The Evolution of Workforce Progress With Analytics

In the business atmosphere, analytics has long been a trusted companion, offering insights into the past to guide present decisions. Descriptive statistics, a form of analytics reporting on historical events, was the norm. However, a transformative shift is underway, and the spotlight is now on predictive analytics, unlocking the potential to shape the future. While various business functions embraced this change, Human Resources (HR) has been slow on the uptake, hopefully after this article not anymore.

Historically, HRs leaned more towards descriptive statistics – a reflection of past occurrences. The landscape, however, is changing rapidly. As we examine the statistics, it becomes evident that workforce analytics, in its true predictive form, is gaining momentum. The driving forces behind this evolution are none other than the advent of the internet and the rise of Software as a Service (SaaS), empowering HR professionals to harness the power of data in unprecedented ways.

Now, let’s delve into the levels of analytics, as articulated by Fit Enz, to better understand the journey of workforce analytics:

  1. Level 1: Laying the Foundation

At this foundational level, analytics revolves around basic elements like trend reports, metrics scorecards, ad-hoc reporting, and transaction and count reports. It’s the starting point, akin to learning the alphabet before constructing sentences.

  • Level 2: Elevating Insight

As we ascend to the second level, the sophistication of analytics grows. Workforce planning, scenario modeling, multivariate statistical modeling, statistical regression analytics, and forecasting leading (predictive) indicators become the tools of the trade. It’s about moving beyond the basics and embracing a more nuanced understanding of workforce dynamics.

  • Level 3: Enabling Action

The pinnacle of workforce analytics, Level 3, introduces the concept of prescriptive analytics. Here, the focus is on actionable insights – the “if-then” scenarios that empower HR professionals to take informed and strategic actions. It’s not just about understanding trends; it’s about influencing them proactively.

  • Level 3+: A Deeper Dive

Expanding on Level 3, we introduce additional dimensions such as workforce planning and financial modeling (HCFS). This marks the intersection of analytics and financial strategy, providing a comprehensive view for informed decision-making.

Analytics Adoption Over Time

  1. Descriptive Analytics: What happened?
  2. Diagnostic Analytics: Why did it happen?
  3. Predictive Analytics: What will happen?
  4. Prescriptive Analytics: How can we make it happen?


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