Leveraging Analytics to Optimize the Value of the Talent Suite


Talent management is big business within HR. And more and more, unified talent solutions are seen as strategic to achieving long-term enterprise goals. Organizations working with disconnected or outdated systems find they are doing very little to engage their employees or solve real talent problems.

Talent management solutions have been in the cloud for years, but the pace of change to move to cloud-based talent management suites is accelerating. Traditionally, organizations made talent management purchasing decisions based on what they considered to be best-of-breed solutions, which included a focus on efficiency, access to robust functionality and ease of configurability. Today, organizations are focused on usability and creating a more engaging and seamless user experience. They want to give their employees the ability to access information and perform activities on their mobile phones, move throughout the system in a matter of one or two clicks, leverage a common talent profile throughout the application or automatically recommend learning opportunities based on identified competency gaps.

To fully optimize the value of talent suite solutions, an organization must be ready to invest in and focus on HR and talent analytics, which can be integral to solving business challenges. Such analytics can yield important insights for finding and attracting the best talent, improving retention and optimizing workforce performance. The added capabilities made possible through real-time and predictive analytics are increasingly critical to decision making. Common approaches like extracting data from a data warehouse or manually updating spreadsheets can be cumbersome and time consuming. Yet in ISG’s most recent HR Technology and Service Delivery study, most organizations say they still use basic operational or ad hoc reporting to make decisions. In fact, only six percent of organizations are systematically analyzing data to make predictions around key workforce and talent questions.

While most organizations are still at the beginning of their HR analytics journey, those that have easy, real-time access to data across all of the talent management processes can turn that data into meaningful business insight. Such insights can reveal:

  • Who are my top performers across the organization, and who is ready for a new role?
  • Where do my top performers come from?
  • Which top performers are likely to leave?
  • How healthy is my leadership pipeline?
  • Do we have the skillsets to execute on our near-term strategy, and where do I need additional development or external support?

Talent management and HR analytics are two of the fastest-growing areas in HR; 80 percent of respondents to ISG’s survey said they are planning to make a purchase over the next couple of years. This is a clear sign that HR organizations are well on their way to becoming more proactive and analytics-driven so they can optimize their talent management solutions.

Ultimately, HR technology decisions are about achieving business results, not just HR results. And organizations focused on leveraging unified talent and data solutions to improve organizational performance will achieve better business results.

ISG helps enterprises make the most of their HR technology. Contact me to discuss further.

About the author

Stacey is a director and a key contributor to ISG’s human resources and talent-related technology and services. She advises clients on all aspects of human resources engagements, including recruitment process outsourcing and talent management. Stacey is a prolific blogger, and is frequently interviewed by industry publications. With nearly 20 years of experience in solutions strategy, product development, corporate HR, operations delivery, transitions and HR consulting, Stacey has deep operational knowledge of the talent space and her clients’ challenges, as well as a unique ability to ask the right questions to help organizations align their sourcing initiatives with their vision.