Follow the Data: How Predictive Analytics Is Changing the Workforce Landscape

Predictive Analytics for BusinessToday’s workforce landscape looks vastly different from the one workers experienced twenty years ago. In fact, you might say mountains have fallen into valleys and new peaks have thrust up from the flatlands. And if by mountains you mean “old methods of workforce management” and by new peaks you mean, “new collaborative methods based on enhanced technology”—then you wouldn’t be far from the truth.

Technology advancements have sent seismic shocks through the workplace, leaving many companies scrambling to realign priorities in their wake.

And if all that sounds a bit melodramatic to you, then think of it this way: People have changed. Their expectations about work have changed. To keep them engaged and productive, you need to change too. Predictive analytics can show you how.

What Does Predictive Analytics Have to Do With It?

We’re seeing exponential growth in sectors like data management and analytics. Along the way, somebody got the bright idea to use all that data to predict future outcomes. It’s called predictive analytics, and it’s surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) accurate.

In the HR office, we use predictive analytics to make projections about employee behavior and performance. For example, knowing how an employee has behaved in the past, how many jobs he has held, and how long he stayed in each position can give you insight into how long he’s likely to remain with your company.

So how can you use predictive analytics to create value for HR?

Why You Should Be Using Predictive Analytics

In their most recent Global C-Suite Study, IBM surveyed more than 5,000 C-level executives to find out what they think about business and technology. The CHRO perspective delved into how organizations can use technology to support employees more effectively, design collaborative workplaces, and create flexible business models.

In order to reach those objectives, companies will need a way to make predictions about skills needs and anticipate employee behavior. That’s the best way to create an environment where employees feel engaged and productive. The report listed five areas in which executives use predictive analytics to make better workforce decisions:

predictive analytics percent graph

As you can see from the percentages in the chart, the number of CHROs using predictive analytics to make decisions in the workplace is still relatively small. But it’s growing.

As predictive analytics becomes more widely understood, we will see more HR executives using the data they collect in their HRIS or other data management systems to make projections about things like: what factors influence an employee’s productivity or engagement; how likely it is that a given employee will leave his or her job; and how small changes in collaboration and communication will impact performance.

We’re still on the brink of the true potential data has to transform our workforces. But savvy businesses have already begun investing in the technology and personnel that can leverage HR knowledge for the greatest business value.

If you’re ready to invest in new technology for your HR office, we can help! Take our free HRIS comparison survey to create your software shortlist.

Published by Carolyn Sokol

Carolyn Sokol is the owner of and the founder and President of Both sites connect HR professionals with the HR software products and HR outsourcing vendors that best match their business needs. The non-biased, proprietary comparison tools make recommendations based directly upon what the customer enters and weighs as required features or services.

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