The term “people analytics” sounds like some kitschy buzzword that’ll be here today and gone tomorrow. But in reality, people analytics — using data about human behavior, relationships and traits to make business decisions — is here to stay. From process, to culture to overall strategy, the trendy method is driving a full-on transformation in the world of human resources.

Process Transformations

If you’re a part of a much larger organization with operations all over the world, people analytics can help your company measure efficiencies, and pinpoint locations that are especially adept at certain tasks. Once identified, those efficiencies can then be carried across all locations globally. This is exactly what happened at one global CPG brand that turned to people analytics to study a financial process that took place every month at every location. During their analysis, the people analytics team found that there was one branch that completed the monthly financial task 16% more efficiently than other locations, and in 71 fewer person hours. It’s unlikely that this global CPG company would’ve been able to recognize and duplicate this bright spot without people analytics.

Cultural Transformations

People-focused data can sometimes be just the evidence that top brass need in order to shift their behavior. At one engineering company, managers were ruling with an iron fist — creating a culture that did not fit with the organization’s goals of being an inclusive, humane workplace. After an analysis of people data, the company found that teams whose managers spent at least 16 minutes of one-on-one time with each direct report per week had 30% more team engagement. When compared with the average manager who spent just 9 minutes per week with each direct report, it was clear where and how the company needed to focus its efforts in order to drive change.

Strategic Transformations

A shift in the market or technological changes within a company’s sector are usually the catalyst for large-scale strategic transformations. But people analytics is key to implementing those transformations, as it can be used to track resources, boundaries, time use, skill sets and a host of other factors. At a financial services company, the CEO wanted to manage growth while driving his team to run leaner and more competitive in the market. Teams were being asked to do more with less, which led to stories of burnout and frustration. To combat this, the people analytics team created a dashboard for the CEO that helped him identify overworked and underworked teams, and adjust his demands accordingly.

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