New Global Research Highlights Role of People Analytics in Driving Strong Business Outcomes
LONDON, June 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
CIPD/Workday research highlights need to improve workforce data confidence and skills
New global research from the CIPD in association with Workday illustrates an important relationship between the use of people data and strong business outcomes. It shows that organisations with a strong people analytics culture are much more likely to report strong business performance. However, the survey also highlights that the widescale adoption of people analytics in business is still low and that more needs to be done to improve skills and confidence, particularly in the UK which is lagging behind South-East Asia, the USA and the Middle East and North Africa in both capability and confidence.
The research People Analytics: driving business performance with people data, surveyed 3,852 business professionals globally - including HR and finance professionals - to understand attitudes towards people analytics and how it is being used in organisations. It found:
People analytics is far from being business as usual:
- Just over half (54%) of global respondents stated that they had access to people data and analytics
- Two-fifths (39%) have no access to people data for decision making purposes.
- Just half (52%) of HR professionals stated that their organisation uses people data to tackle business problems
- Just 42% of finance professionals have access to their workforce's people data despite the relationship between access to workforce data and strong business outcomes
However, when people analytics is used, it is adding value to organisations
- 75% of HR professionals globally who are using people data, are using it to tackle workforce performance and productivity issues
- 65% of those who said that they work in an organisation with a strong people analytics culture said that their business performance was strong when compared to other competitors, but only 32% of those in organisations with a weak analytics culture report strong business performance
- Using people data was shown to predict the effectiveness of tackling key organisational challenges, such as workforce performance and productivity, showing that using people data leads to good outcomes
There are clear regional differences. The UK is lagging far behind other markets in data analytics capability and confidence:
- Just 21% of UK HR professionals are confident conducting advanced analytics compared to 46% of HR professionals in South-East Asia
- Two-thirds (67%) of HR respondents in South-East Asia and 60% in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) agree they have a standardised approach to using people data in projects compared to 50% of US respondents and just 42% of UK respondents
- South-East Asia is also leading the way in using AI and/or machine based learning to compile data reports. Almost half (45%) of HR professionals in South-East Asia are applying it in this way, compared to 36% of respondents in MENA, 20% of respondents in the USA and just 13% of UK respondents
Global confidence in HR capability is low:
- Just 40% of global respondents said that their HR team was able to tackle business issues using analytics data
- Only 53% of HR professionals globally think their HR team has demonstrable numerical and statistical skills and just 36% of finance professionals agree
- Only 35% of non-HR professionals think their HR team are experts at using people data.
Edward Houghton, Human Capital and Governance adviser for the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development said: "It's hugely encouraging to see that the use of people analytics in organisations is leading to positive outcomes. The more access HR and non-HR professionals have to people data, the higher they rate their organisation's performance. However, there are still clear challenges in terms of access to data and the confidence and capabilities in the HR function needed to get the best results from it, particularly in the UK. We need to see greater investment in the skills needed to understand people data and we need to encourage the use of people analytics across different functions in organisations, and in finance in particular. HR must lead the development of cultures that share a "common language" when it comes to people data and a shared understanding and appreciation of the positive impact people data can have on business outcomes."
The CIPD/Workday research also highlights the importance of access to data. It found that access to people data improves outcomes but only 71% of HR professionals have access to people data, and just 42% of finance professionals do. For those with access to people, just 22% use it daily in their decision-making and almost a quarter (23%) use it in decision-making just once a month or less.