What is the Difference Between HR Analytics , People Analytics, Workforce Analytics and Talent Analytics ?

Read this article by our Chief Mentor Dr. D. Rai to understand the difference Between HR Analytics and People Analytics, Workforce Analytics and Talent Analytics

What is the Difference Between HR Analytics , People Analytics, Workforce Analytics and Talent Analytics ?

HR Analytics is the most significant revolution in HR in recent times. It has transformed the way , experts are interpreting, analysing and applying HR functions , to improve the performance indices of organisations. However, we are usually not able to understand the minor but definitive differences between HR Analytics, People Analytics, Workforce Analytics and Talent Analytics. The purpose of the blog is to clarify the differences between the above four.

Contents of this blog

The author proposes to discuss the following in the blog:

  • Definitions of the four terminologies– HR Analytics, People Analytics, Workforce Analytics & Talent Analytics
  • Differences between the above four terminologies
  • Conclusions

1. Definitions

1.1. HR Analytics

We have dealt HR Analytics in detail in the 5 blogs ,which ,CHRMP has published earlier. The readers may refer to them.

However, to refresh our memory, we may define HR Analytics as below:

HR Analytics is the process of measuring the impact of HR metrics, such as time to hire, retention rate etc on HR performance. (microstrategy.com )

The author requests the readers to go through the following blog also, which, we have published earlier.

HR Analytics: The Meaning and Importance

In the above blog post, we have discussed different aspects of HR Analytics: Definition, Types of Analytics, Advantages, Disadvantages, challenges ,Future.

HR Analytics has gained prominence in the last decade
Photographer: Headway | Source: Unsplash

1.2. People Analytics

We may most simply define People Analytics , as a process , where, HR leaders apply a mix of statistical practices, technology, and their individual expertise, to large sets of business and employee data. This process results in better decision-making and a way to show , concretely, the return on competitive talent, and people investments.
(surveygizmo.com )

1.3. Workforce Analytics

After literature survey , we have shortlisted the following two definitions , from two references.

We use Workforce analytics, which is a part of HR analytics, to track and measure employee-related data, and optimise organisations’ human resource management and decision-making. The field focuses on much more than hiring and firing, and also by concentrating on the return on value for every hire.( sisense.com)

Workforce analytics is an all-encompassing term referring specifically to employees of an organisation. It includes on-site employees, remote employees, gig workers, freelancers, consultants, and any other individuals working in various capacities in an organisation.(hrtechnologist.com)

1.4. Talent Analytics

In Talent analytics , we try to focus on applying statistics and technology, to large sets of people, in order to make better organisational and operational decisions. Much like other specific subsets of larger statistics, talent analytics uses a variety of BI tools and systems to create a more holistic and data-driven view of an organization’s staff. This way, companies can make the best decisions based on actual results and quantifiable success.
(sisense.com )

2.0 Differences Between HR Analytics, People Analytics, Workforce Analytics and Talent Analytics

2.1 Interchangeability of Hr Analytics, People Analytics , Workforce Analytics and Talent Analytics

It is the distinct opinion of the author that HR Analytics is a broader term, which encompasses People Analytics, Workforce Analytics and Talent Analytics. Further, though their processes may be different, yet, the goal is always the same , which is – to enhance business decisions.

The above proposition of author is supported by the reference , hrtechnologist.com . They clearly aver that People Analytics is a synonym of HR Analytics. The only difference is that People Analytics is technically applicable to people.

The above proposition of the author is further substantiated by the reference, harver.com,. In their blog on Talent Analytics , they mention the following:

Sometimes people refer Talent Analytics as Workforce Analytics , Human Capital Analytics or Human Resource Analytics. All these phrases basically mean the same thing. Hence, do not let the terminologies confuse you much more.

Notwithstanding the above, we have made an attempt to elucidate the differences between these four terminologies. Also, it is worth mentioning here, that people are using these four terminologies separately , throughout the world. At the same time, we must keep it in mind that they are integral to each other.

2.2 Difference between People Analytics and Workforce Analytics

Following are the differences between the two.

– Workforce Analytics and People Analytics are the two different concepts, which work in conjunction with each other.

– People Analytics focuses on Analytics applied to personnel and hiring, whereas the Workforce Analytics focuses more on assessment and tools used to drive these decisions.

Suppose a candidate has come for an interview. If you use a set of questions that are decided by data studied from your employees, and other candidates, it is the Workforce Analytics in application. However, when you see the answers given by candidate, and compare them to other answers , from other successful candidates – turned employees, this is called People Analytics (reference: furstperson.com )

– As per reference www.lab.one,in their blog entitled ‘People Analytics vs Workforce Analytics: What is behind these names’, gives their opinion as follows:

People Analytics is a data drive approach to manage people at work and analytics is applied to people issues like hiring, performance management, compensation and retention etc.

