Businesses developing people analytics skills to help drive performance

Organisations are upskilling employees to help make sense of people data, according to new research.

The study by Thomsons Online Benefits reveals that over two-thirds (68%) of global organisations are building people analytics teams, up from just 15% three years ago.

‘People data’ can range from benefits take-up and engagement, to sensor-generated data on employee footfall or desk time, and even data from wearables.

With tech talent in short supply, employers are developing people analytics skills within their existing workforce. The survey of more than 380 HR decision-makers found that 35% have upskilled existing HR team members – over a third higher than those who have hired in external talent (21%).

Matthew Jackson, VP client solutions at Thomsons, said: “There’s a common misconception that digitalisation and increasing automation will lead to job losses. Our research indicates that when it comes to HR, this simply isn’t the case — at least not in the near to mid-term. Instead, we will see an evolution of skills as businesses increasingly look to HR teams to supply data-based insights that can play a real role in measuring and informing people strategy.”

Over 85% of global employers currently use or plan to use employee data to report on business operations and performance.

Among those that already do so:

  • 64% have used people data insights to improve employee engagement;
  • Almost half (47%) have improved employee productivity; and
  • 59% have improved their benefits programme by looking at employees’ interactions with their benefits platform.

With organisations set to increase the amount and variety of people data that they gather, data illiteracy won’t remain an option for long, Thomsons suggests.

At present, having people analytics skills within the HR function is optional – but soon they will be imperative,” Jackson said. “The significant budgets that HR teams are handling are simply too large not to track, and the potential for better, data-led decision making is too big to ignore.

Our Next-generation connectivity report offers insights on how to future-proof your business in the era of next-generation internet connectivity. Download your copy now!

Sign up to our newsletter

Meet our experts