People analytics is the practice of gathering and using data about your workforce to enable evidence-based decision making for the benefit of your organisation and its people. By taking a systematic and critical approach to examining people data, people professionals can contribute to an organisation’s success by creating insights on what can and should be done to drive strategic change.

The CIPD has conducted case study research with a number of organisations to understand how they are using people analytics to deal with a variety of business challenges. Their experiences and insight can help you in your own context to embrace people analytics and adopt good, data-supported actions to improve organisational practice and performance.

Ensuring fair pay and encouraging staff to take time off

Organisation: Barnwood Trust
Industry: Disability and mental health charity
Size: Approximately 40 staff
Speaker: Jennie Curtis, Head of People

Why did you turn to people data for a solution?

We introduced a new job evaluation framework to assess roles and wanted to conduct an equal pay review. We also wanted a personalised approach to reminding employees to take holidays. To do these things, we needed easy access to our staff’s reward and holiday data.

How did you collect and analyse the data?

We collected data from our new HR information system and external salary benchmarks. Our HR system’s dashboards make it easy for us to see what’s happening on a weekly or monthly basis around things like sickness absence, starters and leavers and equal opportunities. We used the salary survey provider’s pay benchmarking tool to compare our staff’s salaries against the market.

What did this exercise uncover?

The system enabled us to look at how our historic recruiting processes have impacted pay, and TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings), while uncovering all the things that get hidden in time. For example, we can now easily identify who needed to take holidays.

What action did you take?

We adjusted some of our staff’s pay so that they are paid appropriately for their roles in line with the new job evaluation framework and external pay benchmark data. We reminded our staff to take holidays and now have a function that shows when they last took leave – something we hope will prompt them to take time off that is owed.

What were the outcomes and lessons learnt?

Our staff are paid fairly and take holidays periodically to recharge. Small organisations like us may not feel they have a lot of data to manage. But we found that having a system that enabled us to pull data out quickly and efficiently, revealed information that would have otherwise been hidden. Replacing our outdated HR system with a modern one created opportunities to extract new and more sophisticated data. As a result, many of our HR forms are now digitalised, and this enabled us to work remotely during the pandemic.

Solving business problems with people analytics:
case studies

From ensuring fair pay and inclusion to improving wellbeing and retention, people professionals can use people analytics to tackle business challenges

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