Using People Analytics to Manage Uncertainty

Aug 17, 2022

Using People Analytics to Manage Uncertainty

Change is only scary if you don’t expect and prepare for it. 

It’s the difference between adapting while continuing to move forward or pulling over to the side of the road while you consult a roadmap. The potential losses in terms of time, productivity, revenue, market share, and employee motivation can be catastrophic to your business.  

Change is the only certainty in a world of uncertainty. It can come in various forms that may be internal or external to your organization.  

New leadership, changes in the workforce, or changes in employee availability, sentiment, or needs may cause internal change. It may even be because of changes in physical infrastructure or assets. 

On the other hand, we may attribute external change to anything from market forces or competition to innovation and a business environment in flux.  

During these times of change and uncertainty, your organization’s survival depends on having access to relevant, current data to understand the changing reality and help inform decision-making to adapt quickly. The power of people analytics to solve business problems has become more critical than ever. 

Despite the recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and many industries being forced to cut costs wherever possible, RedThread Research found that the people analytics market grew 35% from 2019 to 2020. It makes sense for companies that recognize its value to turn to investment in people analytics during uncertain and disruptive times. 

In previous blogs, we highlighted one of the first things you need to do before implementing people analytics

Determine the business problem you want to solve or the questions you want to answer.  

That first step lends focus and purpose to your practice. 

In times of uncertainty, that question becomes 

  • What parts of the business are most vulnerable? 
  • What do I need to do to adapt quickly to prevent loss and ensure continuity? 

With the real-time data and bird's-eye view of the organization, the unknown is merely another contingency your business can anticipate and plan for. 

 The 7 Ps of Using People Analytics to Manage Uncertainty

  People Analytics to Manage Uncertainty

Prepare and Plan  

The slogan “be prepared” applies not only to boy scouts. In fact, this should be the purpose and motto of every organization’s business continuity, resiliency, and disaster recovery plan.  

The first step in this process is the acquisition and analysis of data. A critical part of this exercise is ensuring the quality and management of data. 

Remember, this data is crucial in business impact analysis to identify the effects of any disruption of business processes and decide on recovery strategies. 

Your priority? Those areas with the highest potential operational and financial impact.  

What you choose to prioritize will vary by industry and organization, but two potential areas are leadership and workforce.  

Succession planning is one form of preparation for the unknown. People analytics will help identify the talent with the highest leadership potential and the best fit to be leaders-in-waiting for critical roles.  

Similarly, strategic workforce planning entails looking into the near future to anticipate the optimal talent distribution based on internal capacity, external labor market, any gaps, risks, and ultimately, what capabilities you need to deliver the business strategy.    

Pay Attention 

It's essential to know what's happening in and around your organization. Monitoring and reporting require access to different types of data from various sources. Data integration and visualizations are your friends.  

Employee listening and monitoring the market and your competition are a few things you need to manage unexpected changes that may require a timely response.  

Descriptive analytics will tell you what happened and what is happening in real-time.  


 Naturally, the antidote to uncertainty would be the ability to predict the future. Predictive analytics involves data mining, predictive modeling, and machine learning to analyze real-time and historical data to make predictions. It will enable you to identify risks and opportunities and empower your leaders in decision-making. 

Prevent and Prescribe 

Once you have identified potential risks, it is up to leaders to take measures to avert disaster.  

Prescriptive analytics provides the solution to preventing these disastrous outcomes. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of decision-making by progressing beyond descriptive and predictive analyses to use data insights to model “what should happen.”  

By employing AI, machine learning, and algorithms to simulate various approaches to potential outcomes, you save time by connecting the dots that senior executives would typically have to connect themselves. It maps the path to success by producing a roadmap cheat sheet, eliminating the agony of trial and error by recommending what to do and how to get it right the first time.   


Once you’ve determined what could happen using predictive analytics or what should happen with prescriptive analytics, you will need to act on what you know.  

But when executing, keep in mind that uncertainty looms, so you must remain nimble.  

People analytics enables you to be agile because you have ready access to real-time data for daily progress reviews. 

 Facing an uncertain future becomes considerably less daunting with a robust people analytics practice in place to safeguard the survival of your organization.

To learn more on People Analytics download our eBook...

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About Pixentia

Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.

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