9 Ways to Use HR Analytics and Big Data in the Workplace

In this article, you will discover 9 practical ways on how to significantly improve your business process by using HR analytics and Big Data

When I first started learning about the use of big data in HR, I thought it was going to be just a waste of time.

My initial impression was that it will take too much time for a bunch of weak and uncertain results.

However, I soon realized that HR analytics actually derives a number of meaningful conclusions from what previously seemed like a big pile of useless data.

People analytics, when effectively used, gives HR the ability to provide substantive information allowing the business they support to reap significant commercial gains

According to recent studies, businesses with mature people analytics perform 30% better than their competitors.

Now, this is something that really deserves a proper explanation after all. In this article, we are going to explain the process of big data analytics in the field of human resources.

How to Take Advantage Of Data Analytics

Big data analytics – an industry that will earn $200 billion in 2020 – enables businesses to get a comprehensive insight into their internal operations.

Just like Herbert Marrow, an HR Director at CareersBooster, recently noted: “Companies that embrace data science spend less time and money on HR management – and they do this simply by using data that has always been available but no one knew how to take advantage of it.”

Worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics will grow from $130.1 billion in 2016 to more than $203 billion in 2020

The main question is how exactly companies profit from data science.

Let’s see 9 ways to use HR analytics and big data in the workplace.

1) Talent Acquisition

With the markets being crowded with dozens or even hundreds of serious competitors, companies are really struggling to attract the most talented young professionals.

This issue is extremely important as surveys proved that bad hiring decisions cost around 30% of an employee’s first-year potential earnings.

Traditional HR management cannot handle this issue properly due to the lack of manpower or simply because it is not able to analyze so many information at the same time.

That’s where big data is taking over control pads.

41% of hiring managers and HR professionals who have made a bad hire estimated the financial costs of that hire in the thousands of dollars

Using data science and contemporary software solutions related to talent acquisition management, companies are able to filter through thousands of resumes and create a base of the most promising prospects.

After this first round of selection is completed, it is getting easier for HR teams to analyze each applicant individually and to choose the candidates that they should invite to the interview.

Without help from big data analytics, this process would take much more time and would still end up being less precise and efficient.

2) Training and evaluation

It’s not enough only to hire the best candidates. The real job is to introduce them to their new duties and guide them through professional training programs.

First of all, they need to adapt to corporate procedures and then to learn all details about their positions and software solutions that they are going to use at work.

When this phase is over, it is necessary to keep learning because the vast majority of businesses are constantly upgrading their services.

While you’re spending time trying to train and retrain the new hire, your business will suffer

Employees often attend online courses, training sessions, and other learning programs. However, it is hard to determine the exact benefits of such procedures.

Namely, many companies realized that the cost of training is much higher than the profit they receive out of it.

On the other hand, data science has the ability to examine employee learning and to conduct the cost/benefit analysis for every single course they organize.

This is how companies get the best evaluation and then have the opportunity to modify courses in order to make them more productive.

3) Employee performance

The analysis of employee performance is one of the most important features of big data in HR.

This system enables an organization to monitor all key performance indicators in real time and to evaluate each one of its workers separately.

Big data analysis also detects potential mistakes and flaws in work, which is a valuable feedback that can be used to make things right in short notice.

This is essential because the Glassdoor’s research revealed that even the smallest increase in performance can grow company profit by almost $2.5 thousand each year.

Your employer brand dramatically influences your ability to attract, influence, hire and retain top talent

Data science is especially helpful in retail operations since it has the power to analyze performance per each sales person or unit, territory, bricks-and-mortar store, online sales channels, etc.

With such impressive tool in their hands, HR managers can dedicate more time to face-to-face communication with employees and get the first-hand impression on their work.

Don’t forget that the experience and intuition of HR professionals can never be fully replaced by new technologies.

4) Financial compensation

Financial compensation is the basic factor of employee satisfaction. After all, workers have to make a decent living and their salaries are the first things they think about while searching for a job.

When it comes to this issue, big data can help you big time. Using advanced analytics, HR teams can calculate the best financial model for each member of the company.

This is especially important for large corporations with many international branches, where it is hard to balance salaries on all levels of the hierarchy.

Most in $75-100K salary range would only require a 1-10% salary increase to consider such a move

Additionally, big data helps you to understand when the right time to increase financial compensation is or if it is necessary to cut down costs and reduce the salaries.

