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The Benefits of Democratizing Your People Data

Jan 18, 2023| Reading time: 8min

BY Sarah Smithline

Senior Director of Product Marketing

Ah, people analytics. The concept of people data isn’t new – especially around here – but we’re starting to see an evolution of how companies use these metrics to make the best decisions for their employees and organization.

Below we dive into a brief overview of people analytics and how the new wave of democratizing your people data can benefit everyone in your organization.

Check out this report from The Josh Bersin Company that outlines how democratizing your people data increases employee engagement and drives business outcomes.

Read the report here

What is People Analytics?

People analytics, also known as HR analytics or people data, is the practice of analyzing and interpreting employee-related data to inform decisions made in the workplace. 

In other words, people analytics: 

  • Informs decisions when it comes to hiring strategies, total compensation, and more – all of which help create a more productive (and ideally happier) workforce.
  • Is like having an extra pair of eyes that can spot potential problems before they become real issues, such as figuring out sources of employee burnout, discovering trends in employee performance, understanding preferences regarding remote work, and predicting possible future talent shortages.
  • Helps attract and retain top talent. Understanding employee engagement and performance across departments and teams helps you identify top performers and any room for growth. 
  • Keeps you competitive. Up to 70% of executives list people analytics as a top priority because they know the power of having quantitative and qualitative data behind every business decision.

But, as mentioned, the concept of people analytics has evolved to another step: democratizing your HR data to empower managers and create an impactful employee experience.

What Does It Mean to Democratize Your People Data?

Democratizing people data means giving real-time, secure, and actionable insights on your people data to employees at every level. And it’s even better when this data comes from a variety of sources to give a complete picture of your workforce.

But where do you even start when it comes to democratizing your people data?

The Josh Bersin Company suggests first looking at your technology – specifically, deciding if your people analytics technology aligns to company and employee needs. They propose the following SOAR framework to identify the criteria for your people data platform to best set you up for success. Your technology should be Simple and Visual, Open and Transparent, Action-Oriented, and Real-Time. 

what to search for in people analytics software

Note: When choosing people analytics software, make sure it’s equipped with granular, role-based access controls to keep sensitive information confidential.

Benefits of Democratizing Your People Data

Democratizing people analytics positively affects every single person in your organization, giving all employees the ability to complete tasks and make decisions without needing a middleman to hand out HR data reports.

Moreover, it strengthens your employee experience across your organization. Read below to understand how democratizing people analytics helps employees at all levels. 

benefits of democratizing your people data

Figure 5 illustrates the potential impact of democratizing people data on the organization, with improved employee satisfaction and retention leading to increased revenue and profitability.

Benefits For Executives

It’s common for executives to have access to people data. But the real game-changer is when they view it through a people operations platform, meaning they use a centralized location (that updates automatically) to view and analyze insights from multiple sources. 

Of course, having a centralized platform leads to numerous benefits. Executives can strategize more effectively and efficiently since they will always work off the same metrics and reports (no more “which spreadsheet is that on?”) and they can track their efforts over time, including those in employee retention, DEIB, and budgeting.

ChartHop ENPS Data Reports example

With a people operations platform that has a people analytics function, leaders can run reports – and track those metrics – to determine if efforts are working or need shifting.

Benefits for Managers

When managers have access to their teams’ people analytics, their decisions become faster, more intentional, and less biased. Talk about a win for all involved.

And this access to a wealth of information about their team members (including skill sets and performance reviews) empowers managers to strategize better around headcount plans and professional development opportunities to best support their direct reports. 

Benefits for Employees

Yes, democratizing data even helps employees that aren’t making workforce planning and other strategic decisions. That’s because access to certain people data allows employees to work more efficiently, build better connections with colleagues, and have more autonomy in their work. Ultimately, these benefits lead to increased productivity and stronger working relationships with their managers and team members.

What’s more, giving employees direct access to your org chart and their own data allows them to find information without the help of an intermediary (like HR). For example, the management team at rolled out “About Me” forms to the company to help establish a culture of transparency. Kathryn LaViolette, HR Tech & Analytics Manager, explains: “We really encouraged everyone to [build out their profiles], noting that it was the first time in our organization that an employee could come and view the entire org chart and not only see where their peers are, but anniversary dates and who their manager’s managers are.”

Clearly this benefit is a win-win, as it helps streamline communication processes between both sides, making everyone’s life easier.

CH-Compensation Summary-01

With the right people operations platform, employees can access all of their personal information, including manager feedback, OKRs, and compensation information.

Improve Your Employee Experience by Democratizing Your People Data

If you’re looking for ways to increase efficiency, engagement, and employee satisfaction, start by democratizing your HR data. 

When executives have access to the same information as one another, they can better understand strengths and weaknesses, and those insights help improve decision-making across the board. And these benefits are mirrored on a smaller scale for managers, as access to their teams’ data helps them make intentional, personalized decisions to support their people. Lastly, when employees have access to their own information, as well as views into the org structure and basic employee profiles, they can make decisions and fuel collaborative efforts on their own.

In short, by democratizing your HR data, you can unlock powerful insights that will help create a stronger organization for years to come.

Want to learn more about democratizing your people data and how it looks in the real world? Watch our webinar in which Kathi Enderes, Senior Vice President of Research at The Josh Bersin Company, and Julie DeBuhr, Head of Employee Experience at 1Password share their insights. 

Watch it here

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