People Analytics: One of the Top Workplace Skills in 2020!

People Analytics: One of the Top Workplace Skills in 2020!

A new study from LinkedIn shows that people analytics is one of the top workplace trends in 2020. However, 55% of the surveyed companies didn’t have the basic skills to cover this gap! Does this ring any bells?


Organisations across the globe have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and had to rethink their organisational strategies to incorporate elements of digital technologies, which has brought forth both opportunities and challenges. Among the challenges are maintaining a positive employee experience, creating a digital collaborative culture and improving performance whilst working online. All this can only be done by analysing and acting on the data that is available to organisations. By data, I don’t mean just the data from the HRM systems but also from across and outside the organisation.


But a question that arises is: Why HR? Why not Marketing or Finance? More than 80% of the business value has shifted off the balance sheet and into the intangibles (i.e., intellectual, social and human capital). This change has encouraged business leaders to actively look for measures to maximise the effectiveness of the intangibles and look at how these intangibles link to business outcomes. The HR leaders who are able to identify and analyse data to provide business insights are now in high demand and are the personification of people analytics leaders or, as they are now being dubbed, digital HR leaders!


In essence, people analytics and its enablement can assist you in measuring the organisational performance, developing a people strategy and aligning it with the organisational strategy.


People analytics improves the company’s performance


According to a Deloitte survey, organisations that use people analytics to support business decisions achieve 82% higher three-year average profits than their counterparts. However, according to HBR, only 9% of organisations proactively use data to inform workforce decisions. It is certainly a burning question whether this is due to the skills that HR possesses or whether organisations are just not interested in doing this. COVID-19 has busted this myth, as HR has been radically marginalised because of their skillset around this area. Unfortunately, HR personnel are sometimes the first ones to be let go when the business wants to reduce its costs because they still carry out operational tasks that have now been digitised. Building analytics skills will take your career to a whole new level.


Data is the new language of the business


LinkedIn has dubbed data as the “new corporate superpower.” Of course, data is only the starting point. The most important thing is what you can do with it. As one of my mentors rightly quoted, “where the numbers finish, the art of executive wisdom begins.” 


Our research showed that more than half of the newly appointed CHROs did not come from HR but from marketing, sales, operations, or finance. Unfortunately, the ones that are promoted through HR have a lower salary than their counterparts in finance and marketing. Why? Because HR lacks the skillset around data, business acumen, and commerciality.


In our book, we have provided expert guidance and practical advice on how to embed analytics into HR processes and adopt a data-driven approach to all workplace activities, with case studies from organisations that have leveraged people analytics to improve culture, employee experience, increase performance, and reduce costs – including NHS, Brompton Bikes, British Hearth Foundation, AstraZeneca, and Swarovski.


Would you prefer becoming a Digital HR Leader, or would you rather simply wait for things to get back to normal?


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Nadeem Khan is the author of 'Introduction to People Analytics – A practical guide to data-driven HR'. He helps HR leaders become Strategic Business Partners so that they can have more business impact, income and growth. Unlike many others who focus solely on data analytics, Nadeem enables HR professionals to become business savvy, influential and use the power of intuition. To know more, visit He can be reached on LinkedIn



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