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Why people analytics technology is key for HR

Updated: Feb 4

In today’s digitally enabled world, the role of human resource managers is fast being revolutionised, with people analytics becoming more and more important. While the discipline of people analytics is not new, its strategic application as a corporate function, and particularly in HR, is still being established.

Not very far, one of the biggest hurdles faced by HR departments in companies all over the world was a lack of data. Now that Big Data is here, that’s no longer a problem and we are seeing the marrying of workforce data with various other types of business data. In Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2017 report, 71 per cent of companies considered people analytics a high priority in their organisation.

However, in order for businesses to make strategic decisions, HR departments are increasingly required to not only understand the organisation’s workforce analytics, more importantly, they are finding that they need to apply data intelligence company-wide to achieve desired outcomes — which, in addition to attracting and retaining the right talent, includes consistently boosting the bottom line year on year.

As more and more companies migrate away from outdated HR systems — including legacy automated HR systems which are often plagued by prohibitively pricing and complex implementations — many have made considerable investments in cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) HR software like Xceed365, complemented by workforce change strategies, but progression is still underway.

If we consider what people analytics is by definition — the use of internal and external people metrics to enhance and solve all types of management and business decisions — we can see that the HR lifecycle can now be streamlined and enhanced by applying a data-centric approach to talent management.

This includes employee hiring and onboarding, recognition and engagement, performance management, training and development, leadership, health and wellness, leave, exit and succession planning. Let’s take a closer look at how exactly people analytics is being applied to drive HR decisions in 2019.


With the rise of innovative SaaS solutions leveraging people data, it is now possible for human resource managers to source best-fit candidates by identifying and measuring where their current and previous top talent has come from — including which recruitment channels are most successful, such as Seek versus LinkedIn. All this helps HR departments to ultimately optimise their recruitment spend.

With the right talent management software, HR teams can create talent pools to efficiently hire, as well as set and track more precise KPI’s around time-to-hire, cost of hire, and return on investment.

Onboarding and engagement

Once the right candidate is hired they need an orientation to be aligned with business values, goals and culture, and often, candidates need to meet certain training and compliance requirements. Companies with onboarding programs are more likely to enjoy a higher rate of successful assimilation of new hires into company culture, higher time-to-productivity ratios, and higher employee engagement.

This is where people analytics offers great returns. HR teams can track how long it takes to onboard various roles, as well as optimise both time spent and processes used throughout the onboarding experience, ensuring this is consistent, engaging, and of high quality for each employee onboarded.


Recognising that organisation leaders such as company founders and executives need a 360-degree view of talent and business performance, HR managers can use people analytics to benchmark employee performance within company divisions, units and teams to set business-aligned KPIs.

Doing this assists management in identifying and fostering top performers — while developing weak performers — and ensuring adequate succession plans are in place to mitigate any business risks.


It is becoming increasingly popular for e-learning platforms to be built into HR software solutions and configured to an organisation’s specific requirements. This is now becoming an asset for businesses wanting to ensure they maintain a competitive workforce with up-to-date-skills sets.

These SaaS HR platforms also have the added benefit of identifying and predicting skills gaps, allowing HR managers to enrol employees in appropriate learning courses, and then track course completions and pass rates. For employees, the benefits can include access to accredited e-learning courses with personalised learning plans, helping them fast-track both their skills and career progression.


With today’s innovative HR systems, people analytics can now be centralised and integrated, helping businesses solve problems that impact employee, company, and even industry performance. From predicting skills gaps and flight risk candidates, to identifying top talent, and providing the right intelligence to assist the development of new programs or models — and much more — people analytics has found a home in the heart of today’s organisations within HR. To schedule a DEMO for Xceed365 HCM click HERE or contact our customer success consultant via +234 906 9287641


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