80% of all statistics are made up….

… or is it 63%? or 95%?……

Statistics, when not made up, come from data gathered across organisations, industries and countries. Data that someone else has analysed for us, so that we can use the information to be more effective in all areas of our lives.

From reviewing our home utility bills to  which child car seat to choose to which holiday destination we book.  Data comes in all forms and can be useful, and yet useless at the same time.

In business we attempt to utilise data to help reduce costs and improve profit. Perhaps which marketing or sales techniques are providing you with the best return? Which of your suppliers is the best value for money? Maybe when your office switchboard receives the most calls?

These days we can delve head first into a world of data, but unless someone is turning analysis into action it can all be pretty useless. Understanding your employee population is key to unlocking the additional performance and productivity that impacts on profits. However many organisations it seems, tend to rely on ‘industry trends’ or those reliable newspaper statistics to make sense of the people within their organisation.

So how can analysing people data save your organisation money and improve your profits?

Increasing sales

In any organisation with a staff population there will be someone other than the owner selling. The people in this role will have a responsibility to bring in sales, develop leads and build relationships with potential clients.

Who are your ideal clients? Every sales plan worth its salt overs this, but does your staff population fit with the demographics of your perfect client? If you don’t understand what your organisation actually looks like how will you ensure that the right person is selected to work on each sale?

Take the example of a graduate recruitment fair. At which you are hoping to draw the attention of the top talent within that university to join your organisation when they graduate. You can only take 2 staff members on the day. This is your one chance to sell your organisations graduate scheme to them. Do you take the MD? The finance manager heading to retirement? Or a previous graduate? Who will be able to draw in the university students most effectively?

This is very dependent on the organisation, the role and the industry, but you have to analyse the data to understand which is right for you. By not doing this you could miss out on sales and top talent.

Reducing recruitment costs

“I have to replace my receptionists every year, people these days are fickle and have no company loyalty”

It’s true, the next generation of staff tend to have moved jobs more frequently than previous generations. However if you are having to replace the same role on a regular basis could the common denominator be you?

Analysing leaver data, including length of service, age and sex, as well as actually doing something with the output from exit interviews, can show you the truth behind why you may struggle to retain staff in a particular role.

Take the role of a receptionist – does the role offer little in the way of development and progression? If so then recruiting people with a desire to pursue a career will likely result in them leaving within the space of 2 years. Equally, if a role is very demanding of your skills, knowledge and work life balance, but provides a low remuneration, you are likely to drive away employees.

Understanding why people leave, and often why people stay, can help develop and support a workforce that don’t need replacing regularly. Saving your organisation the obvious, and hidden, costs of recruitment


Future-proofing your workforce

Addressing health and well being issues within the workplace can support a reduction in costs in many areas. Sickness absence being the most obvious.

By highlighting the main reasons for sickness absence, an organisation can support their staff by introducing initiatives or benefits that focus on well being. Depending on the number of employees in your organisation, reducing sickness absence by just 10% could save your organisations considerable costs.

Supporting the well being of your staff population now will help ensure that in the future, a future in which we are working longer, having children later and caring for elderly or unwell relatives more regularly and for much longer, you will have a workforce who are fit, healthy and ready to take on these challenges.


Unless you understand what is actually happening, and what might happen in the future, you cannot plan for how your teams will drive performance and take your business forward.

Delving into the world of People Data requires some forethought. What will the data be used for? What is the organisation looking to achieve? Metrics need to be relevant and add value. They also need to have a decent ROI – spending days every month developing this management information is wasted time if there is no time to do anything with it.

So what People Data do you analyse in your organisation?

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