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Workforce Analytics For Tracking Employees Behavior Through Power BI

During the recent COVID pandemic, the traditional 9-to-5 workday changed significantly. It also changed the way people used to work. Experts say that the impact of the outbreak is supposed to linger for a while. Therefore, it has become increasingly important for organizations to take immediate action for managing and mitigating the impact of COVID Pandemic and remote working on their workforce.

The people and HR functions are trying hard to reshape the organizational response to this unpredicted and unprepared remote working scenario. But, let us thank Workforce Analytics for making everything so easy. It continues to play a crucial role in transforming the Human Resource strategy. Organizations and their C-Suite executives are now understanding the importance of talent-related data for managing recruitment, engagement, retention, turnover, and much more.


Work and worker both have evolved. In the last few decades, many businesses went global, changing demographics and changing patterns of mobility. Engaging and integrating with the global workforce is the primary objective of many. Using analytics at the workplace helps organizations to stay competitive.

What is Workforce Analytics?

It is a set of tools and methodologies adopted to measure employee behavior, performance, and employee processes. It is the process of utilizing data-based intelligence reports to enhance any HR-related decision-making, like aligning wages with employee performance and managing top talent.

Any data related to recruitment and management is stressful and complex to handle. However, trusted workforce analytics solutions help leverage big data, resulting in well-informed workplace decisions and nearly accurate predictions.

Regardless of niche and experience, most organizations have a massive amount of data, either not organized correctly or not employed well. The analytics software allows HRs to collate, arrange, and transform all such data into valuable information.

Importance and Advantages of Workplace Analytics

For a business, nothing is more important than its people. However, the ‘people‘ part in the workforce is often a complex dimension to turn into statistics. Even harder to limit it to opportunities for quantitative observation, refinement, and improvement. What if organizations could quantify the people element in a more streamlined way?

Workforce analytics software is a minor part of a broader people analytics solution, also called HR analytics. If people analytics is an encompassing perspective referring to all the aspects of acquiring and managing employees; then, workforce analytics is a narrowed version focusing on workforce planning issues.

A 2015 report by Deloitte revealed that over 35% of companies were developing HR data analysis capabilities. But, today majority of large organizations have incorporated analytics capabilities at their workplaces. Besides, about 70 percent of company executives cite people analytics as a top priority.

Importance of Workforce Analytics

Workforce Analytics helps HR teams to track and measure data related to employees. This data helps them to optimize the human resource for their respective organizations.

Apart from hiring and firing, it concentrates on return on value for every new hire. While evaluating existing employees, it focuses on employee trends, employee behavior, employee productivity, and employee engagement. Besides, it plays a significant role in interpreting the historical trends for creating actionable predictive models. These results yield insights often considered for better decision-making.

Here is why your organization needs a workforce analytics system,

  • To determine the probability of success of an individual employee.
  • Identify the need for new people and new departments.
  • To find out departments needing reassignment and rearrangements.
  • To understand and quantify risk factors associated with specific employees.
  • Track and analyze the elements influencing employee engagement resulting in job satisfaction.
  • To access the current and future technology needs.
  • To assign tasks and delegate responsibilities.
  • Help identify and nurture future leaders.

Advantages of Workforce Analytics

Optimize and Reduce Recruiting Costs

According to Forbes, bad hiring decisions cost employers more than 30% of the amount earned by that employee in one year.

Workplace analytics plays a critical role in improving the quality of hiring decisions. Additionally, it easily distinguishes top candidates, transforms the workforce to become competent and professional, and reduces unnecessary expenses over time.

Minimize Employee Turnover and Maximize Retention

A 2016 report confirmed that the average annual employee turnover is 19% in the US and projected to skyrocket in the coming years.

In 2018, 41 million top talents voluntarily quit their jobs, according to Work Institute, a consulting firm in Tennessee. There are different factors why employees are unhappy with their career, including low salaries, stressful working environment, and more.

Workplace analytics plays a crucial role in understanding employee behavior and improving employee retention. It helps organizations adopt an individualized workforce method that resonates with their cultures and keeps top talents on board for more time.

Tracking Employee Engagement

They say, “engaged employees are more committed, faithful, and productive”. By tracking employee engagement, you extend a feeling that you appreciate and understand your employees. It positively motivates your employees and eventually helps in collecting candid feedback. Some key metrics to track with employee engagement are employee retention, development planning milestones, and interpreting work-life balance.

A study on employee satisfaction noticed that engaged employees outperform their peers that are usually not engaged. Companies with higher employee engagement rates are 21% more profitable. Research by Gallup found that 41% lower absenteeism in workplaces that are highly engaged.

Do you know, it costs around $4129 for a company to hire new talent and around $986 to onboard them. So, whenever an experienced or skilled employee walk out of the door, a company bears a loss of about $5000.

