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People analytics: How to lead your business into the era of data-driven HR

Mark is the chief executive of a fast-growing company; he has fundraised millions of dollars and received a lot of recognition in the press. Although from the outside looking in Mark is a success story waiting to happen, he is having trouble sleeping. His company is about to release a major product and all his best engineers are leaving the company; he lost 12 per cent of his research and development department in just two quarters. How did this happen? And how was he so unaware of the way his employees were feeling?

Getting to the root of employee turnover

The costs of losing a high performing employee are high, especially when growing a business. They take with them extensive knowledge of the company, relationships within and outside the organisation, specific business practices, and much more. The most important questions Mark must ask himself are what is happening in the company that is making people want to leave, who can he go to for help and is this something he should discuss with human resources?

HR and people analytics

Unfortunately, many HR leaders aren’t given the tools needed to analyse their people data in the right way. They can hold conversations with their employees and try to make sense of certain trends, but in the end would have trouble providing Mark with evidence-based answers. This is where people analytics are becoming increasingly important to growing companies, and particularly to HR. People analytics explores, infers and communicates significant data patterns to initiate and support strategic business decisions related to people in the organisation.

Common questions that people analytics can answer include how can we find more top performers, how can we better engage our highest performing workers, which qualities do amazing teams have, and which people are most likely to stay in the company or leave it.

Two things are happening in the space of HR and people analytics; the first is that it is being used to predict future behaviour based on present data, and the second is it is being used by both HR and other departments in the company. Gaining answers to these types of questions can save a company from significant loss.

Why Mark and many other CEOs need “the people analyst”

In an increasingly competitive space for top talent, a new profession has emerged: the people analyst. This analyst is in charge of combining all the data a company has on its people to tackle business challenges. Surprisingly, the people analyst doesn’t necessarily have to be an actual person.

bob consolidates all the rich real-time data of a company into one system and gives decision-makers valuable insights into their employees from this data

Many HR tech companies are understanding the importance of data in knowing how to manage and engage people effectively. bob, an all-in-one, cloud-based HR and benefits platform, is making headway in this field. bob consolidates all the rich real-time data of a company into one system and gives decision-makers valuable insights into their employees from this data.

What about privacy and data protection?

As more people are becoming aware of the importance of protecting their personal data, privacy and data protection plays an important role in people analytics. Regulations are being put in place to offer employees rights over their personal data; employees must be informed about data usage, data transferring and period of storage. Anyone who analyses employee data will need to follow these regulations.

People analytics could have saved Mark

If Mark had access to a platform such as bob, he would have been able to track how his top performers were feeling and could have taken preventative measures to stop them from leaving. If you are a company in growth mode, you know the importance of retaining your employees. People analytics serve as an important way for you to stay on top of everything that is happening in your company.


Sharon Argov is vice president growth at hibob. Coming from 15 years of entrepreneur and management experience mainly in the digital world, Sharon believes “it’s all about the people” and that human capital is your most significant resource. hibob is backed by venture capital, building the next generation of human capital management and turning good businesses into better ones.

Littal Shemer Haim brings data science into HR activities to guide organisations’ decision-making about people using data. Her vast experience in applied research, constant exposure to HR tech, and genuine interest in people’s lives and the future of work led her to focus on people analytics.

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