Businesses have recognized that they need data to figure out what makes people join, perform well in, and stay with an organization; who will likely be successful; who will make the best leaders; and what is required to deliver the highest-quality customer service and innovation. All of this can be directly informed by people analytics.
- People analytics is the domain, usually within HR, of collecting and cleaning and making sense of the data you have about your people and putting it in a form it can be used for business decisions. You can simply look at retention and turnover, or you can look at organizational performance and sales productivity and all sorts of other things. And so it can start small and then grow over time. Why is it such an important domain of business? I think there's two reasons. Number one, we are in a very, very talent constrained economy, and so if your people are unhappy, unproductive, misaligned, they don't know what they're supposed to be working on, you just can't be a good company. And so there's a huge demand for information about what is creating engagement, why are people leaving, what we can do to improve productivity. So the demand for information is huge. The second reason it's so important is that the vast amount of data that we're collecting is probably orders of magnitude more than it ever was before. I don't know if most of you know this but your employee badge, which most companies have, is creating a stream of data about where you are. If you're an engineer or a sales person or you're a consultant in your company, and you're moving from place to place, one of the data sets that your company has is where you were and where you clocked in and where you clocked out. There's all this information that companies are collecting about their employees, similar to the data that we try to collect on customers that organizations are now beginning to realize, wow, this could be useful in understanding why this business unit is out-performing in this business unit.