Overcoming the challenges of workforce analytics

Some 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years, and by 2020, the same amount of data again will be created every minute.

With so much data now available, workforce analytics is steadily rising up the agenda for many organisations. We’ve talked already about the future of HR in a data-driven world, and the trends shaping the future of our workplaces. But exactly how do you accelerate your strategy in line with these changes to future-proof your business and retain your talent?

Workforce analytics is fast-revealing itself to be the answer. But it’s quite possible you’ll face challenges on the way to the real results you know it can achieve.


Making data-driven people decisions is so important that 69% of large organisations now have a people analytics team, where 5 years ago this was under 35%¹.


We’re also seeing more executive leadership teams realising the true value of end-to-end analytics and connected data across teams to make evidence-based decisions about their workforce.

At Experian we have gone through this journey ourselves, and we’re now helping other organisations stay ahead, by accelerating their use of workforce analytics.


Common challenges when implementing or accelerating workforce analytics and how to address them

1. “Our HR data is not complete or believed”

Workforce analytics can be difficult if you don’t trust in the data you have. Like many organisations you may question the quality, accuracy or importance of your data. Ultimately the data and metrics are what drive your analytics, so these must be solid and trusted to give you an output you have confidence in, and one that will help you make better decisions.

If you find you have missing or incorrect data, spend the next six months cleaning and refining it. Get HR business partners to understand why this is important, and their role in keeping data clean.

Ensuring you have a globally consistent ‘data dictionary’ for your core people metrics is a first step. Agree with leadership what those initial key metrics should be, and get global alignment. This brings clarity and ensures discussions with other teams can be free from confusion.

As part of this, establish clear data ownership and governance. These can be shared by your workforce analytics team, but typically sit with HR Business Partners or the business themselves.

2. “We don’t have the wider leadership buy-in to make workforce analytics truly successful”

Buy-in from the wider business or HR leadership team is often necessary to ensure sufficient investment and the right driving force behind you. By being bold with the data you have, and showing the art of the possible, you are more likely to get the buy-in you need.

This is true across more than just your leadership team. HR business partners, marketing, sales and finance will often understand the value of workforce analytics when data-driven evidence is presented to them.

The partnership with finance is especially important from day one. Build a close relationship and move towards agreement on any differences on data.

Producing volumes of ‘interesting’ analysis with no purpose is pointless. You need clear objectives of where your analytics will help the business make decisions, and help people see the value it can bring.

Aligning workforce analytics to your business strategy often shows the important role analytics has to play. Start by mapping out how your people strategy is structured. By doing this, and obtaining key insights on business priorities, you’ll be able to demonstrate to leaders and business partners the real and measurable impact that analytics can have for your organisation.

3. “Our technology is outdated and not fit for purpose”

Technology can become outdated quickly, especially in an industry swamped with innovation. It is certainly an important element, but you must understand the context of your wider organisational landscape before investing too quickly.

Look at the technologies available and compare their capabilities and functionalities. Consider what might be needed in the next three to five years. Can you leverage an existing solution to fill the gap while you understand and clarify your key requirements? If you go to market for technology, make sure you understand your providers’ long-term roadmaps, as the market is moving fast.


A unique approach to building predictive workforce analytics capability

Innovation, technological advancement and a unique combination of Experian data, analytics and modelling has enabled us to deliver our predictive workforce analytics solutions.

Developed by our workforce analytics experts and used by our own HR team and business partners, our tailored solution is built on your metrics and identifies employees that have the highest risk of leaving your business, enabling you to take targeted action to manage and retain them.

Look out for our next article, where we’ll be talking to our senior HR leaders and workforce analytics team about their Experian workforce analytics journey.


We can help you

Watch our latest animation on predictive workforce analytics modelling and see how our solution can help you retain your top talent.

Learn more about our predictive workforce analytics solution here


¹ https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/business/en-us/talent-solutions/talentintelligence/

workforce/pdfs/Final_EMEA_Rise-of-Analytics-Report.pdf