People analytics is going through a major shift.  From workforce planning to employee engagement and retention, the need for data is growing.  Leaders are looking for this knowledge to target, recruit, hire, engage and predict performance.  The modern HR department is being transformed from a transactional help desk into a strategic solution center that is multidisciplinary and applied across the business units. Analytics tools, like the Predictive Index™, are available as total “hire to inspire” solutions.  They are being deployed at all levels to (1) recruit and hire, (2) understand attrition and succession, (3) identify turnover and employee cost, (4) understand operational productivity patterns of teams, (5) end sales slumps, and (6) lead culture transformations.

Demand is increasing, yet change is slow

The demand for people analytics is growing fast.  In Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trend Report it was reported that 71% of companies see analytics as important priorities (31% rate it very important), yet some organizations struggle to change.  As a past corporate executive, I have seen the hesitation and fear of investing in people analytics.  The main reasons why senior leaders held back was because one (or more) of these factors existed.

Need Support and Commitment

First, lack of support and budget constraints.  Support is needed from senior leaders, as well as, operations, IT and other key stakeholders.  The decision to invest and integrate people analytics throughout the organization should not be done in a vacuum.  Budget constraints can feel like a dark heavy cloud; however, CFO’s are now seeing the potential in people analytics and the return on investment (ROI).  In the Q3 2016 CFO Signals™ survey, 40% of surveyed finance chiefs expect to make workforce and talent analytics investments in the next three years.

Need clean, reliable, accurate data across the organization

Second, there is concern about the validity, reliability and accuracy of the data.  Working with consistent, timely and accurate data is fundamental to all analytics practices.  It is critical to prioritize clean data and ensure data quality is part of your analytic discussion across departments (not just in HR).  You should also vet your people analytics vendors to ensure their methodology is scientifically validated and proven in the marketplace, and that they solid technology with strong technical support.

Need link to business solutions

Finally, hesitation exists when people analytics is not clearly linked to business solutions, and is just viewed as “findings”.  The correlation between the data and how it can help solve business challenges must be brought to the forefront to help decision-makers connect the dots.  This connection will create alignment on how people analytics can be used to drive change and deliver results.  Application and full integration is also a key component to success.  Educate others on the use of analytics and gain alignment on how this data will be used in making better business decisions.

The demand for people analytics will continue to rise.  Successful organizations will use it as a competitive advantage in how they hire, develop and engage their workforce.  Get on-board!  Understand why your organization may be holding back on this investment and get ahead of it.