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How to take your people analytics processes from good to outstanding

Processes are the glue that binds your people analytics practice together, and instils the confidence and trust needed to run a highly effective team. In this article, we look at how you take your people analytics from good to outstanding by perfecting your processes.

Published by OrgVue

Processes may not be the first thing on your mind when thinking about people analytics. You’ll probably be more concerned with cleaning up your data or making sure you have the right people with the right skills to do the job. But our research shows that unless your processes are in shape, building capability for people analytics that’s truly world class will remain elusive.

Processes define and set the standard for how you go about your work. They bring methodology, discipline, and rigor. This starts with the sourcing and processing of data but having solid processes behind all your people analytics activities is the glue that binds everything together.

Best practices to improve your people analytics processes

We’ve found there are four ways that HR can improve processes for people analytics:

  • Data-driven disciplineA good data management process is the springboard for producing quality insights from your people analytics. By analyzing data on role, positions, and activities rather than individuals, it will be easier track and quantify changes over time.
  • Collaboration between functionsProcesses underpin how you collaborate across the organization. We know that cross-functional collaboration is still an issue for HR[1], but our research shows that as capability matures, collaboration with departments such as Finance and Operations, particularly on data sourcing, tends to increase.
  • Continuous, iterative approachChanges to organizational strategy are typically event-driven, where decisions are made by senior leadership and passed to HR to make it happen. A continuous approach to monitoring the organization through people analytics gets away from these situations, to monthly reporting cycles using analytics and scenario modeling to track and shape the organization’s future.
  • Bottom-up decision makingThe more mature organizations get, the more data-driven they become. From a process perspective, this informs how well organizations communicate using insight rather than opinion and gut feel. This manifests in a bottom-up approach to decision-making that’s based on data, instead of unilateral top-down decisions by senior leadership.

Benchmark insights into people analytics maturity

Earlier this year, we surveyed 300 HR practitioners in the UK and US on six components of people analytics excellence and compiled the findings into industry benchmarks along a maturity scale.

The graphic below shows how the industry rates for capability in people analytics that is systematic and process-driven:

Our research found that organizations making decisions based on data and insight is a good bellwether for maturity in people analytics. In organizations where decision making is still top-down, the benchmark data indicates a low maturity in process development.

As decisions shift towards being data-driven, this is usually accompanied by more rigorous processes. While less disciplined, methodical processes won’t stand in the way of building a strong capability in people analytics, it will eventually stop it from becoming outstanding.

Make your processes consistent and repeatable to avoid rework

Although processes are more of a finer detail when it comes to maturity in people analytics, developing good processes enables you to go from good to great. If you have basic processes in place, you can have a competent, functioning practice. But you’ll struggle to become a world-leader in people analytics.

And if you haven’t got good underlying processes, you’ll regularly find yourself with a certain amount of rework to do. Without a consistent, repeatable approach, your processes will lead you to cover the same ground many times.

The final article in this series will look at the sixth component of people analytics capability, ‘Governance’. We’ll explain how governance can bring common understanding to roles and responsibilities, ensure regular monitoring of progress against strategy, and reduce risks to the business.

[1] Making people count: 2019 study on people analytics https://www.concentra.co.uk/resources/research-report/making-people-count-report/

Read next

Governance might be a contender for the least exciting component of a people analytics practice. Yet without it, you’ll have no idea whether all the hard work your team does makes a difference to the business. In this final article in this series, we look at the important checks and balances you need to run your people analytics to the highest standards.

How do you measure up?

To help organizations better understand what stage of maturity their people analytics is at, we’ve developed an online self assessment that measures companies against industry benchmarks.

You’ll be asked 25 questions on six components of capability – strategy, people, data, technology, process, and governance. Once you’ve submitted your answers, we’ll email you a link to your personalized report with scores for each component and recommendations for improvement.


How do you measure up?

To help you better understand what stage of maturity your people analytics is at, we’ve developed an online self assessment that measures capability against industry benchmarks.

You’ll be asked 25 questions on six components of capability – strategy, people, data, technology, process, and governance. Once you’ve submitted your answers, we’ll email you a link to your personalized report with scores for each component and recommendations for improvement.