict and plan for the future

People analytics can identify future issues before they become problems. Organisations that use people analytics can make better decisions about their future workforce. They can identify areas where employees are struggling and offer support. People analytics can also be used to predict future trends and behaviours. This allows organisations to plan for change and adapt their strategies accordingly.

1. Organisation redesign and change

Change is difficult — no more so than when it involves employees across an organisation. People Analytics can provide the foundation for workforce planning, enterprise redesign and organisation change.

  • Ensure you have enough data to provide a reasonable representation of your current organisation structure.
  • Review your existing data sources to ensure they are accurate and up to date.
  • Identify skills gaps across your organisation.
  • Identify duplication and opportunities for efficiencies.
  • Define new metrics and reports to track implementation and monitor the impact of the redesign.

2. Cost-cutting / redundancy programmes

Making redundancies is never a pleasant process, but it is often necessary to reduce costs. People analytics can help identify cost cutting opportunities and areas of the business that can be made more efficient. This information can then be used to create a redundancy programme that will have the least negative impact on the organisation.

  • Identify opportunities for cost-savings and where to make redundancies.
  • Compare the impact of different cost-saving options in terms of department capabilities, performance and finance.
  • Score employees at risk of redundancy as part of the redundancy selection process.
  • Use data to monitor progress against the cost-saving targets, allowing adjustments to the process and management reporting.

3. Hiring/recruitment programmes

Analytics can help design and deliver rapid recruitment programmes to support new initiatives. Better information can also help improve existing recruitment processes.

  • Analyse existing skills gaps across your organisation and within departments or locations.
  • Determine which roles or departments to prioritise for hiring by assessing the benefits.
  • Assess the costs of the hiring process. Review new-hire salary costs and benchmark against other employers.
  • Measure changes to failed hire rates where recent hires exit the company shortly after joining.
  • Improve the hiring process by determining the pain points such as time-to-hire or offer rejection rates.

4. Mergers and acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions are complex. People analytics can help identify issues and opportunities in both organisations before the merger takes place, as well as identify key individuals to retain after the deal has been completed.

  • Support the pre-merger due diligence process by assessing skills gaps and overlaps.
  • Highlight issues and opportunities across the two organisations.
  • Identify priority individuals and roles to target for retention after the merger.
  • Review key metrics post-merger to track the implementation of change programmes and help the deal achieve the intended goals.

5. Employee wellbeing and engagement

We all know that happy and engaged employees lead to better business outcomes. People analytics can help us identify which employees are struggling and what we can do to support them. Here are four ways people analytics can help improve employee wellbeing, engagement and belonging.

  • Short and frequent pulse surveys. By regularly surveying employees, you can track changes in wellbeing and engagement over time. Identify any problems early on and address them before they become significant issues.
  • Track employee absences and identify any trends or patterns. Determine if any specific areas are causing employees to be less engaged or less healthy.
  • Solicit employee feedback on their wellbeing. Employee feedback is a valuable source of information when it comes to improving wellbeing. People analytics can help you gather this feedback systematically and track the results over time.
  • Track employee turnover rates and identify any patterns. Determine the key issues causing employees to leave.

6. Performance and talent management

Data-driven insight is key to effective performance management. People analytics can drive growth and help deliver improvement plans.

  • Set performance goals and measure progress towards objectives.
  • Help managers identify their high-performing talent and those that need improvement.
  • Uncover hidden potential and unused skills.
  • Measure productivity trends and highlight opportunities for improvement.
  • Aggregate individual performance metrics to compare teams and departments and review changes over time.
  • Inform your succession planning strategies.
  • Identify key individuals at risk of an early exit.

7. Enterprise problem solving

People analytics can help identify small but common problems that recur across the organisation and determine the root causes. Find patterns in how the issues occur to inform likely implementation strategies.

  • Identify the underlying causes (and effects) of poor performance.
  • Collect and analyse information to inform decisions and support proposed implementation strategies.
  • Create reports that provide both high-level summaries and lower-level detail to provide specific illustrations, trends and patterns across departments.
  • Monitor and track implementation plans to determine whether issues have been successfully addressed.

Next steps

We help organisations of all sizes plan and implement people analytics.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss how we can help you.

Helen Ramsey is responsible for strategy and operations at Her focus is data and technology within HR. She writes regular articles on people data and analytics.

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