There’s been a lot of talk recently in business around analytics that deal with people. You have probably seen terms used like workforce analytics, talent analytics, human capital analytics, people analytics, talent management analytics, etc. This blog will explain the difference in the terms from our perspective in the business analytics industry.
Workforce Analytics: employee data for HR.
Workforce Analytics a broad term for an evidence-based approach to smarter decision making by tracking past employee activities to predict future outcomes. This is typically done by the HR department and does not include performance data. Other terms for workforce analytics: human capital analytics, People Analytics (Google), talent management analytics.
Example metrics tracked:
- Attrition: using data to predict which employees will leave the organization.
- Headcount: how many employees work for the organization.
- Competencies: trainable skills.
Workforce Analytics Resources & Vendors:
From the Talent Analytics perspective, thought leaders and authors who talk ‘talent analytics’ in context of HR (especially when they use the term big data) & in the absence of business performance data are actually discussing Workforce Analytics.
Then there’s Talent Analytics: employee data for the Business.
Talent Analytics is quantitative employee dataset (11 numbers) about the people doing the work that represents the de facto standard for business leaders interested in better understanding the impact of their people on performance.
This data adds value to existing activity data such as workforce analytics. It provides an opportunity to dig deeper & push towards the why by enabling companies looking at trends and correlations between people & performance.
- KPIs are innate characteristics about how and why employees work. Stable traits, not trainable skills.
- Used by business line managers & executives feeling talent pain to answer questions like:
- How do I predict my top performers?
- Why do my top performers keep leaving?
- Used by analytics teams to include employees in predictive modeling in conjunction with performance data.
Because people & performance data has never before been combined, this is an emerging discipline first introduced by IIA Faculty Member & Talent Analytics CEO Greta Roberts in January 2012.
Talent Analytics Resources & Vendors:
- Talent Analytics: Another Business Intelligence Research Opportunity
- Workforce Analytics: Don’t Forget the Workforce!
- Employee-centric vs HR-centric Analytics Technology
- Talent Analytics, Corp.
What’s the difference between Workforce Analytics & Talent Analytics?
Analyzing talent as numbers in conjunction with business outcomes is the major difference betweent talent analytics and workforce analytics.
- Talent analytics is a Business conversation discussed by the Analytics community;
- Workforce analytics is a HR conversation discussed primarily by the HR community.
- Workforce analytics initiatives are talent analyses done in abstraction from performance data.
- Talent analytics initiatives are talent analyses done in conjunction with performance data. Combining the data sets is the primary difference.
As you read about the measurement of people and see these terms used sometimes interchangeably, be sure to remember the context.
Mike Kennedy is a Technical Evangelist at Talent Analytics, Corp. He can be reached via email@example.com and @talentanalytics.