16 June 2021

Unlocking Your People Data Pays Dividends

Dashboard on laptop

With the new iTrent People Analytics Platform, it has never been easier to extract, collate and interrogate this data, enabling you to put it to work for budgeting, modelling, and evidence-led decision making.

HR systems such as iTrent are home to a rich seam of valuable data. Here's a closer look at how widening the accessibility of people data can bring benefits right across your organisation.

Data shouldn’t be just a by-product

As you would expect with any award-winning HR system, there’s a lot happening under the surface of iTrent. From payroll and absence through to employee development, it generates and processes large quantities of data in order to do its job. But this data has the potential to be much more than a by-product of your payroll system.

Right now, you can almost certainly use it to answer quick, simple queries: e.g. how much the company spent on overtime last quarter, or how many employees are currently on sick leave. In an ideal world, you should be able to go several steps further: to join the dots between different metrics, to find patterns and blend HR data with information from across the organisation. However, for this to happen, you need to be able to lift the data from the system, and analyse it using your business intelligence tool of choice. This is precisely the capability that iTrent People Analytics Platform provides.

Financial performance

The whole organisation - not just HR - can benefit from making people data more accessible. Not least; it can help you identify issues at an early stage, before your business starts haemorrhaging cash, allowing you to reduce inefficiencies and spot opportunities.

Take recruitment and training, for instance. Depending on the role, it typically takes around six to eight months for a new starter to become fully productive. The higher your employee turnover, the greater the resources you need to expend on getting new starters up to scratch. By accessing and drilling into your people data, you can take the following approach:

  • Set employee retention targets based on a combination of your company’s own historical data and industry benchmarks.
  • Analyse the characteristics of leavers and the reasons given for departure.
  • Highlight those departments, functions and managers where employee turnover is high.
  • Identify where improvements can be made (e.g. revising your training/onboarding procedures).

Sales and customer service are further areas where access to people data can make a big difference. PwC found that a single bad experience is sufficient to cause a third of customers to abandon a brand. When employees are overburdened and under-resourced, this is when customer service standards are most likely to slip. If you can track metrics for factors such as overtime requests and unplanned absence, you are much better able to step in and take action (e.g. redeploying resources), before these issues start to erode the customer experience. Research suggests organisations that can access and analyse their people data achieve, on average, a 7% greater return on assets and an 8% improvement in profit margins.

Responding to crises

More than ever, agility is crucial. The most resilient organisations are those that can quickly reassign resources to different areas of the business as circumstances change.

There’s also the challenge of trying to manage uncertainty. Lots of things “might” happen: supply chains might become choked at borders, customer demand might spike in one location or fall off completely in another, a particular sector might be hit with a temporary shutdown (the list is endless).

If your people data is made accessible via a shared, cloud-based platform, it puts you at a distinct advantage. Most useful of all, it means you can put your scenario planning tools of choice into play. Rather than having a single, set-in-stone workforce plan, your team should be able to develop plans for multiple situations: e.g. for no growth, slow growth or rapid growth conditions. In this way, you can have ready-to-go contingency plans in place to redeploy, increase or decrease resources in response to whatever might be around the corner.

Addressing inequalities

It is becoming increasingly difficult to sweep outdated attitudes and unfair workplace practices under the carpet. 86% of consumers expect the companies they do business with to take a stand on social issues, and that includes instigating internal change where it’s needed.

Alongside pressure from customers and investors, there is also a compliance aspect surrounding Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues. Gender pay gap reporting is a case in point: larger organisations are now expected not just to publish basic pay gap data, but also to provide an explanatory narrative, setting out why the gap exists, and what they are going to do to address it.

Running off a basic payroll report is helpful, and it might keep you in line with the bare minimum regulatory requirements. However, if you can extract, access and analyse your people data, it can give you a far greater level of insight.

For instance, in which functions or departments are pay gaps most pronounced? What is the interplay between factors such as gender, age, seniority, length of employment, training, and career progression? This type of analysis enables you to identify how and why disparities arise. You can also use it as a springboard for building a strategy to reduce those disparities.

Find out more

iTrent People Analytics Platform is a cloud-based, instantly deployable solution for unlocking people data, and placing it at the heart of strategic decision making. This easy-to-use data mart collates, consolidates and constantly updates your HR data. To give your data storytelling capabilities an instant boost, you also get optional access to ready-made analytics and visualisation apps covering People Analytics, Payroll Analytics, Absence Analytics and Salary Modelling.

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