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5 steps towards impactful HR analyses and reports

Collecting all the relevant HR data within your organisation is one thing. Turning them into actionable and impactful insights is something else entirely. That’s where data analysis and intuitive reporting come in…

    #1 Define your HR metrics in relation to your organisational KPIs

    Based on the overall goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) of your organisation, propose the HR metrics that are most likely to influence these KPIs. Depending on your KPIs, different metrics can measure different things. Some examples:

    • Absenteeism can be used to measure productivity or offer insights into overall employee health and/or happiness.
    • Employee turnover data can be used to develop a plan to improve the quality of hires or to identify gaps in the employee experience that cause people to leave.
    • Personnel costs, staff productivity and employees’ time use can measure how efficient your organisation is at enabling revenue generation through employees.
    • Talent management efficiency can be evaluated by analysing performance improvement, test scores and upward transition in your employees’ roles within your organisation after you’ve provided training opportunities.
    • Staff planning and capacity data can help determine the absence of a specific skill to fill a new type of job or the lack of qualified employees to fill leadership positions, for instance.
    • Diversity and inclusion data can not only help you fine-tune your recruitment strategy, but it can also inform you about the effectiveness of your employer branding efforts.
      Koen Cuyckens
      The same HR metrics can measure different things. A well-thought-out and commonly shared definition of your KPIs is therefore essential.
      Koen Cuyckens
      Koen Cuyckens, HR Research & Intelligence, SD Worx

      #2 Determine the reporting frequency in the short and long run

      Not every kind of HR metric needs to be followed up at the same frequency. To avoid under- or overanalysing, carefully determine the reporting frequency up front. Aspects that have a short-term impact on your business (such as absenteeism, staff productivity and time use, or staff planning and capacity) may benefit from weekly to monthly reporting. Meanwhile, quarterly or even annual reporting could be more relevant for long-term developments such as training and talent development, personnel costs, staff wellbeing and employee turnover.

        #3 Consolidate your reporting in an intuitive way

        User-friendly visualisation is key when reporting HR analytics. Various tools and platform can help you standardise this process by presenting your data through static and dynamic dashboards, charts, graphs and other visuals. However, it’s important to strike the right balance between customised and standardised reporting. After all, the ability to create ad hoc reports can be useful to provide insights in specific cases.


          Make sure to keep things as uncluttered as possible. If you report on too many variables at once, you risk not seeing the forest for the trees. In this regard, most companies today report on five main areas:

          • staff wellbeing, satisfaction and engagement,
          • staff productivity,
          • learning and talent development,
          • personnel costs,
          • finding, recruiting and selecting talent.
            Lorenzo Andolfi
            When it comes to HR data consolidation, customised and standardised reporting ideally go hand in hand in a balanced way.
            Lorenzo Andolfi
            Lorenzo Andolfi, HR Research & Intelligence, SD Worx

            #4 Benchmark your analytics to make informed decisions

            In HR analytics, reports are currently mostly used in a descriptive, diagnostic or predictive way. To move from this kind of reporting to decision-making and action-taking, it’s crucial to compare your analytics with standardised data from other organisations within your industry. You’ll also need to compare the data with your own zero measurements and/or your own internal benchmarks (e.g., between departments, compared to historic data, etc.). This is a powerful method to reveal best practices and identify areas of continuous improvement.

            Depending on the technology at your disposal, you can also choose to use simulative or prescriptive reports, where recommended actions are automatically generated for you.

              Kevin Cardoen
              HR analytics is a powerful tool to reveal areas of continuous improvement within your organisation.
              Kevin Cardoen
              Kevin Cardoen, Data & Insights Expert, SD Worx

              #5 Communicate how the analytics impact the organisation

              Showcasing the return-on-investment of HR and people analytics is key to convincing your organisation’s leadership of the long-term benefits. Be sure to communicate how the analytics connect to goals and objectives that benefit the organisation as a whole, such as improving talent acquisition and staff retention, increasing productivity, uncovering skill gaps, etc.

              Additionally, communicating these results internally can also help develop and sustain employee engagement. After all, by showing how their data and feedback are being used for the benefit of all, you might just give their motivation a boost. What’s more, using data to tell and visualise a story could add to the effectiveness of your communication.

                Data and Insigths: HR data reporting

                  Want to make your HR analytics work for you?

                  By consolidating data and making it readily available, SD Worx can help your business stay ahead of the curve, spot trends, identify risks and provide meaningful insights to your organisation’s executive management team. What’s more, you can:

                  • choose one of various off-the-shelf payroll and HR analytics and data tools – offering you standard dashboards and reports to use instantly.
                  • benefit from customisable solutions allowing you to benchmark your own data against the rich HR data collections provided by SD Worx.

                  Whichever option you choose, you’ll always have the relevant analytics and easy-to-use reports and dashboards you need.

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