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Top trends in people analytics 

Insight from employee data – ‘people analytics’ – helps organisations all over the world and across different industries make more informed business decisions based on psychological and statistical expertise.


People Analytics is being used to improve everything from productivity and performance, to workplace communications, culture, staff recruitment and retention.


Workplace analytics are growing in importance. According to a recent survey of over 100 global companies, 90 per cent of chief human resources officers (CHROs) believe that data and analytics are an essential part of the HR strategy and expect future HR professionals to have data-driven skills.


Similarly, 90 per cent stated that people analytics delivers business value and 81 per cent that it enables managers to make ‘in-the-moment’ decisions. Read on to discover some of the latest trends in this fascinating, fast-evolving human resources (HR) specialism. 

Monitoring the employee experience 


The global pandemic highlighted the importance of monitoring staff wellbeing, particularly when lockdowns forced staff to work in isolation at home. As a result, forward-thinking employers are seeking to go beyond ad hoc staff experience and satisfaction surveys and instead implement a continuous listening strategy which gathers feedback more regularly and across the employee life cycle.


This can include insight drawn from online job applicant, onboarding, engagement, wellbeing, inclusion and exit surveys, together with 1:1 interviews.


A data-driven approach can, for example, help employers better understand whether it is more effective and efficient for employees to work from home, in the office or via some form of hybrid arrangement. 

Bridging the skills gap 


Assessing workforce skills and competencies is a crucial component of any staff development strategy, since it directly influences optimum performance and productivity. Increasingly, employers are using data to determine competency and performance gaps and find root causes that need addressing.


The starting point is to develop a skills inventory, which lists the experiences, professional skills, and educational qualifications of employees within an organisation. This can be achieved through various means, including tests, surveys, self-assessment tools and 360-degree feedback.


From this data, key performance indicators (KPIs) and/or a skills matrix can be developed to make it easier to identify priority skills development areas.  

Creating an inclusive workforce 


Having greater workplace diversity and equality not only generates a broader range of ideas and perspectives, but can also lead to a happier and healthier work environment.


People analytics can help bring to light areas of unconscious bias, or hidden inequities in the workplace, and help companies better assess the return on investment in any Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) workshops, training, and seminars.


When looking at the impact of gender, for example, beyond simply measuring how many women are in senior positions, assessment can occur throughout the employee journey – from analysing recruitment sources to see whether they generate sufficiently representative applications, to ensuring staff have equal air time in meetings. 

Identifying flight risks to improve retention 


Predictive analytics can help reduce employee attrition and improve staff engagement by identifying where turnover risk is highest and what investments and actions are needed to drive retention.


Data can be collected to develop a flight risk model and associated scoring to identify the characteristics, demographics, circumstances and attitudes that are most likely to lead to an employee leaving the organisation.


IBM, for example, has previously claimed that its AI technology can predict with 95 per cent accuracy which employees are likely to leave their jobs within six months. IBM’s predictive attrition program analyses thousands of pieces of data to predict employee flight risk and prescribe actions for managers to take to address the underlying issues. 

Interested to discover more? 


On our online MSc in People Analytics, you’ll learn how to develop and apply a variety of psychological and statistical tools, including specialist software and psychometric instruments, within the workplace. You will be trained in quantitative and qualitative research methods so that you can make more strategic and data-informed decisions. 


This master’s degree is part of the Hull University Business School, a leading UK business school with internationally recognised accreditations from the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).


As a part-time, tutor-led course, you’ll have the flexibility and support needed to learn an array of new skills while honouring your ongoing commitments:


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