A rising market: People Analytics Software is leading a change in Human Management 

The emerging technology in people analytics solves fundamental human management issues; brings efficiency, equity, and effectiveness to firms; and thrives as a rising market of innovative startups.

From the article “People Analytics Software is Changing the HR Game,” by Dave Zielinski written in Dec. 4, 2019, People Analytics is presented to not only be a helpful tool, but also be a fresh market great for starting a business. First, there is a growing need in the marketplace of implementing technology in HR. Second, the impact of AI and Machine Learning is driving reasonable solutions and has been adapted by some top firms. Third, the dimensions that need to be considered in such a startup on HR tech inventions are also clearly solvable. 

There is a need.

“Now, more often CEOs want to know that they have the right people with the right skills in the right jobs to execute on their strategy. There’s a growing focus on talent quality, not just talent costs.”

Ian Cook, vice president of people solutions at Visier, an analytics provider in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. 

Nowadays, companies are starting to put more emphasis on the overall employee culture. They are willing to spend more money on people analytics which could drive some improvements on the core values. Data-wise, according to Deloitte’s recent study of people analytics technology market, “the most mature organizations—those furthest along in their analytics journeys—reported using an average of seven analytics tools, as compared with four tools in the lowest-maturity organizations.” Growing from new to mature, the need for analytics tools becomes more and more important to a company. Thus, people analytics tools will always face a need from the large HR marketplace. 

There is a changing technology. 

“Its AI technology can identify the skills required for a specific role and automatically recommend learning content to employees that link back to those skills.”

Elvis Ha, director of product management for Santa Monica, Calif.-based vendor CornerstoneOnDemand.

People analytics software tools are not built on some vague theories or technology that are too fresh for customers to digest. Instead, they are built on the mature and evolving technology of AI and Machine Learning. For example, Workday, one of the top performer in People Analytics Software, starts with a story with accompanying metrics, charts, and key drivers. It let customers understand the “why”, and uses AI algorithms to improve that metric. CornerstoneOnDemand is an other example, that uses machine learning to help match employees with skills need. The clear methods and understandable logic makes the tools easily acceptable and more compelling overall. 

These should be considered.

“Companies have to be more careful today about who is allowed to create, view and share reports containing people data”

Kim Lessley, director of solution management for vendor SAP SuccessFactors in South San Francisco, Calif.

As a market that is still emerging, a lot should be considered in a People Analytics software company. First, data security and access issues should be taken care of to ensure a safe fundamental of a data-driven solution. While traditional solution is “taking sensitive workforce data out of HR systems and putting it into spreadsheets or data-visualization tools for analysis,” People Analytics softwares improve that situation by employing platforms that allow HR users to bring their external data into the vendor’s system and make it a data hub for HR reporting and analytics, rather than taking data out and exposing it to security risks. The data is encrypted and only accessible to individuals and teams authorized to access it.


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Student comments on A rising market: People Analytics Software is leading a change in Human Management 

  1. Interesting idea. It sounds like they’re viewing this almost like a niche of consulting, as a third party service that you can pay for. But given the critical necessity of understanding the company’s business, culture, and data, I wonder how feasible this would be. My inclination is that it needs to be a team within a company, stable over the years, and with people who have a deep understanding of the business.

    Nothing more dangerous than an AI algorithm without understanding the source data and what is driving the output.

  2. Hi Wish,

    Great post, thanks for sharing! The development of people analytics has brought HRs a lot of possibilities on “WHAT problem to address” – with the improving of data availability. But it also raises discussions on “HOW to address these problems”. As you mentioned in the post, although there are handy analytics tools available in the open market, concerns still exist on issues like privacy still keeps many startup platforms from touching/analyzing their clients’ core data. However, does client themselves has the capability to properly use the analytic tools and get the insights they want without intensive help?

    This raises question on which is the better way to address client’s people analytic related problems, “product” (like tool/platform/app) or “service” (professional service firm like Mckinsey) ?

  3. Very cool post, I had not heard of Cornerstone before, but it sounds like a really cool company. Going to go poke around their website now.

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