With endless reports in the media regarding personal data and protecting it, we take a look at how using such data (legitimately, of course) can enhance your business.


The Current Position

The majority of businesses will, or will be able to, use “descriptive” HR analytics. These are fairly common, static HR metrics, such as; tables, reports and dashboards. Depending on the data you hold, they can offer a snap shot of the people activity at any given point in time, such as; interview to offer ratio, retention levels, percentage of performance evaluations completed, etc.

While descriptive HR metrics can offer a valuable insight, unless this information is used properly, efforts will amount to data monitoring, which may not add much value to your business.

Descriptive HR Analytics also tend to focus on measuring the effectiveness of HR processes or systems, such as, a training programme or time and costs of recruitment; they will show you ‘what’ is happening, however, they are unlikely to provide any evidence or information to support ‘why’ it is happening.

Wouldn’t it be better if you could measure what value (or cost) is generated by your workforce and understand how certain staff behaviour influences your business outcomes? These outcomes could relate to profitability, productivity, engagement or retention, for example.

Step forward; “predictive” HR Analytics.

The Future

While technically here (so arguably the future), we believe that predictive HR analytics is the way forward.

Sophisticated predictive analytical models are applied to existing (and ‘cleaned’) HR data, providing a clear idea of the potential causes of a trend or outcome. This presents the opportunity to make informed decisions on how to shape HR practices in order to positively influence workforce productivity whether by; reducing costs, increasing revenue or improving morale.

The benefit of predictive HR Analytics is probably best shown in an example. It starts with a relevant business challenge or question, such as ‘why are people leaving the company?’  Specific data is analysed to help illustrate the factors that have contributed to the current low retention rate, e.g. staff engagement levels, remuneration, company culture, lack of training or career development.  Once the cause(s) have been identified, HR practice and policies can be designed to tackle these factors in order to reduce turnover. Often the causes of certain outcomes are not necessarily obvious, as the further examples in the link below will show.

As we are not software experts, we suggest you download a copy of the excellent “2017 Thought Leadership Paper” produced by Altius (an EmployLaw client) who create bespoke analytical tools; click here.  Its paper gives you more explanation from a technical perspective and provides further examples of how using predictive HR Analytics can improve your business.


As the World moves towards AI and greater efficiency, we believe that predictive HR analytics is the future. It will enable you to shape HR systems and processes to optimise business outcomes; giving you a competitive edge.

The sooner you embrace the future, the sooner you will steal a march on your competitors. If understanding and implementing HR analytics is of interest to you, please contact the writer, for further information.

We couldn’t prepare this note without touching on GDPR. While GDPR will require you to comply with more stringent rules surrounding the collection, storage, processing and deleting of employees’ personal data, our view is that provided you comply with the requirements of GDPR, there is nothing stopping you engaging with predictive HR Analytics, and it’s something we will cover should you require our assistance.

Joanna is MCIPD Qualified and equipped with a wealth of knowledge and experience to assist clients in covering a wide range of HR services designed to improve and protect your business, e.g. undertaking internal reviews of procedures and processes, managing disciplinary hearings, handling grievances and other HR project work to meet your requirements. Joanna is also able to offer in-house training to clients covering a wide range of topics to include: Leadership Skills for Line Managers, Employee Engagement & Motivation, Performance Management and Avoiding Employment Tribunals.

Altius helps businesses to harness their data and use it to understand, model and predict business performance – delivering improved engagement, efficiency and profitability. Altius offers the depth of experience and expertise of a big brand consultancy with the flexibility and agility of a niche firm. Learn more about the services Altius offers here.