Advancing analytics from insight to action

Navigating the course

While HR functions have long used analytics to understand factors such as hiring, attrition, and engagement that approach is seen by Pathfinders, individuals we interviewed that are putting bold people strategies at the heart of their decisions in the KPMG The future of HR: From flux to flow report, as simply a baseline. Rather than tracking standalone metrics, they are building the value chain required to undertake relational analytics and turn existing insights into tangible action.

Pathfinders have also invested in technology and talent to ensure that insights are connected across the business so they can be interpreted accurately and acted on swiftly. Pathfinders go out of their way to correlate findings in one area to another—bringing disparate datasets together to investigate multiple, often complex underlying factors to properly understand a problem, so as to truly understand the business and their people.

The result for Pathfinders is a strong link between data and decision-making. Interestingly, for our survey respondents,1 36 percent say delivering predictive insight and business value will be a priority in the next few years. Worryingly, only 17 percent ranked analytics first when asked what they are best placed to deliver. This may explain why 53 percent are investing in analytics platforms for their HR function in the next few years, although 38 percent are not.


Workforce analytics can be used throughout an enterprise when considering human capital decisions. Which types of data do you use when making human capital decisions?

Source: KPMG, The future of HR: From flux to flow, November 2022


Bypass the barriers

As important as analytics is to HR functions, data quality, HR capability, and functional integration are all potential barriers to making the best use of it. Data may be unclear, unavailable, or fail to be translated from raw source to valuable insight.

From data to insight to action—navigating the rapids

According to Matt Yerbury, a workforce analytics leader in financial services, who contributed to this year’s Pathfinders research, says Pathfinders see analytics as a value chain. That value chain, in his experience, typically consists of five parts.

The right questions

Understanding exactly what business units need to know is the first step in ensuring that analytics are produced with real commercial value.

Relational analytics

The future of workforce analytics is relational, looking at the multiple factors behind a trend, issue, or problem by combining datasets to reveal deeper insights.

Rich presentation

Setting out the narrative behind the data gives decision-makers an emotional connection to it and a clearer understanding of the actions to take.

Agile execution

Playing back findings is not the end of the analytics value chain. The next stage is to move from insight to action.

Robust data integrity

A workforce analytics team’s “license to operate” is based on trust. Employees must trust that the team is doing the right thing by them and the business, and treating their data securely and confidentially.

Ensuring that integrity will demand:

Strong data governance and ethics frameworks including a data ethics committee

Transparent communications to let people know what is being done with their data, and the governance measures in place to protect it

Careful consideration and internal conversations about how to handle the data required for each new project

Approval to use the data from the relevant data owners within the business

Using the data in an ethical way for the purpose in which it was shared, transparently, and held securely


Without that level of integrity, workers won’t feel comfortable disclosing their data, which means HR can’t provide meaningful insights. Reflections to consider:

For further reading, download the full report:
The future of HR: From flux to flow


1,2 KPMG, The future of HR: From flux to flow, November 2022

Contact us

John Doel

John Doel

Principal, Human Capital Advisory, KPMG US

+1 503-820-6471
Lisa Massman

Lisa Massman

Principal, Human Capital Advisory Leader, KPMG US

+1 213-955-1524
Robin Rasmussen

Robin Rasmussen

Principal, Human Capital Advisory , KPMG US

+1 415-608-1139