People Analytics Explodes with Growth

The market for People Analytics (aka Talent Analytics) is taking off. Our latest research shows that companies almost doubled their adoption of this new practice in the last year (see chart below) and yesterday, at a workshop on the topic with Workday, almost half the clients were well along in their journey.

Fig 1: Rapid Maturity of People Analytics (Source: Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2015 and 2016, 3,300 and 7,100 respondents, respectively)

Let me give you a few anecdotes from our meeting this week:

  • Technology companies like Tesla and Uber now have mature people analytics teams looking at recruitment data, talent mobility, and performance data across their organization.
  • Half the companies in our workshop yesterday are bringing people from outside HR into the domain (marketing analytics, legal, and IT)
  • While some of the companies in our session were new to the discipline, every single company we met with had someone assigned to this program and was building a business case.

I’ve been following and writing about this trend for almost 15 years now, originally writing a book on learning measurement in the mid 2000s. (The Training Measurement Book.)

What we’re seeing is a rapid maturing of the market, with several important trends:

  • People analytics is moving out of HRIT and becoming a center of expertise in its own. We’ve advised this for years and now it’s happening.
  • People analytics teams are realizing that measuring “retention” and “engagement” is not interesting or important enough. More and more are looking at sales performance, unplanned absences, fraud, and other business measures.
  • People analytics teams are starting to align with the finance organization, so compensation and headcount data can be aligned with financial data.
  • Vendors are finally starting to see traction for their analytics products (Workday, Oracle, SAP, ADP, Ceridian, CornerstoneOnDemand, Visier, and most talent management providers now have out of the box predictive models).
  • Companies are now bringing together all their “employee listening” services into one team: engagement, analytics, performance management, and ultimately work-life balance, organizational design, and culture. All these disciplines are shifting from “soft” to “hard” as we apply data to each. One client I talked with is now bringing together performance ratings, exit interviews, engagement surveys, and pulse surveys into an integrated database to assess managerial competence. Not a bad idea eh?

Fig 2: The Employee Listening Architecture

I will be discussing many of the new trends in this area at the May 17, New York City HIQ Elevate event. These include:

  • Bringing customer data together with employee data, to close the loop on employee satisfaction. Many studies have shown that highly engaged employees translate into more satisfied customers. Soon People Analytics and CRM/Marketing Analytics will come together.
  • Moving beyond “retention modeling” into a broader look at all aspects of people and performance, embedding organizational design, goal alignment, rewards, and business performance into the analytics team.
  • Starting to analyze real-time employee data, such as travel, location, expenses, and other information that helps us build a complete “socio-economic” view of people in our organizations, helping us better design teams and the workplace to improve collaboration and employee satisfaction.

It has taken us many years to reach the point where companies have a reasonably consistent, integrated view of data about their people. Over the next decade the world of People Analytics will continue to grow, giving us exciting and powerful new ways to better organize, manage, and lead our businesses.

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About the Author: Josh Bersin is the founder and Principal of Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP, a leading research and advisory firm focused on corporate leadership, talent, learning, and the intersection between work and life. Josh is a published author on Forbes, a LinkedIn Influencer, and has appeared on Bloomberg, NPR, and the Wall Street Journal, and speaks at industry conferences and to corporate HR departments around the world. You can contact Josh on twitter at@josh_bersin and follow him at . Josh’s personal blog is at .ified Employee