Merchant Capital

SERIES 3/5: Trends shaping Human Resources: People Analytics

In our last instalment, we discussed Organisational Fluidity and Agility in HR. This week, we focus on People Analytics in HR and how those insights drive a positive business impact.

1. Defining People Analytics

People analytics is the practice of collecting and applying organisational, people and talent data to improve critical business outcomes. It enables HR to develop insights driven by data to make decisions about their talent and workforce processes and turns them into actionable insights to improve the organisation's performance.

2. C-Suite decision making will be supported by predictive analytics

In efforts to have better, initiative-taking strategies and decision-making, HR will stop depending on spreadsheets, historical data, and other lagging metrics, and will rely more on predictive methods that give insights on upcoming trends and inform business decision-making in real-time.

Although there’s still a long way to go, this trend will become increasingly important for a business looking to retain a competitive edge over their counterparts that make decisions informed by historical insights.

3. HR Analytics needs to drive bottom-line business results

According to a report by Sage, by 2030, HR and People leaders will be initiative-taking and focused on continuous improvement that drives tangible bottom-line improvements and significant growth. People analytics play an essential role in futureproofing a business. Data and analytical insights will go on to become crucial for providing the evidence needed to bolster HR’s credibility with various stakeholders.

Data and analytics are at the heart of the digital world of work, so a future HR practitioner needs to be more numerate and explore data and information to gather insights that might not normally have been identified. This, along with having a commercial mindset will result in ensuring a positive impact on the bottom line.

4. HR needs to upskill

Today’s HR teams are experiencing shocking skills gaps and lacking technology when it comes to providing People Insights. Sage reports that 62% of HR leaders say they’re currently unable to spot trends to make business-related predictions. To turn this around, HR professionals should be upskilled and provided with the right tech so that they can step up and lead with data, to bring workable solutions to any upcoming trends or crises.

5. HR will need to know what data matters most

People analytics is changing HR for the better because it’s helping HR professionals increase their impact on their organisations. The difficulty, however, remains in understanding which data matters most, what that data actually means and how it can be used to make knowledgeable decisions.

The upskilling of HR professionals will be beneficial here as they will know how to accurately collect data and why that data is important. Not only will they use their time wisely by collecting useful data, but they will also know how to collect data through the lens of their organisational needs.

6. HR Analytics is crucial for stronger strategic partnerships with other business leaders

Using the right skills and technology, HR leaders will be able to extract actionable insights that will result in positive business changes. But HR can’t do that alone. HR will need to work with other departments and business leaders to have real influence. By 2030, it will be the norm for HR to pool varying resources and skills to analyse and implement workable solutions.

The bottom line

To future proof your business, equipping your HR professionals with the skills needed for current and future needs, is paramount. Although this is a “trend of the future,” it’s never too early to prepare your business for success.

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