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People Analytics Strategy Brief: Three Essential Components for People Analytics Success

Are you just getting started with people analytics? Are you looking to take your HR Reporting and Analytics to the next level? This is the first article in a planned series of People Analytics Strategy Briefs in which I’ll discuss some people analytics topics in short form.

Three Essential Components for People Analytics Success

In my experience as a people analytics practitioner and consultant, I’ve found that there are three essential components for people analytics success:

  • Data and tools
  • Analytical team
  • Data-driven organization

Data and Tools

First, you need clean data from your HR source systems (HRIS, performance, learning, etc.) and a great data visualization tool that enables leaders inside and outside of HR to interact with the data.

Analytical Team

Next, look to build a people analytics strategy team with HR acumen, an analytical mindset, and the ability to tell stories with HR data.

Data-Driven Organization

Finally, ensure that you have executive support for your team and objectives, and buy-in from HR and the business as a whole to accept and act upon your people analytics outcomes and recommendations.

People Analytics Success in the Near Term

That’s it! Three components are explained in just a few sentences. Now go out there and get it done!

If it were only that simple… The reality is that as the importance of people analytics continues to grow, you likely already have a mandate to establish a people analytics team and generate data-driven insights for your organization. Results are needed today, not beginning in months or years.

With that in mind, you don’t necessarily need all these components established at a top level to get started and have success with people analytics. Here are some ideas to get past your roadblocks and generate momentum:

  • If your organization is skeptical about people analytics, find an ally and start with a smaller project or analysis.
  • If you don’t have entirely clean data integrated in a single system, do some manual integration and data cleansing in Excel.
  • If you are short on talent,reach out elsewhere in your organization for analytics expertise and support.

Hopefully you found this People Analytics Strategy Brief useful. Does it resonate with you? What would you add? What else would you like to read about? Let’s discuss—feel free to reach out to me directly, or share your thoughts in the comments below.

Visit our SAP SuccessFactors People Analytics page to learn more about how we can help your organization get on the right track.

About the Authors

Mike Hoekstra

Mike Hoekstra is a Senior Reporting and Analytics Consultant and a Human Capital Management (HCM) thought leader at GP Strategies. Mike has over 20 years' experience in software and people technologies, including HR, vendor management, and eCommerce systems. Using strategic and technical advice, he guides global HR teams on their people analytics journey, and he leads SAP SuccessFactors Reporting, Workforce Analytics, and SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) implementations. Mike's functional HR experience includes roles as an Analytics Analyst and HR Business Partner at a global consumer goods company. Mike maintains SAP SuccessFactors certifications in SuccessFactors Reporting, Workforce Analytics/Planning—Functional, and Workforce Analytics—Technical. He holds an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, and a BSE from the University of Michigan.

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