Key Metrics to Track While Implementing Workforce Analytics

Applying analytics at the workplace offers many possibilities. But not all organizations reap the benefits of talent analytics right away. Yes, the implementation is challenging. Knowing what metrics to track during the process can minimize the trouble and ensure business success.

Retention Rate Per Manager

A 2019 LinkedIn report has confirmed that a well-managed team experiences higher employee retention.

When implementing workforce analytics software, it is crucial to track employee retention rates for regional heads, team leaders, individual managers, or business unit levels to measure if employees feel valued.


The majority of organizations are undergoing digital transformation. Also, they provide their team full access to data dashboards, automate business operations, and integrate new productivity apps into transactions. But the job does not stop there. It is excellent to monitor employee performance that enables you to make smarter decisions.

Understanding Predictive, Prescriptive, and Diagnostic Analytics

Workforce analytics comes in different types. But the most common categories are predictive, prescriptive, and diagnostic analytics.

  • Predictive Analytics: Predictive analytics is a part of analytic insights that uses data, statistical algorithms, machine learning techniques for identifying the likelihood of future outcomes. The likelihood of predictions often considers historical data. The objective of predictive analytics is to go beyond what happened to predict or assess what will happen in the future.
  • Prescriptive Analytics: Prescriptive analytics is a process of analyzing available data to provide an instant recommendation or the best available course of action for optimizing business practices suiting multiple predicted outcomes. Prescriptive analytics is the most recent addition to the business analytics landscape.
  • Diagnostic Analytics: As the name suggests, diagnostic analytics analyzes the answer to “Why did this happen?” using available data. It takes a deep dive into the data to provide the most valuable insights. It uses different techniques such as data drill-down, data discovery, data mining, and correlations to uncover the reasons behind specific results.

Microsoft Power BI as Workforce Analytics Tool

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The COVID pandemic forced global organizations to change their workplaces overnight fundamentally. This sudden transition has become a “new normal.” It has compelled organizations to ponder over how it would impact their business and the productivity of individuals. All the organizations are seeking new ways of employee engagement to prevent work culture from getting hampered. Moreover, they also think about how this new normal supposedly impacts employee work-life balance and organizational health.

As everyone is getting used to remote workplaces, we notice some changes like meetings are getting shorter, an increasing trend of quick check-ins, one-on-ones, and a significant increase in scheduled social meetings. The remote workforce is collaborating four more hours every week, and some managers, spending additional 8 hours per week to take the heat.

Now the question is will global organizations find an answer to all the burgeoning issues? The answer lies in Microsoft Power BI – using it as the workplace analytics tool.

Microsoft Power BI as a workplace analytics tool considers the Dynamics 365 metadata, including emails, chats, meetings, etc., for providing actionable insights to understand

  • How employees spend their time.
  • The way employees collaborate and communicate internally and externally
  • The effectiveness achieved and productivity rendered.

It collects all the information from numerous sources and brings it to one place so that you can view your assets with a click of a mouse.

Previously, establishing an analytical environment for sharing advanced reporting and monitoring data used to be much difficult. But Microsoft Power BI makes it effortless.

Tracking HR Key Performance Indicators in Power BI

It takes a few months or even years to adjust in an organization that newly implements workforce analytics.

After implementing workforce analytics, it is time to track whether it is successful or not. While there are factors that run in your mind, measure new hire retention, recruitment, average retirement age, and training efficiency.

Here are some key HR metrics that you need to track in Power BI

  • New Hire Retention: By tracking new hire retention, HRs can measure the effectiveness of current HR strategies and new initiatives like formal onboarding programs or offering health benefits, etc.
  • Average Retirement Age: Tracking the average retirement age is a crucial HR metric. It tells employees who will start retiring and the rate with which they will be doing so.
  • Training Efficiency: By tracking training effectiveness, HR can identify and address the issues related to course content, delivery, and interaction before deploying the courses. Furthermore, it empowers HRs to personalize the training efficiency as per existing knowledge and skill gaps in the organization.

There are many factors that either affect or increase employee productivity. These include the working environment, employee engagement, career advancement, training, and technology.

But how to determine if your team is productive every day? It is tricky. But with analytic tools like Power BI, tracking productivity will not be a brainer. It will hone your human resources, find ways to empower your team, boost organizational efficiency, and make colleagues happier than ever.


Low employee retention? High recruitment costs? Low-quality results? Whatever your case may be, workforce analytics like Power BI is a long-term investment you should not miss.

Errin OConnor

Errin OConnor

With over 25 years of experience in Information Technology and Management Consulting, Errin O’Connor has led hundreds of large-scale enterprise implementations from Business Intelligence, Power BI, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, IT Security, Azure and Hybrid Cloud efforts for over 165 Fortune 500 companies.

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