Hiring Smarter, Keeping Them Happy: How HR Analytics Can Improve Your HR Strategy

Rahul Pattamatta

Rahul serves as the CEO and Co-Founder of Databrain, a platform that enables startups to develop customer-facing analytics features within minutes than months.


What is Embedded Analytics? Types, Features & Tools

Rahul Pattamatta

Rahul serves as the CEO and Co-Founder of Databrain, a platform that enables startups to develop customer-facing analytics features within minutes than months.

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Did you know that a study revealed that the average cost of replacing an employee can be six to nine months of their salary? For many organizations, high employee turnover is a significant drain on resources. But what if there was a way to identify the root causes of employee turnover and address them?

HR analytics is a data-driven approach to managing your workforce that can help you achieve that. By collecting and analyzing HR data, organizations can gain valuable insights into their workforce, identify trends and patterns, and ultimately make better decisions about their most valuable asset—their people.

Unlike traditional HR practices that rely on intuition or gut feeling, HR analytics provides objective data to inform strategic HR decisions. It can lead to many benefits for organizations, including improved decision-making, cost savings, and a more engaged workforce.

This article will explain HR analytics and guide you on how to use it to improve HR management.

What is HR Analytics?

Human Resource (HR) analytics uses data to improve HR processes and decision-making. It involves collecting and analyzing employee data from various sources like HR information systems, performance reviews, and surveys. This data is then visualized in reports and dashboards to provide insights into crucial areas like workforce planning, recruitment, retention, performance management, and compensation.

By leveraging HR analytics, HR managers can make data-driven decisions that improve the effectiveness of HR programs and initiatives. It can lead to a more qualified workforce, reduced costs, and improved business performance.

See it in action
Human Resource Management Dashboards

HR Analytics in Action: Key Application Areas

HR analytics isn't just about seeing your workforce numbers. It helps you take action! HR analytics can help you improve how you manage your people in several key areas.

1. Talent Acquisition:

Finding and attracting top talent is critical for any organization's success. A robust recruitment process ensures a steady pipeline of qualified candidates and reduces the cost of bad hires.


Time-to-Hire: Analyze the average time it takes to fill open positions. Identify bottlenecks in the recruitment process and streamline procedures to improve efficiency.

Cost-per-hire: Keep track of all the money spent filling a job opening. It includes costs for advertising, fees paid to recruiters, and training new hires. Analyze the cost-effectiveness of different recruitment channels.

Quality of Hire: Measure the performance and retention rates of new hires. It helps assess the effectiveness of your recruitment strategies in attracting high-performing candidates.

Candidate Experience: Track candidate experience throughout the recruitment process. Gather feedback through surveys to identify areas for improvement and ensure a positive experience that attracts top talent.

2. Workforce Management:

Effective workforce management involves ensuring the right people are in the right roles with the skills and knowledge to perform their jobs effectively. It also focuses on fostering a positive and productive work environment.


Employee Engagement: Measure employee engagement through surveys and track metrics like absenteeism and participation in company events. Use analytics to identify factors contributing to high engagement and develop strategies to improve employee morale and satisfaction.

Absenteeism: Analyze absenteeism patterns to identify potential issues like low morale or workplace stress. Develop targeted interventions to address the root causes of high absenteeism rates.

Skill Gaps: Analyze employee skills and knowledge against current and future business needs. Identify skill gaps and develop training programs to bridge those gaps and ensure a future-proof workforce.'

3. Compensation & Benefits:

Offering competitive compensation and benefits packages is crucial for attracting and retaining top talent. It also impacts employee motivation and satisfaction.


Compensation Equity: Analyze salary data to identify and address pay gaps based on gender, race, or other factors. Ensure fair and equitable compensation practices.

Benefits Package Effectiveness: Conduct surveys and analyze trends to assess employee satisfaction with existing benefits packages. Use this data to inform decisions about optimizing benefits offerings based on employee needs and preferences.

Return on Investment (ROI) of Benefits: Analyze the cost of benefits programs and their impact on employee retention and overall business performance. It helps determine the ROI of various benefits and identify areas for optimization.

4. Retention Management:

High employee turnover can be very costly for organizations. Retention management focuses on strategies to keep valuable employees engaged and motivated to stay with the company.


Identifying Flight Risk: Analyze employee data to identify employees at risk of leaving. Factors like low engagement scores, frequent absences, or lack of career development opportunities might indicate potential flight risk.

