Capability and confidence in people analytics shown to increase business performance

New global CIPD/Workday report highlights benefits of people analytics, and reveals how UK HR functions are lagging behind

This week the CIPD, in association with Workday, released new global research: People Analytics: driving business performance with people data. The report highlights an important link between people analytics and organisation business performance. The survey of 3,852 global business professionals also aimed to understand how people analytics is being used, and the value it brings to organisations.

The report demonstrates a clear parallel between an organisations use of people analytics and strong business performance. In fact, 65% of those who said that their organisation has a strong people analytics culture stated that their business performance was strong compared to competitors. Ed Houghton, Human Capital and Governance adviser for the CIPD reinforced this, “the more access HR and non-HR professionals have to people data, the higher they rate their organisation’s performance”.

The report revealed further ways in which people analytics can add value to an organisation. For example, it found that 75% of HR professionals globally who use people data are using it to tackle workforce performance and productivity issues. People data was also seen to be an effective tool in tackling key organisational challenges, such as workforce performance and productivity.

While it’s clear that the use of people analytics is beneficial for organisations, the report also shows that its use is far from widespread. From the survey’s respondents, only 54% said that they had access to people data and analytics. Similarly:

  • Only 52% of HR professionals stated that their organisation uses people data to tackle business problems.
  • 39% of respondents had no access to people data within their organisation for decision making purposes.
  • Just 42% of finance professionals have access to their workforce’s people data.

On top of this, the UK has fallen behind other global regions in its use of people data. Skills and confidence for advanced analytics differed across regions, with just 21% of UK based HR professionals stating that they were confident in conducting advanced analytics, compared to 46% in South-East Asia.

In light of the report’s findings, the CIPD and Workday have a number of key recommendations for HR practice:

  • Build people analytics skills and confidence in the HR profession. Through greater investment in people analytics skills and building it into the daily decision making process of HR professionals, confidence and capability will grow.
  • Make better use of people data to better understand business risk and opportunities. Through using people data, HR professionals can better understand value creation and risk within organisations. 
  • Make people analytics more accessible to non-HR professionals. By encouraging an increased use of relevant people data among non-HR professionals, this can help serve wider business needs. Ed Houghton suggests “having a centralised point for people data – through a dashboard for example – was shown to be an important driver of business outcomes”.

To read CIPD and Workday’s report in full, click here.

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