In our latest guide to people analytics, we talked about its benefits, best practices, and training tips. Next up, we’d like to go over the practical aspects: tools and implementation. HR analytics tools and software are a stumbling rock for many HR teams. As a rule, small and medium teams don’t have enough of a budget to bring in software developers and dedicated HR analytics specialists to the team. Luckily, there are plenty of available HR analytics tools on the market. In this blog post, we’ll review the most popular HR analytics software you can use with your team in everyday work. Read on!
Whenever we think about Python, we associate it with a programming language meant for data analysts, data scientists, mathematicians, and other fancy professions. However, Python’s use cases are versatile, and HR managers can also reap its benefits. So, what makes Python such a popular people analytics tool?
First, Python offers an easy-to-read minimalistic syntax that can be parsed almost like human speech.
Second, there’s a low barrier to entry. On average, it takes 7-10 days to learn the syntax and the same amount of time to start writing simple scripts. The overall learning curve takes 3-4 months. That’s why Python is popular among people in business management (entrepreneurs, analysts, economists, HR managers, etc.) that usually lack the time to dive deeply into a programming language and have a need to tackle problems right away.
With that said, it’s no wonder that Python is a top competency in data analyst job vacancies from a junior to a senior level. This programming language provides vast opportunities for people analytics like Big Data analysis, forecasting talent market trends, data visualization, and more.
Python is often compared to R, another analytical programming language. Let’s see how they differ and what they have in common.
R is the pick for you if you’re dealing with lots of statistical analysis and calculations, studying large data arrays, and data visualization. Out of the box, this programming language comes standard with a set of algorithms applicable to machine learning, for example, time-series analysis, clustering, linear modeling, and more.
R isn’t as intuitive and laconic as Python. However, it’s still learner-friendly and has much to offer, like free open-source packages for statistical analysis, analytics, and graphics; vibrant community and support from peers; and other useful features.
SQL is another popular programming language among HR analysts, even though it requires advanced programming skills. It’s a robust data analysis and transformation tool that allows knowledge SQL developers the ability to adeptly navigate and use databases. In fact, that very concept in reflected in SQL’s name, which means “structured query language.”
Thus, working knowledge of SQL allows HR analysts to retrieve data quickly, process it, and transform it to a readable format without additional help from developers. Data analysts often learn SQL along with Python or R languages to analyze and visualize the data.
HR analytics tools
In this section, we’ll review prominent people analytics tools that don’t require an in-depth technical background and/or programming skills. Additionally, these tools are suitable for teams of any kind: from SMBs to enterprises.
1. Microsoft Excel
After all this time, good old MS Excel is still a thing. Practically any HR analyst or a specialist involved with people analytics starts by using Excel to manage HR data. In the right hands, Excel can be a powerful HR analytics tool and help with:
- Data management. Excel helps you create complex databases, store a massive amount of information, and retrieve necessary data with handy filters and formulas.
- Data analysis. By default, Excel provides various statistics tools, formulas, and pivot tables for data analysis. Moreover, you can download add-ons that significantly extend the default capabilities of Excel with data analysis methods like Fourier’s analysis, descriptive statistics, two-way ANOVA, and more.
- Data visualization is one of the in-demand IT skills for 2022, and it’s also one of the pillars of data analytics. With Excel, you can use built-in tools and functions for data visualization and presentation-ready visuals such as dashboards and charts of all kinds.
2. Power BI
Power BI comes in handy when dealing with a large amount of data in various formats and from scattered sources. This tool helps you store, analyze, and transform the accumulated data into dynamic dashboard-like reports.
As a rule, this tool is treated as an Excel replacement, which may not be suitable for enterprise-scale organizations. Power BI brings the best of both worlds: an Excel-like straightforward interface, as well as vast data analytics capabilities. On top of that, Power BI integrates with other Microsoft products so that you can turn it into an advanced tool for HR metrics analytics.
While Power BI doesn’t require any programming skills, it provides all capabilities for managing inconsistent data from different sources, automating data sourcing, and creating interactive dashboards. Power BI can be applied to typical HR functions like workforce headcount, attrition and turnover rates, KPI fulfillment, and more.
If you’ve ever seen beautiful, vivid, and easy-to-interpret HR dashboards, there’ a high chance they were created with the Tableau tool.
Tableau is a data visualization tool that fetches data from different sources, such as databases, Google Sheets, and Excel spreadsheets. It compiles it to graphs, charts, dashboards – practically any view you can think of.
It’s prevalent among business analysts, marketers, and managers that work with data daily and need to organize it for reporting and decision-making.
Tableau also offers excellent customization opportunities, doesn’t require any programming skills, and has a low barrier to entry. For users with practical experience in Excel pivot tables or Power BI, Tableau can be easily mastered in a short period.
HR analytics software
Sometimes, you need an ultimate set of tools to tackle your people analytics challenges. HR analytics software helps you with all typical people analytics tasks that may come your way: from data fetching and accumulation to further analytics and reporting.
Market Intelligence by HRForecast
For a true easy-to-use all-in-one tool, it’s worth mentioning our Market Intelligence, the ultimate people analytics platform.
Market Intelligence is the perfect choice for teams that don’t want to dilute their efforts by learning and maintaining a bunch of disparate HR analytics tools.
Our platform allows you to:
- Generate insights from the external talent market and its trends.
- Analyze your competitors and benchmark against them.
- Build future-proof workforce and operating models through market insights and future skills.
- Build business intelligence dashboards and streamline the reporting process.
On top of that, Market Intelligence helps you make better recruitment decisions with insights on competitor hiring white spots, geographical workforce trends, and more.