Targeted Retention Strategies: Develop targeted retention strategies for high-potential employees based on the insights gained from data analysis. It might include offering competitive compensation packages, career growth opportunities, or creating a more positive work environment.

Cost of Turnover: Quantify the cost of turnover by analyzing factors like productivity and recruiting and onboarding expenses. This data can highlight the financial impact of high turnover and emphasize the importance of retention efforts.

Related Read: What Are HR KPIs And How To Use Them To Build A Thriving Workforce

Types of HR Analytics 

1. Descriptive Analytics:

Provides a basic understanding of your workforce by summarizing and describing historical HR data.

You can use descriptive analytics to track your company's overall turnover rate over the past five years. It would reveal trends, such as whether employee turnover is increasing.

2. Diagnostic Analytics:

It goes beyond just "what" happened and delves into "why" it happened. It identifies the root causes of trends observed in descriptive analytics.

Building on the previous example of increasing turnover, you could use diagnostic analytics to examine factors that contribute to it. It could involve analyzing data like employee engagement surveys, exit interviews, or performance reviews to identify areas where the company might need help, leading to employee dissatisfaction and higher turnover.

3. Predictive Analytics:

Uses statistical modeling and historical data to forecast future trends and potential outcomes. It allows for proactive HR planning and decision-making.

Predictive analytics can pinpoint critical roles where talent shortages might happen. By analyzing data like employee demographics, retirement eligibility, and skill gaps, you can predict upcoming needs and develop proactive strategies like upskilling existing employees or implementing targeted recruitment campaigns.

4. Prescriptive Analytics:

Analyzes potential future scenarios based on predictions from predictive analytics and recommends specific actions to address them. It helps develop targeted interventions to avoid potential problems or capitalize on opportunities.

Prescriptive analytics might recommend specific actions like creating a talent development program to equip existing employees with the necessary skills or offering competitive compensation packages to retain high performers in critical roles.

The Future of HR Analytics

The future of HR is about using data smarter to improve your workforce! HR and company goals will be aligned, using data to understand how employees contribute to success. It will guide better choices for the whole company.

Exciting trends are emerging:

  • HR can leverage emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to automate tasks and make more accurate predictions.some text
    • For instance, AI-powered natural language processing can analyze large volumes of unstructured data, such as employee feedback from surveys or performance reviews, to identify sentiment patterns and areas of concern. ML algorithms can then identify the factors contributing to positive or negative sentiments, allowing HR to take targeted action.

Data Privacy and Ethical Considerations 

As HR analytics becomes more widespread, it is crucial to address data privacy and ethical concerns surrounding the collection and use of employee data. Organizations must ensure that data is collected transparently and with proper consent, adhering to relevant data protection regulations. 

Robust data governance policies should be implemented to define how employee data is handled, who has access to it, and for what purposes it can be used. Employees should be informed about the types of data collected and how it will be utilized, fostering trust and transparency. 

Furthermore, HR analytics should be deployed in a way that avoids perpetuating biases or discrimination. Algorithms and models must be regularly audited for potential biases, and steps should be taken to mitigate any identified issues.

Getting Started with HR Analytics 

To embark on an HR analytics journey, organizations should begin by identifying the right data sources. This may include HR information systems, employee surveys, performance reviews, and other relevant data repositories. Ensuring data quality and consistency is paramount for reliable insights. 

Next, establishing a data collection and integration process is essential. This could involve implementing a centralized data warehouse or leveraging a dedicated HR analytics platform to consolidate and organize the data. 

When choosing an analytics tool or platform, consider factors such as ease of use, visualization capabilities, scalability, and integration with existing systems. Solutions like DataBrain can be customized to meet the unique needs of the HR department and automate reporting tasks.

HR Analytics Examples & Use Cases

HR Management Sample Dashboard Powered by Databrain

Active Employees:

HR Analytics Report - Active Employees
HR Report: Active Employess. Check out Interactive KPI Report

It tells you the current size of your workforce. Understanding your organization's capacity is crucial for budgeting for payroll and benefits and keeping track of essential HR initiatives like recruitment and turnover. 

Performance Review:

HR Analytics - Employees for performace review
Sample Employee Performace Review Report

It tracks the number of employees who have undergone performance reviews within a specific timeframe, typically each month.

