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Talent Management Goal Planning & Alignment Performance Management Talent Analytics

In-Context Analytics: What They Are and Why You Need Them

January 31, 2020
5 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged


Now, more than ever, there is an emphasis on using better people analytics. People analytics open the door for companies to measure important aspects of their workforce, like retention rates, skills gaps, diversity, and employee feedback. HR teams can then take those insights to develop better onboarding processes and training programs, address compensation discrepancies and demographics, and manage individual performance goals to increase the likelihood of success across multiple facets of the business. Although people analytics has become more mainstream in recent years, a 2017 study by Deloitte showed only 9% of companies believe they have a good understanding of which talent dimensions drive performance in their organizations.

The Power of Analytics

The importance of analytics is evident in an example of a manager who oversees a corporate retail store in a rural area:

Despite differing demographics and established buying patterns in the store’s area, the corporate home office uses the same metrics to assess the success of every store. This means that raises, bonuses, and promotions depend on each store hitting numbers set by home office, without taking into account relevant local factors that impact store performance. Each reporting period, the store manager is stronger than other stores in one metric but is “failing” in another as compared to stores in major metropolitan or suburban areas with higher traffic and different buyer trends.

This manager uses the same key performance indicators (KPIs) for their store as every other store in the company. As a result, the true performance of the store is skewed against data that isn’t appropriate for this manager to use when analyzing their business. Misaligned analytics don’t provide the same valuable insights as those that are relevant to specific contributing factors and scale. This manager can’t see how their store performs within its actual market — their rural store is measured by the same KPIs as that of a store in a major market.

Are you using #HRanalytics? @ClearCompany makes the case for why they’re crucial for your department to be its most successful:

Common issues with misaligned performance measures and KPIs include:

  • Important metrics are overlooked, while focus is placed on metrics that aren’t as relevant to performance
  • Business strategy is designed around metrics that aren’t telling the full story.
  • Setting and measuring goals becomes more challenging when they’re set to data that is not relevant to unique business needs

In “The Art of Setting KPIs” the issue is made clear:

“The mantra behind key performance indicators (KPIs) is imprinted on the brain of every executive in the world: ‘If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. The trouble is many companies don't know what to measure.”

The good news is that the process of people analytics has become more intuitive and predictive in the past few years, with a renewed focus on tailor-made, pinpointed business strategy. Management tasks like setting aligned goals and KPIs are easier and more precise than ever.

People Analytics Today

People analytics, or HR analytics, is known as the method of studying all people processes, functions, challenges, and opportunities at work to elevate systems and achieve sustainable business success. More and more companies are investing in the processes and technology surrounding this concept.

A 2018 study by LinkedIn indicates that 22% of companies have adopted HR analytics, and 11% have adopted the role itself. Organizations are quickly realizing the importance of people analytics to driving success, staying competitive and keeping workers engaged in the company strategy. Before diving into the data, however, leadership must first clearly define their business goals at an organizational level. Once business goals are defined, companies can determine what data is relevant and set KPIs accordingly.

Changes in technology have streamlined data to become more predictive and proactive, rather than prescriptive and reactive. This allows HR professionals and hiring managers to quickly pull insights and make timely, well-informed decisions.

Only 9% of companies believe they know which talent dimensions drive performance. @ClearCompany shows you how #HRanalytics provide valuable talent insights

Talent management companies are going further with their analytical capabilities to make HR tasks and processes more efficient and effective. For instance, ClearCompany’s analytics tools offer controlled data sets and easy-to-use dashboards to help managers and decision-makers easily examine specific areas of the business and see all the information in context.

So, It is Possible

Defining and tracking people analytics is in fact possible. This is what it looks like when the right talent management technology allows leaders to get targeted and relevant with their vision:

  • Goal Breakdown: By incorporating people analytics into talent strategy, companies can better identify employees that are capable of helping them achieve their goals. Managers and executives can also see how each goal is broken down into actionable components, who is responsible for each action and how the worker has prioritized the action.
  • Risks and Dependencies: With a talent management platform, leaders can make more informed business decisions backed by their own people data. They can easily understand the projects and workers that key goals are depending on, identify risks and allocate resources in a far more efficient and effective manner.
  • Real-Time Progress Monitoring: Each moving part, on all levels of an organization, will have their unique goals that work together. Leaders are given a bird’s eye view of this machine in order to organize and monitor progress in real-time. With data and insights available in real-time, management is better equipped to discover issues and put solutions into action.
  • Visual Tools: Through people analytics, leaders get a more holistic vision of what works and why it works. By implementing a talent management platform, leaders can see the organization from a macro level and connect with the overall strategy via visual tools and dashboards.

A truly aligned workforce needs tools that will not only ensure that goals are met, but that the proper goals are being set. Talent management platforms allow for easy access to people analytics, and with that, companies are better able to determine the data and metrics that are relevant to their organizational goals. In addition, investing in people analytics processes can empower leaders to tackle their most important organizational challenges.

Do you need help defining your people analytics strategy, communicating your vision and seeing it through? We can help with all of that. Take a demo today and see how our total talent management platform can make your vision a reality.

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