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People Analytics – How it Improves Workforce Management

People analytics is a powerful strategy to monitor, measure and analyze workforce management data to make actionable decisions. See how you can use it to improve your overall workforce management strategy and remain profitable and productive.

Workforce management is kind of our area of expertise. It is a crucial element of running a successful business, regardless of what space you operate in. With workforce management, there are many HR challenges to overcome. As with most business decisions, any data that can help managers make informed decisions is incredibly valuable. Well, with workforce management, people analytics is a huge piece of the puzzle. When we consider the fast-changing and ever-evolving economic environment of the world, it’s clear to see why workforce planning and management is incredibly difficult.

Workforce Planning

We’ve previously gone into detail on workforce planning and how important it is for your business. Simply put, workforce planning is a strategy. Businesses deploy this strategy in order to get the right people, with the right skill set, in the right place at the right time. It includes analyzing the current workforce, determining future workforce needs, and identifying the gap between the present and the future. We’re going to focus on the analytics part in this piece, taking a deeper dive into people analytics.

What is People Analytics?

People analytics or HR analytics is an important function of workforce management. According to GartnerPeople analytics is collecting and applying talent data to improve critical talent and business outcomes. As a result, it enables HR leaders and business managers to make informed, data-driven decisions around talent, processes, and employee experience.

Types of People Analytics

Businessperson studying electronic data in digital tablet

There are three main categories of people analytics;

  • Historical
  • Predictive
  • Prescribed

Historical people analytics

As you might have guessed, historical analytics looks at past data to help quantify and describe changes in the workforce. Moreover, it can shed light on key metrics like revenue per FTE, employee turnover rate, levels of employee engagement, and headcount trends.

Predictive People Analytics

Predictive analytics is the direct opposite of historical. It looks into the future, focusing on business objectives. This can help identify skills, qualifications, resources, and headcount gaps. This allows business owners to be proactive rather than reactive in their workforce management styles.

Prescribed people analytics

Finally, prescribed analytics is a combination of both historical and predictive. Essentially, decision-makers use prescribed analytics to predict outcomes based on what’s happened in the past. Then, they can determine what the workforce needs in the short term for success. It allows them to make a very tailored, prescriptive workforce plan.

As you might imagine, data is the key factor in all of the above. As you look at your data sources, remember that the outcome should always be actionable. It is no good just carrying out people analytics. Presenting the data in a way that is digestible, actionable, and specific is key. As you continue to analyze your data, your prescribed plan will change. The more new data you have, the more dramatic these changes can be. As you can imagine, this can make workforce management very difficult, particularly in the context of hiring.

Benefits of People Analytics

People analytics has 3 well-established benefits for business.

Transparency

Effective people analytics should be well distributed to create openness and transparency. The information and the plans developed should be shared with everyone from hiring managers down to lower-level executives who will be directly impacted by the decisions. As a result, this clear communication ensures everyone is on the same page regarding hiring, training, engagement, and general HR processes.

Planning

Staff Scheduling Software

Of course, effective workforce planning is one of the main goals of people analytics. Once KPIs have been established, leaders clearly understand costs, trends, and overall performance. With this knowledge, they can make data-driven decisions that will help the business stay profitable.

HR Strategy

Without people analytics, HR is often a reactive business function. However, with the right data, HR can pre-empt issues, focus on their unique company data and become strategic managers. This means they create improved processes, tailored to their workforce needs. This helps them hire, train, and retain the right people with the right skillsets to maximize productivity and profitability.

Aside from these 3 main benefits, people analytics can also identify and solve other workforce management problems. It can help identify talent gaps, burnout, and high levels of attrition. Often, it involves employee engagement surveys, which are also a great resource in effective HR management. Identifying these items and working to improve the situation is an invaluable workforce management strategy.

Data is Key

Scheduling Software

Without data, there is essentially no people analytics. So, ensuring you have enough data to make informed decisions is critical. 1 key event is not a “trend”. It shouldn’t be used in predictive analysis. It is also crucial to look at the right data in the right context. Look at external factors such as recession, the job market, and worldwide events that impact the workforce. Your business data in isolation might be skewed and put you on the wrong path.

Celayix provides managers with a user-friendly tool to get started with people analytics. We use advanced AI technology in our Scheduler to look at historical data, skill sets, and business rules. Therefore, managers can create a perfectly optimized schedule with the right people, with the right skills, in the right place at the right time. Employee scheduling is just one of the areas that benefit from effective people analytics, but is a great place to start.

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