Workday Podcast: Why the Spotlight Is on People Analytics

How do you measure the quality of the employee experience within your organization? Workday’s Phil Willburn, head of people analytics and insights, discusses how deeper insights into your own data can help improve that experience.

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Using data to make better decisions about people and in what circumstances they can best perform isn’t new. Michael Lewis’s 2003 book “Moneyball,” and the 2011 film that followed, put a big spotlight on strategic statistical analysis, and how a professional baseball team with a relatively small budget could compete with its well-heeled rivals.

Hollywood might not be making movies about the world of HR, but data is having an equally big impact on the HR function, in organizations of all sizes. Phil Willburn, Workday’s head of people analytics and insights, was a recent guest on the Workday Podcast to discuss analytics and its impact on business.

Listen on SoundCloud: Why the Spotlight Is on People Analytics

Listen on Apple Podcasts: Why the Spotlight Is on People Analytics

Below you’ll find a few highlights from the conversation, edited for clarity. You can find our other Workday Podcasts here.

  • “Our weekly Best Workday Survey consists of about 34 questions that we rotate each week. We’re really trying to understand the overall experience of our workmates. Then every single quarter we summarize that data and share it with our people leaders and managers. That sets the tone for a manager to have a conversation with their team to say, ‘You gave me this feedback this quarter, and here's how I'm going to improve over a time period.’" 

  • “The traditional view of retention analysis has been largely focused on what I would call human capital factors such as skills, promotion, compensation, and so on. However, we did research using a social capital lens for retention analysis. Essentially the idea is that not only do your skills impact whether or not you want to stay in an organization, but your social relationships or your connections impact you as well.”

  • “As an organization, you need to own your data. There are a lot of third-party surveys that want to administer your employee experience data. They'll do the analysis, they'll give you some nice dashboards. I think those are great, but your business leaders will always ask you for information that those external vendors can't give you. And if you say, ‘Well, the data is anonymous and a third party has it,’ you'll never be able to answer your leader's questions.”

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