People create business value and shape business outcomes – thus,

organisations need to collect data on their employees to understand and improve company performance

Sometimes, this data collection stops at a basic level of information, but these days more often than not, it reaches far beyond education levels and salary brackets. This process, coupled with analysing metrics relevant for each business, is what we call people analytics. Data, data everywhere

With HR departments’ shift from a more traditional, “service-provider” role within an organisation and the arrival of digital society emerged brand new sources and types of data employers can store on their employees. This data can, among others, come from 

  • applicant tracking systems (ATS)
  • careers sites 
  • onboarding software
  • exit interviews 
  • Human Resources Information System (HRIS) 
  • surveys and other measurement techniques 
  • business data.  

Some of the above round-up more the hard facts – from recruiting and demographic data, performance ratings and learning management to compensation and benefits. Other channels, like surveys, capture the more abstract notions that could affect employee sentiment, for instance, wellbeing, absence reasons or engagement. And business data provides, well, business data: from sales to other financials.  

But this does not stop here – there are even more, less obvious, data sources available! Think: 

  • social media comments
  • LinkedIn reports 
  • Glassdoor reviews. 

While surveys are a good way of measuring sentiment, employees tend to be more honest on their socials, so HR professionals started incorporating information from social media outlets and feedback sites. In addition to better insight into a fast-changing talent pool, looking at the interactions on social media can also help with making more informed hiring decisions and attracting the right people.  

 With technology becoming an integral part of the work environment, it has not just increased productivity and made the life of employees more comfortable but opened Pandora’s box with some organisations tracking 

  • keyboard actions 
  • network connections 
  • or collecting biometric information. 

There are, of course, “less intrusive” ways of collecting people data as well. For example, a project management software helps not only with overseeing project efficiency but can also provide insight into employee achievements.  

 The list could go on and on, but one thing is sure: HR departments accumulated a vast amount of data on employees. Businesses now need to be transparent with what kind of data they collect on their people, why, how and for how long they intend to use it.  

Collecting an increasing amount of HR data or how business performance can benefit from people analytics

What do HR departments do with all the data? Does it actually benefit the employees, or is it just a way for businesses to spy on their staff? Do HR professionals even have the skills to make anything out of all this information? The answer is not so black and white. 

Data is necessary for people analytics, and people analytics is crucial for identifying what is working and what could improve in the future when it comes to HR practices. It is how HR strategy and business goals come together. It also shows employees how their performance aligns with business objectives. So, what we see is that there is an unlimited amount of data available from an endless supply of sources that can help businesses remain competitive. People analytics help make sense of all this data, and taking advantage of its potential affects business performance and can have a significant financial impact. 

Book an introduction meeting HERE or reach out to Vilte Szekely at vilte@nordconn.com