With almost a year since first breaking into public consciousness, people analytics is coming of age and significantly impacting the workplace. Always looking to increase productivity and reduce overhead, companies from various industries are turning to this big data-driven approach, and Google is leading the charge.
“All people decisions at Google are based on data and analytics” says Kathryn Dekas, a people analytics team manager at Google. These decisions cover all areas of HR and even extend into management psychology. One of the better known projects by this team is the Oxygen Project. Aiming to identify the keys to successful management, the people analytics team developed strategies and techniques that identified struggling managers and significantly increased their performance.
Using analytics Google also identified trends in hiring and promoting that would cause trouble later on. The status quo approach was going to cause an over inflation of middle managers in the company, and realizing that problem enabled Google to change practices. Using the information mined from their vast stores of data, they shifted towards promoting internally and primarily hiring new people at lower levels in the company.
So what is People Analytics? It is just listening to what your data says about you in the area of human resources. Data says a lot about how to run a company, and people analytics isn’t as scary as it sounds. It is really just the continuation of current trends in management, supporting them with data and informing action by insights derived from the data. It simply requires decisions to be supported by data, which is what we ask of most decision makers in a company already.
The implementation of data as a managing tool is quickly taking hold of all areas of business, with people analytics HR can now justify its operations on a much larger scale than has ever been possible.
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