If you want to reward employees but not everyone in the same proportion, you can easily get confused and overpay them.

Data analysts calculated on many occasions that employees would gladly accept much lower salary increases but HR units didn’t know that.

With big data, they do know it now.

5) Retention

Even if you have a solid team of employees and feel good about their work, you cannot be sure that some of them won’t leave your organization any time soon.

Retention is among top priorities for most of the companies, whereas more than 55% of them consider it a big problem.

Workers can be dissatisfied because their salaries are low. They can also leave the company because of the poor communication with the superiors or due to the feeling of underachievement.

57% of organizations view employee retention as a problem

Data science is excellent in detecting and pointing out all those issues. It is capable of analyzing thousands of information that seemed unrelated at first glance and drawing out valuable conclusions concerning the employee satisfaction.

This removes the burden from the backs of HR executives and allows them to find solutions even before the problems occur.

6) Marketing

Strange as it may sound, many marketers don’t know how to calculate the return on investments, which basically means that they don’t know the final result of their marketing campaigns. In such circumstances, it is difficult to figure out if they are doing a good job.

That’s also why HR units are having trouble analyzing the performance of marketing teams and each one of their members separately.

There are many benefits to be gained from collaboration between Human Resources and Marketing leaders including more effective execution, higher productivity and innovation

With its thorough analytical methodology and a bunch of digital information, data science is able to solve this problem easily.

It measures the reach and influence of all marketing activities, especially the ones conducted through online advertising.

This type of business intelligence brings fresh blood to HR analytics and gives it the strength to control marketing teams, too.

7) Planning

Big data is not important just to keep your operations going in the short run. It’s also paramount for the planning of future operations and the long-term perspective.

Namely, studies showed that organizations which use data analytics and modern acquisition platforms spend 20% less on HR management per employee.

This creates comparative advantage and helps companies to outdo their competitors in near future.

There is a massive replacement of licensed, traditional HRMS systems taking place

HR analytics is extremely intuitive and has the potential to predict the forthcoming trends, which enables organizations to upgrade their human capital and prepare much earlier than others.

And we all know that businesses which behave proactively have by far the biggest chance to stay on top of their industries.

8) Health and injuries

If your employees often face some health issues, the company will surely reduce productivity and become less profitable.

Big data can help you to detect the most common health issues in your organization and to prepare for it properly.

For instance, if your workers call in sick a lot during winter, you should warn them to pay attention or hire an additional workforce in order to prevent production or sales difficulties.

Companies are now introducing some very exciting systems that let your employees join health-related challenges, track their fitness, collaborate with their health care providers or others, and just help balance their work-life

Furthermore, there are companies in which employees are injury-prone due to special working conditions and the nature of the business.

In such circumstances, you have to reduce the number of accidents to the minimum and introduce employees to potential problems in this field. Don’t allow to lose valuable personnel due to the injuries that you had a chance to avoid or prevent.

At the same time, you will eliminate the threat of potential law suits or health compensations.

9) Role of the HR software in analytics

HR software became a pivotal instrument for many contemporary businesses. It is able to create detailed reports about your staff and company operations – all at the click of the mouse.

The most popular software solutions like HR management software CakeHR can assist you in understanding the habits and work patterns of your employees.

With this sort of equipment, you can form teams based on your internal structure, assign team managers and time zones.

Different types of human resource management software can help companies manage their most valuable asset: their people

Such HR software is allowing you to make painless integrations of various tasks and projects, eventually leading to much more precise and clear performance reviews.

It is compatible with many external tools, including many Google apps, which additionally boosts the productivity of all team members.

Furthermore, CakeHR will not confuse you with all the changes it created because you can monitor all adjustments in the separate unit entitled “history of changes made”.


With its deep insights and accurate predictions, big data analytics became the new force in contemporary HR management.

Companies that use this HR model spend less time and resources on hiring decisions and increase employee engagement, productivity, and retention rates.

In this article, we explained how this system improves businesses in 9 practical ways.

Let us know in comments what you think about it and do you have similar experiences with big data analytics in your workplace!

Eva Wislow is a career coach and HR Manager at CareersBooster. She loves to help people challenge themselves and achieve their most ambitious career goals. Eva enjoys to stay up to date with the latest tech news. Connect with her on Twitter.

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