Whether you are examining your sales pipeline, the success of a marketing campaign, or employee retention, data and analytics are essential for business decision-making. Despite this, many companies still overlook people analytics when it comes to solving complex business problems.
According to the High-Impact People Analytics industry study by Bersin by Deloitte, organizations that use people analytics to support business decisions see 82% higher three-year average profits than their low-maturity counterparts.
Yet, despite this clear advantage, only 2% of organizations have reached a high level of people analytics maturity. One reason is that reaching this level of maturity requires connecting thousands of different data points across disparate systems, from HR and payroll systems to financial performance and operations systems.
By organizing multiple data points into one source of truth, people analytics make it easier to elevate HR to the forefront of business strategy.
But before you can reap the rewards of people analytics, you first need to consider how you can shift HR from a siloed vertical within your organization to an outward-looking function that informs decision-making across the enterprise.
Let’s look at one of the examples from the High-Impact People Analytics study.
Jetblue: Harnessing The Power Of Data To Challenge Assumptions
American airline carrier JetBlue is an example of an enterprise that has found the sweet spot for people analytics in business strategy.
The company’s leadership team began to question the quality of new hires amid a perceived lack of dependability in terms of absences and delayed flights.
The company’s people analytics team decided to investigate the problem by taking into account as many data sources as possible from the previous 10 years to identify trends. This included:
- Customer survey feedback
- Unsolicited compliments and complaints from customer emails that identify
individual crew members
- Engagement survey feedback
- HRIS data (including the experience levels of new hires, transfer rates, attrition rates, and promotion rates)
- Applicant tracking system (ATS) data
- Training data
To review trends on dependability and absences, the team looked at new hires’ individual flight records, including the number of flights scheduled to fly, number of hours in the sky, number of days on duty, delay statuses of those flights and completion factors.
By comparing data for employees with less than two years tenure against those with more than two years of experience, the people analytics team made some surprising findings.
Perhaps most significantly, they debunked established corporate myths, including the commonly held view that new hire attrition was increasing and new crew members were less dependable.
The people analytics team found instead that new-hire attrition had been stable for the past decade and dependability had actually improved.
Rather, absences and attrition had increased across the board because the company had experienced significant growth–but the rate for new hires was stable or better than before.
Bringing together data from multiple systems is essential to getting the full picture.
For JetBlue, combining qualitative data with quantitative HR and business data was essential to understanding this people-related business challenge–and potentially saving the business significant funds in re-training or re-hiring staff.
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