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Visualizing Talent Analytics: 6 Secrets from Successful HR Teams

Tim Castelli
on March 27, 2018

Information-driven. Analytics-based. Visualization-enabled.

Across industries, enterprise HR teams know they need data. Not just data, but analytics. The interpretation of data that derives the insight and meaning leadership demands.

Talent analytics is the key to addressing workforce effectiveness, high-potential retention, recruiting shortfalls, and other challenges. Talent analytics are vital to HR’s transformation into the role of influential, strategic business partner.

Adopting and mastering talent analytics enables HR teams to drive better workforce decisions and deliver a competitive edge.

Sounds logical, but what does it really look like in practice? And more importantly, how do you get there from here?

The State of Talent Analytics Today

To gain insight into talent analytics practices and trends, in partnership with, we surveyed HR leaders at over 400 companies to capture the secrets to successfully implementing talent analytics.      

The results revealed that only 20% of HR leaders reported that they are good or very good at incorporating analytics into their standard practices. So if you’re feeling behind, take heart!

Talent analytics is still a nascent practice–requiring new skills, solid technology, and a new mindset.

Other key findings:

  • Most HR teams are still early in the journey toward talent analytics success.
  • The majority of leaders are not good at interpreting talent data.
  • The top three priorities for applying talent analytics: workforce planning, employee performance, and skills assessment.
  • Organizations with more advanced talent analytics programs are much more likely to use automated org charting solutions, particularly for workforce planning.

Learn more about how data visualization can power workforce planning.

6 Tips for Seizing the Competitive Advantage of Talent Analytics

While it can be challenging, incorporating analytics into your talent acquisition and talent management processes is worth the effort. According to our survey, organizations focused on improving and excelling at talent analytics seem to enjoy a competitive advantage—reporting higher levels of financial and operational performance compared to peers with less advanced programs.

So if you’re ready to get started, here are 6 ways successful HR teams utilized analytics to take advantage of the insights available in talent data:

  1. Connect analytics to strategy – For talent analytics to be a catalyst in HR’s transformation into a strategic business partner, start by clearly aligning talent analytics objectives with organizational strategy.
  2. Automate basic reporting – If your organization spends more than a few hours a week on basic reporting, automating will free up HR teams to take on value-added work.
  3. Upgrade reports to dashboards – Start by replacing your existing reports with relatively simple dashboards. See what data is being used by whom and modify and improve your dashboards to suit needs and preferences.
  4. Invest in visualization tools –Talent analytics only adds value when leadership and managers can understand the data and use it to inform decision-making and strategy. Visualization tools, such as organization charting solutions, help leaders to quickly interpret and act on analysis.
  5. Include contingent workers – With the emergence of the gig economy, leaders need insight into the role contractors play across the organization.
  6. Document your positive impact – To build credibility and galvanize future investment, quantify the business impact of your talent analytics initiatives. By tracking quantifiable outcomes, you can also derive insights to focus future analytics initiatives—for example, if workforce planning efforts realize a higher return than employee performance projects, on better uses of analytics resources.

Let Your Strategy Be Your Guide

Google “talent analytics” and you’ll see evidence of a rapidly evolving field with a constant flurry of new techniques and technologies on the market.

If your organization is new to talent analytics, starting small is always best.

But regardless of program size, your organization’s strategy should drive your analytics initiatives. There will be no shortage of interesting questions you can answer with talent analytics, but cherry-picking projects or taking them on in isolation won’t advance your business strategy. 

Aligning your analytics endeavors to your business strategy is the key to positioning your program for success.

For more insights, download the full report on our survey on how companies are leveraging talent analytics.


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