However, also, as per above reference, the author of the book ‘The power of people’ describes Workforce Analytics as below:

Workforce Analytics is the discovery ,interpretation and communication of meaningful patterns in workforce related data to inform decision making and improve performance.

They see Workforce Analytics as a term , which encompasses people, robotics and other factors of work force.

2.3 The difference between People Analytics and HR Analytics

In the reference numericalinsights.com, the author Tracy Smith, a recognized Analytics expert, gives her opinion on this as follows :

– When HR Analytics began, the term ‘People Analytics’ did not exist

Years later, People Analytics emerged and its proponents started telling that HR Analytics solves HR problems , but People Analytics solves business problems. But HR Analytics also solves business problems. — Hence, as per Tracy Smith – People Analytics is the duplicate name of HR Analytics.

Difference Between HR Analytics and People Analytics, Workforce Analytics and Talent Analytics
Photographer: Adeolu Eletu | Source: Unsplash

2.4 Differences between HR Analytics, People Analytics, Workforce Analytics and Talent Analytics

As per the reference, crunchapps.com, the author expresses the following opinion on the topic.

– Talented workforce is becoming the increasingly vital issue for improving business outcomes

– Hence, Workforce Analytics must cover best talent acquisition through Talent Analytics

– Though People Analytics, HR Analytics, Workforce Analytics are being used interchangeably, yet, they are not the same

– The difference, which the author gives are

  • HR Analytics captures and measures the functioning of HR Team with respect to KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
  • On the other hand, People Analytics has limitless scope. It includes the approach of measuring and analyzing all the information related to HR, the entire workforce data and customer insights . After that, it knits them together to improve decision making.
  • Workforce analytics encompasses the entire workforce and inclusion of AI and Robots, which will replace current jobs within an organisation.

Sandi Warren , in her blog ,Workforce Analytics and HR Analytics( activtrak.com ), gives the following opinion:

If you do a Google search for “workforce analytics”, you will be served up primarily HR-related topics. Why is that? The term “workforce analytics” is often used by many HR-specific entities and organizations because it describes the type of data collection and analysis, HR departments conduct, with regard to their work forces. The usage of this data has been applied primarily to measuring employee performance, talent management and retention efforts. However, businesses are seeing the value of workforce analytics beyond HR. So, let’s expand its application beyond HR ,to explore, how it can be leveraged by other areas of a business. Workforce analytics can be measured by any department, any function, across teams, and by employees themselves to understand productivity, engagement, collaboration and more. This is the difference between modern Workforce Analytics and HR Analytics.

The author tried to scan literature for ascertaining the differences between Talent Analytics and Workforce Analytics and came to the following conclusions.

  • Talent Analytics basically focuses on talent, its acquisition , choosing the best , based on statistical tools and latest technologies. Use of latest tools make it fool proof, in the sense that results are unbiased and free from human error and prejudices.
  • Academia and universities are using Talent Analytics in an increasing way.
  • Workforce Analytics is being used by software providers. It is helping in an adequate workforce planning of organisations

3.0 Conclusions

Based on the discussions in the preceding sections, we may arrive at the following conclusions:

The four terminologies are used interchangeably.

However, the following opinions have also emerged after scanning the existing literature on the topic:

  • They are used interchangeably and serve the same goals of improving business decisions and performance indices of organisations. However, the processes adopted may be different in each of them
  • Experts often refer them to be synonyms of each other
  • They are integral to each other

Literature Scan has enabled to find out the following distinct differences between Workforce Analytics and People Analytics:

  • People Analytics focuses on analytics applied to personnel and hire, whereas, Workforce Analytics focuses more on the assessments and tools used to drive the decisions.
  • People Analytics is a data drive approach to mange people, hiring issues, performance management, compensation and retention etc.

Workforce Analytics is the discovery and interpretation of meaningful patterns in the workforce related data to inform decision making and improve performance

Talent Analytics is focused on applying statistics and technology to large sets of people, in order to make better operational and managerial decisions. It does so, by using a variety of BI tools and systems to create a more holistic and data driven view of an organisation. Academia and Universities are using Talent Analytics increasingly. It has really turned into a modern concept in analytics , as per them.

If you are looking to upgrade your skills in HR Analytics, you might want to consider a certification in HR Analytics by CHRMP. To learn more click here.

2 thoughts on “What is the Difference Between HR Analytics , People Analytics, Workforce Analytics and Talent Analytics ?”

  1. People analytics entails collecting, analysing, and reporting data. Come discover how and when it is applied to the overall functions of an organisation. https://www.peoplehum.com/blog/getting-started-with-people-analytics-a-modern-guide 

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