- Tech Crunch reports that Microsoft is making Workplace Analytics, data-collecting software, available to employers for measuring productivity. Last year, the tech giant introduced MyAnalytics for workers to track their own productivity without employers seeing the results. Now the tool is available to executives and managers.
- Based on Microsoft Graph, the data the company collects on software end-users, Work Analytics initially will glean data from calendars and emails. Tracking will focus on four productivity areas: weekly collaborations, meetings, management coaching and employee connectivity.
- Alym Rayani, director for Microsoft's Office 365, told Tech Crunch that increasing employee engagement and productivity will be a major priority of forward-moving organizations.
Josh Bersin, Bersin by Deloitte founder and author of Everything Is Becoming Digital, predicted that people analytics would shift from being an HR niche to a full business function requiring more streamlined systems. HR leaders that haven't made the shift in this digital age won't have the competitive edge their organizations will need to move forward.
Data and its analyses are so invaluable that major data-based conglomerates have purchased other big-data sources focused on jobs data. Microsoft bought LinkedIn, Randstad Holdings acquired Monster, and Yahoo, now owned by Verizon, bought HotJobs. Data has so far been seen as a lucrative investment, as many companies are seeking any solution to solve their talent woes—and data-driven approaches to the issue have gotten a lot of attention.
CHROs who understand the challenges of recruiting, retaining and engaging employees are relying on people analytics to make crucial decisions in those areas. Finding solid analytics talent may continue to be a struggle as data gathering moves toward AI and machine learning, as the skillset is fairly specialized. But for companies just dipping their toes into the data pond, an HR practitioner with a willingness to learn can be taught how to use data to advance HR goals.