  1. It shows how well the organization is adhering to its performance review schedule. A high number of reviewed employees indicates a well-functioning system.
  2. If only a few employees have received performance reviews, it suggests a backlog or delays in the process. It could be due to workload, lack of training for managers, or other issues.

Departure Cause Metrics:

Departure Cause Metrics Report

Departure cause metrics track the reasons why employees leave a company. This information is valuable because it helps identify areas for improvement and potentially reduce employee turnover. Here's a breakdown of their purpose:

  1. Identify Trends: HR can identify patterns by tracking reasons for departure over time. For example, if many employees cite a lack of career advancement, it might indicate a need for better development opportunities.
  2. Targeted Solutions: Knowing the exact reasons for departure allows HR to develop targeted solutions. If many employees leave due to low compensation, offering competitive salaries could help retain talent.

How DataBrain Can Help

DataBrain can be a powerful tool to support your HR analytics initiatives. 

  • Data Collection and Integration: DataBrain can connect to various data warehouses to collect and centralize your HR data.
  • Data Visualization and Reporting: DataBrain can transform your HR data into insightful dashboards and reports, allowing you to track key metrics and identify trends.
  • Customizable Solutions: DataBrain can be customized to meet the unique needs of the organization and HR department.
  • Automates Reporting: DataBrain automates report generation. You set up the reports, and DataBrain creates them automatically, saving time and effort.

By leveraging DataBrain's capabilities, HR professionals can gain deeper insights from their data, make informed decisions, and build a more effective, more engaged workforce.

DataBrain is the modern way to do analytics for enterprises, cutting ad-hoc requests by 90% and enabling self-serve. Book a Demo

Overcoming Barriers to HR Analytics Adoption 

Implementing HR analytics is not without challenges. Data quality issues, such as incomplete or inconsistent data, can hinder the accuracy of insights. Resistance to change from employees or managers who are skeptical of data-driven decision-making may also pose obstacles. 

Additionally, a lack of analytical skills within the HR team could impede the effective interpretation and communication of findings. 

To overcome these barriers, organizations should: 

  1. Invest in data governance initiatives to ensure data quality and integrity. 
  2. Foster a data-driven culture through executive sponsorship, cross-functional collaboration, and employee training programs. 
  3. Upskill HR professionals in data literacy and analytical techniques, or consider hiring dedicated data analysts or data scientists within the HR team. 
  4. Clearly communicate the benefits of HR analytics and address concerns or misconceptions through transparent communication and change management strategies. 

Building a Data-Driven HR Culture 

Successful HR analytics adoption requires a cultural shift toward data-driven decision-making. This transformation must be supported by strong leadership buy-in and championed from the top down. 

Cross-functional collaboration between HR, IT, and business units is essential for aligning HR analytics initiatives with broader organizational goals and ensuring data accessibility. 

Employee training programs should be implemented to improve data literacy and analytical skills across the workforce. This empowers employees to understand and embrace data-driven insights, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and evidence-based decision-making. 

Communicating HR Analytics Findings 

Effective communication of HR analytics findings is crucial for driving actionable insights and garnering buy-in from stakeholders. When presenting to executives, focus on the business impact and ROI of HR initiatives, using clear visuals and metrics tied to organizational goals. 

For managers, provide actionable recommendations based on the insights, highlighting how they can improve team performance, engagement, or productivity. 

When communicating with employees, emphasize how the insights will lead to positive changes in their work experience, such as better opportunities for growth, improved workplace culture, or more equitable practices. 

HR Analytics for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) 

HR analytics can play a vital role in supporting organizations' diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. By analyzing data on recruitment, hiring, promotion, and compensation practices, organizations can identify potential biases or disparities across different demographic groups. 

For example, HR analytics can reveal whether certain job postings or recruitment channels attract a diverse pool of candidates or if there are pay gaps based on gender or race for similar roles. 

Armed with these insights, HR can implement targeted strategies to eliminate biases, ensure fair and equitable practices, and foster a more diverse and inclusive workplace culture.


HR analytics has the potential to revolutionize how organizations manage their human resources. By leveraging data-driven insights, HR professionals can make informed decisions about talent acquisition, workforce management, and employee performance, ultimately driving business success.

HR professionals are encouraged to embrace HR analytics and explore how they can integrate this approach into their HR practices. By using tools such as DataBrain, HR can become a true strategic partner within the organization, driving a more engaged, productive, and future-proof workforce.

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