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People Analytics is ‘Springing’ into Life in 2022

There are many things which the global COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be possible, in a virtual context – for example: consultancy and advisory services have shifted away from the need to be physically present; whiteboard and ideation sessions have evolved many different approaches, from app’s to alternative thinking methods; and even social events with friends and family were quick to move online.

As People Analytics World 2022 approaches, I’m reflective of this, because we have a mix of in-person and virtual events to enjoy.  Of course, this is an event stacked full of People Analytics professionals, who may naturally start formulating hypothetical investigations in their minds (– it’s difficult to switch it off!):

  • Which medium is more effective?
  • Which reaches a larger audience?
  • How engaged will the audience be?
  • How will the community evolve as in-person events evolve…?

Let’s take the first of these questions… Defining Effectiveness is an important part of the research design.  The planned outcome of a ‘Conference Effectiveness’ model may be professional development: to drive new ideas and promote new boundaries.  When assessing the independent variables, there are several inputs to the model we may choose to consider.

The quality of the content might be expected to be of high importance in a model seeking to drive professional development.  This year’s People Analytics World sees an excellent mix of well-known names treading the boards, along with a high number of practitioners talking through case studies from their organisations and clients. 

The likes of David Green, Jordan Pettman, Jeremy Shapiro, Dirk Jonker, Patrick Coolen and ‘The HRcurator’ (Dave Millner); are joined by a number of academics such as Sjoerd van den Heuvel, Max Blumberg, Alec Levenson and Rob Cross; as well as leaders and practitioners representing at least 28 organisations (at last count). 

Whilst there’s a chance to see and hear from plenty of great technology and service providers, the majority of talks represent case studies. And, in addition, a decent amount of academic and provocative content to give your analytical minds a great workout!

paworld22 presentations
  1. Approximation of People Analytics content types, PAW22

Note – author’s own tagging, not official categorisation

The relevance of the content topics might also feature strongly in such a driver model.  Many organisations are represented and, this year, I see a number of themes arising.  The Maturing of People Analytics is the most noteworthy theme, with leadership and strategy topics relating to creating, growing and nurturing People Analytics teams, as well as optimising for maximum business impact – being represented strongly.  This likely reflects the evolutionary progress of People Analytics to date.

The pandemic has also inspired a number of presentations centred on Workforce Planning or other insights into Working Patterns – providing another theme of note.  The remainder of the case studies really focus on the ‘How’: from the exploration of an opportunity and organising for analysis; to the use of innovative datasets such as Network Analysis; to the impacts of various modelling techniques (including in both R and Python).  Finally, the ever-popular need to put data and analysis in the hands of our customers and constituents remains an important theme, this year. 

  1. Approximation of People Analytics content themes, PAW22

Note – author’s own tagging, not official categorisation

Cutting across some of these Themes, sessions will draw out a number of use case examples, including Diversity & Inclusion, Employee Experience, Skills-based insight, ONA and Text Analytics; as well as Performance, Retention and other Talent processes.  There are some which seem to be moving into new territories for People Analytics conferences, which I’ll be most looking forward to – such as Max Blumberg’s “Hacking a Meaningful People Analytics Career”; Rob Cross’ “High Performance Hybrid Working”; Frauke Austermann’s “Google your HR Data: How a good UX can make HR More data-driven”; and Nelson Spencer’s “How to win: lessons from sports analytics in gaining an edge”.

Finally (cue: shameless plug!) I am fortunate to be moderating a couple of the online sessions, this year, so do come and join me for:

Codifying all this into a predictive model, I would hypothesise the event to be a highly effective experience for those looking to expand their people analytics capability and/or explore new horizons for their organisations!

mark lawrence

Mark Lawrence

Head of People Analytics, HR Analytics and Reporting