With people analytics forming a fundamental part of evidence-based HR, people professionals need to understand organisational data – one of the four key sources of evidence.

The situation

Historically, the people profession has attracted few people who are highly numerate and analytical. But this is changing.

People and technology are meeting halfway. People professionals are building their analytical skills and analytical tools are becoming more user friendly.

Using analytics to inform practice and decision making was a common theme reported in the changing roles of the profession in our People Profession 2023 report. Sixty-three per cent of respondents said they have responsibilities and influence in HR information systems or people analytics (see p12 and p16 in the report).


CIPD viewpoint

All CIPD qualified people professionals should be insights focused, as outlined in our Profession Map. People analytics specialists (a sub-group of people professionals focused specifically on people analytics) should, similarly, have the people analytics specialist knowledge outlined in our Profession Map. 

People analytics helps you understand your people and make evidence-based decisions about them, such as improving performance, wellbeing or EDI. See our people analytics factsheet for further details.

People analytics relies on good quality data from both bespoke measures and indicators from management information. Get to grips with how to understand and measure core areas of HR, such as employee and team performance

As people analytics can involve monitoring and surveillance, it’s important to not exploit what you gather – don’t be too intrusive. If you decide to introduce employee monitoring software, be transparent about it, consult with your employees and explain why you’re doing it. 


Recommendations for employers

  • Invest in your people professionals by providing training and development that enhances their people analytics skills. With these skills, your people professionals will be more confident in drawing insights from data.

  • Grow your people analytics capability further by borrowing analysts and data scientists from other teams and hiring external consultants to undertake special projects.

  • Invest in improving data and technologies that support better decision making. This includes developing indicators or measures that are robust and trustworthy, and embedding tools to analyse and present data effectively.

  • Build stronger cross-functional relationships to improve the impact of people analytics.

People analytics

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