Press Releases

Ventana Research Advises Organizations to Overcome Workforce Analytics Obstacles

Benchmark research finds significant challenges in improving maturity across HR and talent management

Bend, OR / Sep 21, 2010 / by Ventana Research


PLEASANTON, Calif.- Sept. 21st, 2010 -New benchmark research released today by Ventana Research indicates that workforce analytics can help maximize an organization's return on its labor investment and ensure that it retains talent to reach peak business performance. However, businesses are maturing slowly in this area because of continued reliance on traditional metrics and the persistence of significant process and technology barriers.


This major research on Workforce Analytics, the latest from the leading business technology research firm, analyzed input from hundreds of organizations around the world to assess the maturity and direction of their efforts. Ventana Research undertook this benchmark research to acquire real-world information about maturity, trends and best practices in how organizations use analytics and key indicators for workforce and talent management. It explores how they do this now, how their people feel about the current processes and tools, plans they have to change or improve them, and benefits they hope to gain by doing so.


The findings offer fresh research-based information on companies' attitudes toward workforce analytics. They confirm that metrics and key indicators are important for workforce and talent management, used most often to evaluate performance and determine compensation. However, organizations face obstacles in the form of limited availability and substantial dissatisfaction with the process of analytics creation. And most organizations believe they can significantly improve their use of analytics and performance indicators, yet relatively few organizations are ready to proceed with efforts to improve.


Organizations use a variety of workforce metrics created from analytics, revolving largely around issues of performance and finance. More than two-thirds of the participants with management titles said that workforce analytics are very important, and those from the largest organizations said so to an even greater degree. Performance reviews are the most regularly applied type of analytics in half of organizations, and compensation is the area in which analytics are regularly applied most often. Systems that track compensation are the second-most important source for building workforce analytics.


When it comes to using workforce analytics effectively, however, the research found a number of impediments. Analytics are not used comprehensively, and less so in moving down the organization chart: They are generally available to 52 percent of corporate executives, 44 percent of managers and 32 percent of supervisors, but completely available for only 19 percent of company executives, 9 percent of managers and 6 percent of supervisors. KPIs are important to measure the performance of people, but less than one-third (32%) of organizations apply them to the right number of people. Adding to the issue is a lack of timeliness: More than one-third of organizations need three weeks or longer to deliver metrics or KPIs derived from analytics to those who need them.


Nor are most organizations comfortable with the way they handle workforce analytics. Almost half are not satisfied with the process they use to create them, and more than half (55%) said they can improve significantly their use of analytics and KPIs. Participation is particularly important for this area of analytics, but in 40 percent of organizations not all of the right people are involved in establishing performance indicators; they need managers (69%) and senior managers (65%) to be involved.


"The assumption that an organization's most valuable asset is its workforce has been a driving force in the transformation of traditional human resources processes into talent management," said Mark Smith, CEO and EVP of Research at Ventana Research. "To approach the goal of ensuring that everyone in the workforce contributes maximum value, organizations must be able to manage the performance of those people, individually and in departments and lines of business. Yet this important new benchmark research shows that many lack the ability to measure the performance of their workers and derive insights that help them improve with workforce analytics."


Ventana Research will detail the findings of this benchmark research in a live interactive webinar on October 7th, 2010 at 10:00 am Pacific time that will discuss the research findings and offer recommendations for improvement. Key research findings to be discussed will include:


• the current state of organizations' thinking on how to apply analytics for efficient and effective workforce and talent management.

• patterns in the adoption of new methods of analytics in response to the latest thinking on best practices.

• what types of measures, metrics and indicators are most important.

• the current state, future direction of and potential investments in analytics

• existing levels of competency in using workforce analytics.

• attitudes toward workforce analytics software. 


Register for the Webinar


The research was sponsored by eThority and its workforce analytics technology called DataTalent. Those interested in learning more about the benchmark research can find additional information at As a part of your registration you will receive insights and education from Ventana Research on using technology effectively in business.


About Ventana Research

Ventana Research is the leading benchmark research and business technology advisory services firm. We provide insight and expert guidance on trends and mainstream and disruptive technologies. Our unparalleled insights and best practices guidance are based on our rigorous research-based benchmarking of people, processes, information and technology across business and IT functions worldwide. The combination we offer of benchmark research, market coverage and in-depth knowledge of hundreds of technology providers means we can deliver business and technology education and expertise to our clients where and when needed to reduce the time requirements, cost and risk of technology investments. Ventana Research provides the most comprehensive analyst and research coverage in the industry; the many business and IT professionals worldwide who are members of our community benefit from Ventana Research's insights, as do highly regarded media and association partners around the globe. Our views and analyses are distributed daily through blogs and social media channels including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Business Week's Business Exchange. Ventana Research was ranked the #1 analyst firm you can trust in enterprise software for 2009 for its relevance to the industry. To learn how Ventana Research advances the maturity of organizations use of information and technology through benchmark research, education and advisory services, visit

Media: Copies of benchmark research report and interviews are available upon request.


Media Contact: Marisela Reynoso  

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