People analytics and human capital reporting are developing topics in the HR profession and represent an important step towards using data to make evidence-based decisions – a crucial concept if the profession is to champion better work and working lives. As the capacity and capability of organisations grows there are new and exciting opportunities for HR professionals to use data to inform their decisions. People data is both a useful tool for influencing the business, and also represents an opportunity to demonstrate the impact that HR and the people profession has on the business; whether through increasing productivity and performance, or by measuring employee wellbeing and engagement. Data and analytics are powerful ways by which the people profession can drive improvements throughout organisations.

There are significant risks and opportunities that people professionals face when building their data capabilities as the people analytics and human capital reporting disciplines grow and become more influential throughout businesses. Given the growth in both the volume and veracity of data, the frequency with which data can be used to explore people-related concepts is increasing, but this also means there are new and emerging needs within the capability of the profession to collect, manage, analyse and report data about the workforce. New skills around data science, econometrics, and information technology are needed in analytics functions, if the true value of people data is to be recognised.

The CIPD recognises the value that analytical evidence has to the future people profession. By developing research and insights in to data and analytics practice, we will look to inform how this exciting discipline evolves and becomes a powerful tool for tomorrow’s people professional.

Latest research

Evolution of HR analytics in Asia and the Middle East

To further understand how HR professionals in Asia and the Middle East are developing and applying HR analytics, the CIPD conducted interviews with HR professionals from organisations across a broad selection of sectors.

Human capital analytics and reporting


Much has been written about HR analytics and human capital measurement and reporting over the last 10 years. There are often many accounts of data and analytics radically changing business, or challenging practice, but for many HR professionals the area of practice remains difficult to understand and apply on a day to day basis. There is a lot of hype in the HR analytics space, but peer-reviewed evidence of HR analytics practice and its impact can be hard to come by. Very little is known about HR analytics, and how it links to important theories such as human capital theory and human capital reporting.

The CIPD has published three reports. Two are technical studies, providing a deep and critical interpretation of published evidence:

  • 'Human capital theory: assessing the evidence for the value and importance of people to organisational success'
  • 'Human capital metrics and analytics: assessing the evidence for the value and impact of people data'

The third is a synthesis report of these findings and provides reflections and recommendations based on insights from across the studies:

  • 'Human capital analytics and reporting: exploring theory and evidence'

Access this collection of reports here.

Podcasts on people data


Narrative Reporting

What is your workforce worth? Recorded at the launch of new research, this episode looks at the value of human capital analytics both inside and outside a business.

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Factsheets on analytics


People analytics

Understand what people analytics is, different types of HR data, and the importance of people analytics strategy and process

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