Importance of Industry Knowledge for Workforce Analytics

In order to successfully utilize an HR analytics solution, you must have industry knowledge. This is crucial due to the fact that different industry verticals will vary in terms of their workforce analytics needs. Manufacturers, for example, have very different workforce analytics needs compared to an insurance group or retailer.

As such, companies require various insights as well as data infrastructure from a workforce analytics expert. Understanding the various roles, traits and skills within each industry segment is crucial for any workforce analytics platform.

PKSI is able to deliver those industry insights and knowledge via a specialized Talent Framework that comes from IBM Watson.

Identify Key Metrics for Your Business and HR Department

Your first step before deploying workforce analytics should be to identify the key metrics for your business or industry vertical as well as for your HR department. In other words, figure out which information you need to track given your company’s goals, daily and weekly actions, and more.

This is challenging for most HR departments to determine, which is why they turn to a workforce analytics expert.

Identifying Key Analytics Areas and Challenges for Different Industries

To get you started on identifying the key metrics for your particular HR department and business, take a look at some real-world examples of various industries.

  • In retail, you need to have the ideal number of members on your team. You will lose money from labor costs if you have too many employees on hand during the slow periods but lose money from lost sales if you do not have enough during the busy times. In this case, a key workforce metric would be finding the sweet spot in terms of the number of workers to have on the schedule at a given time.
  • For health care, it is even more important that you are never understaffed since lives are on the line, not just profits. To supplement that, however, health care companies will also need to analyze the roles of each team member. An in-depth analysis can help ensure that each department has the right number of doctors, specialists and nurses. It will further confirm that experienced staff members are spread out evenly.
  • In manufacturing, you can choose the areas that will give you a clearer picture of the specific production costs. Specifically, a workplace analytics expert can help you figure out what percentage of your overall costs that labor accounts for. Analytics can also allow you to spot which areas could become more affordable with new strategies.

Differences in Industry-Specific Jobs and Incorporating Insights into an Analytics Model

Looking at jobs across various industries, it is clear that the priorities will vary to some extent based on your industry. The above example of perfecting staffing with analytics in retail can be applied to any industry.

While retail can focus more on just the numbers themselves, health care would need to further divide the figures into the type of health care staff on the schedule since doctors and specialists fulfill very different roles.

Or you would be unlikely to compare various doctors on time spent with patients since this is likely enforced by appointment times. A similar metric, time spent per product, would make sense in a manufacturing setting or in a retail setting since the situation determines the time.

Once you have the analytics in place, it is time to put that information to good use. In the case of manufacturing, for example, you could use the analytics to determine the appropriate salary for each member of the team or each role based on their performance or contribution.

This could actually apply to a range of industries by using a performance-based compensation differential. That is a metric that shows the pay comparison of a high performer with an average performer. So, a score of 1.3 indicates that most high performers earn 30 percent more compensation than the typical performer. A tool like this becomes particularly helpful in a position that is sales-based, such as in retail.

Or consider some real-world examples of real companies. Sysco, the global food services company, used analytics to connect employee retention and engagement with certain actions on the part of the management. This lets the company improve its retention rate, increasing it to 85 percent from 65 percent. This saved Sysco an estimated $50 million in training and hiring.

Lockheed Martin is a defense and aerospace company. It correlated individual performance with the knowledge-management information, meaning identifying employees with formal training in a particular area.

This helped the company find the top performers and gave them hints of which training programs could potentially lead to the best performance.

The Takeaway

Your particular industry will have its own unique needs in terms of metrics to analyze when working with your workforce analytics expert. When you properly identify those key metrics, you will be able to gain valuable insights that can save your company money in various ways.

Bonnya Mukherjee
Financial Analyst, Pegasus Knowledge Solutions

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