People analytics is the application of data and statistical methods to better understand and optimize the human capital within an organization. It has become a crucial aspect of business strategy as organizations seek to make data-driven decisions about the workforce. In the past decade, the people analytics market has experienced substantial growth, as businesses look for ways to gain insight into the effectiveness and efficiency of human capital investments. Most HCM technology platforms today boast native capabilities.
As I have discussed at length, people often conflate “analytics” with “dashboards.” While dashboards are an important tool to visualize data, the true power in analytics is the ability to create a story with the data to reveal what is happening in the business. The proper application of people analytics has so much potential to positively impact business outcomes that we contend that by 2025, two-thirds of organizations evaluating analytics offerings will require prescriptive guidance with actionable insights for quantifiable HCM impact. The more sophisticated platforms create stories and recommend plans of action for the specific user based on his or her individual role and goals. Workday People Analytics does just that.
People analytics can provide valuable insight into the performance of workers and teams. For example, by analyzing data about employee engagement, productivity and turnover, organizations can identify areas for improvement and take action to retain top talent. People analytics can also help organizations make better decisions about talent strategy. By understanding the skills and experience of employees, organizations can identify investments in training and development to stay competitive in the marketplace.
It is important to note that the value and specific uses cases of people analytics will vary by stakeholder. For example, senior leaders may be interested in high-level metrics such as overall employee engagement, while managers may be interested in more detailed metrics that help them understand the performance of their teams. Similarly, human resources professionals may be interested in metrics that help them understand the effectiveness of their talent acquisition and retention strategies, while talent management professionals may be interested in metrics that help them understand the effectiveness of their training and development programs. Workday People Analytics provides that very segmentation of information to make the platform meaningful to each individual user without the need for intervention from data analysts.
Recall, though, that the real goal of people analytics is not to simply identify trends and patterns in the data, but to provide actionable recommendations that organizations can use to improve human capital investments. This requires the use of advanced analytics techniques, such as machine learning and predictive modeling, to provide recommendations that are tailored to the specific needs of the organization and individual stakeholder. This is where the Workday People Analytics platform has the potential to add the most value. Through what they refer to as augmented analytics, Workday not only surfaces what is specifically requested by the user, but also identifies key business issues that may otherwise have been missed. It then goes further to provide narrative curated to the user to explain what the data means, and what actions could be taken to deliver the best outcome. This is particularly impactful functionality for those stakeholders who have inherited an increasing amount of responsibility for driving people-based business outcomes, like employee productivity and retention, but may lack the training or experience to spot trends in the data and understand what it actually means to them.
People analytics are most valuable when they provide context within the business and for the particular user. Workday People Analytics goes beyond just dashboards to uncover the stories the data is telling, curated for each stakeholder, and offers specific examples of actions to be taken for the best business outcomes. The full consort of data for analysis will be most readily available for buyers that use the most Workday products, even beyond HCM and into Finance. That said, Workday’s open API’s should allow for relatively simple data flow from non-Workday platforms. I do see an opportunity for Workday to deliver notifications regarding specific analytic highlights contextually, within the flow of work, particularly for those users whose primary role is something other than contemplating people-related issues. Still, Workday’s People Analytics platform delivers curated data stories to the business users that need them most, promoting an agility and adaptability in business that matches the rapid pace of change in the workforce at large. For enterprise users in particular, I strongly recommend considering Workday People Analytics when evaluating analytics platforms as part of the HCM tech stack.