If you read The mysterious case of the missing workers you’ve noticed I included a number of actions you can take to deal with the labor shortage. All these actions have one thing in common: an in-depth understanding of your company’s workforce and potential external sources of new workers. It’s all based on workforce insights, and being able to find those based on data.
Many HCM Suites offer integrated people analytics functionality, but for workforce analytics you need more: you want to access and integrate data feeds, like internal financial, operational and time data, and also external benchmarks and statistics.
For that reason, you might not want to depend on your HCM solution: if you change your HCM suite, you’ll lose access to the dashboards and have to start fresh. And because you can only show reliable trends and scenarios based on data collected over several years, a separate people analytics solution might be a better choice.
Workforce analytics allow you to look at so-called “hard” quantitative employee data, to view and analyze statistical insights about your workforce and make decision based on that data. Data that includes e.g.:
- the number of headcount or FTE per geography and business unit / department
- people costs, overall and per category
- people success rate based on promotions and demotions
- cost and length of vacancies, hires and tenure
These workforce analytics solutions are prepared to include separate data sources, internally and externally, to augment the data in your HCM and payroll solutions. They can connect to operational and financial systems to enrich people data and enable strategic insights. They use API’s and are constantly expanding the list of connections. They also come with predefined dashboards to visualize that data and allow you to add bespoke dashboards to fulfill your company’s unique needs.
Workforce analytics solutions can also be used for advanced analysis, to evaluate strategic options and set up and test predictive models: they allow you to run “what-if” scenarios and test a variety of variables on the base of a hypothesis. You can set and track KPI’s, and evaluate the progress and the impact of strategic workforce decisions.
Be aware that workforce analytics is sometimes used interchangeably with people analytics. These solutions report on employee sentiment and engagement, and include surveys to collect qualitative data. They are focused on in-company team performance. You’ll need them for a complete picture.
The focus of this article is workforce analytics: the way organizations look at their current and future workforce needs, and use analytics to find trends and insights to ensure they have the right workers with the right skill sets at the right time. People analytics contribute to that (happy workers stay longer) but are not a replacement for workforce analytics. When you talk to a vendor, make sure you are both talking about the same thing.
During the People Analytics World conference I moderated a panel discussion on “Building A Best of Breed Analytics Ecosystem”. The speakers agreed that you should approach Workforce Analytics as an ecosystem: one solution doesn’t cover all your needs, you will need integrations to a variety of systems to get the data that help you create better insights. It is good to keep that in mind: you will spend a lot of time understanding which data is helpful and then getting those data sources connected right. Make sure you compare apples to apples.
As always, the overview contains companies that received a recent funding round. But even though it is a hot topic, focused people analytics platforms are not so widely available as other HRTech solutions. In fact, a couple of independent analytics solution providers have been acquired by talent platforms: Peoplefluent bought Reflektive while Paycor acquired 7Geese. Therefor I include a couple of more mature solutions to show you the landscape and give you options.
ChartHop, a people analytics solution, raised $35 million in a Series B financing round in June. ChartHop was founded in 2019 and brings together all people data – from payroll & demographic to performance & engagement. It enables companies to effectively manage, understand, and visualize the organizational structure as they scale. According to its founders, ChartHop is designed to be used by the whole organization including employees. That also means you pay a per-employee price.
Charthop connects to standard types of HCM Suites (appr 85 API-based integrations available) and based on that data, it builds an organizational chart. It allows you to slice and dice the data by department, vacancies gender, salary, locations, geographies and so forth. The visual org chart is set up so that you can move a time slider to understand how your company has changed. A reporting module gives companies insight into the current makeup and future state of the organization.
eqtble, a New York-based provider of an HR analytics platform focused on delivering actionable insights, raised $2.7M in June. It is the youngest company of this list, founded in 2021. Its founders built an internal people analytics solution for WeWork and realized other companies needed a similar solution but couldn’t justify the investment. This led them to create eqtbl. They target high-growth companies up to 3,000 employees.
The platform collects data from more than 100 sources and delivers insights and visualizations about four main areas: talent recruitment, workforce, engagement (including attrition, or when workers quit) and compensation. They pay special attention to DEI-KPI’s and equitable compensation dashboards to monitor the success of a company’s diversity programs.
JiGSO Analytics offers workforce insights, predictive analysis and strategic workforce planning. The solution collects, cleans, and connects data from different sources within the organization. They can add historical data and transform it into real time, accurate intelligence, visualized in the dashboard. The Belgian company is a joint venture between AI and Machine Learning agency Motulus and HR Consultancy firm Beanmachine.
JiGSO is an example of a solution that includes qualitative data, through a module called JiGSO listen, which consists of a set of scientifically validated questionnaires on predictors of team performance and engagement. Based on the insights retrieved from the survey, teams receive concrete and personalized recommendations in their dashboard. Super-users like HR and senior business leaders can consult a dashboard with trend indicators, heat maps, and advanced slicing and dicing.
OrgVue offers an HR analytics solution that is specialized in organizational transformation (since 2008). It allows you to look at a variety of workforce scenarios by modeling the effects of growth, mergers & acquisitions, downsizing, automation etc. You can plan for different scenarios and model the impact of each to be sure which step to take next.
The Orgvue platform uses a conceptual model to describe the relationship between people and work, allowing you to visualize how different activities combine to drive business performance. The company believes that org design is a continuous, cyclical process that needs a separate focus called organizational planning and analysis. Workforce modeling is available to build and test possible scenarios using data visualizations to support strategic decisions.
Nakisa offers an enterprise business solution for Organization Design and was founded in 1990. Orginally delivering dashboards on ERP systems like SAP, in recent years the company has rebuild the solution for the cloud. You can visualize organizational details including demographics, reporting relationships, talent profiles, and cost. The heart of the solution is a powerful org chart, that is integrated with your HCM Suite. You can run scenarios on top of this org chart, to easily model new org structures including costs.
The solution includes dashboards with prescriptive and predictive analytics. It comes with dashboards to monitor diversity and inclusion programs, report on the demographic make-up of your organization, and view salary cross-sections.
SplashBI offers a business analytics platform with a broad coverage of services and was founded in 2014. They help organizations make business decisions by providing instant access to data from disparate systems in the form of reports, visualizations, & trends. They offer focused People Analytics dashboards with KPI’s focused on hiring, retention, diversity, turnover, performance tracking etc.
SplashBI’s Data Connector library enables you to connect concurrently to various databases and applications (on-premise or cloud) with over 100 data sources supported. This is not a specialized workforce analytics solution: they also offer modules for e.g. finance and sales performance. If you are looking for all-around business support, this could be a good option to evaluate.
Visier People is a self-service people analytics and workforce planning solution. The company just raised $125M and is the first solution in this category to reach Unicorn status ($1B+ valuation). Visier People takes your workforce data, visualizes it, and provides you with insights that lead to impactful business outcomes. The data is organized by topics, and Visier uses an approach called storytelling to discover answers. The company was founded in 2010 and is one of the most mature solutions on the list.
Visier acts as an independent data layer to integrate sources across various systems, not just your HCM Suite. The solution offers pre-built integrations and dashboards to shorten implementation times. They provide tools that scrub and clean a customer’s data to speed up value delivery. Sales attainment data from CRM systems and financial information related to budgets, costs, and expenses from ERP systems is ingested and modeled by an end-to-end data management and analytics technology called Visier Cloud.
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