As the year comes to an end, we see more and more reviews analysis and forecasts for the year ahead. One of the outstanding ones is published by Forbes where they analyze “Four Key HR Trends To Watch In 2018”. In this forecast, Chee Tung Leong outlines “Shift from Employee Engagement to Employee Experience”; “Race to Digitalize HR”; “People Analytics Entering Organization Structures” and “The ‘Gig Economy’ Redefining the Workplace” we include Mental Fatigue as it is being monitored more and more in high-performance teams in all areas.

In our view, the most significant one is the impact that People Analytics is having in the employer/employee relation and all the consequences spanning thereof that are visible even in the workplace layout.

It’s a fact that in 2017 the increase of companies using people analytics has increased significantly with 69% of the companies studied by Forbes stating that they use it compared with 10-15% last year. This fact is relevant not only due to the number of companies but by what is being done with the data gathered. In our view, the focus on avoiding Mental Fatigue and enhancing performance is directly related to the capability of predicting staff needs, improve a personalized career development striving for a more motivated and productive team.

For next year, we can expect the term “Employee Experience” to be heard more often. The Upgrade from engagement to experience is only available by analyzing data and applying to team members strategies and tactics used by marketing to involve clients and provide them with a positive experience they want to repeat. In team members we want them to be involved, productive and avoid Mental Fatigue and Fatigue created by a hostile work environment and dynamics.

People Analytics

This detailed level of people data analysis is critical not only at the recruitment level where it has made a real and severe impact this year, where we see AI taking over some levels of recruitment selection but also in the internal team structuring. With the employee data available it is clearly possible for an AI to project and estimate the impact a person can have on a team, leading to team structuring being decided by a machine. In our opinion, this data is critical and very useful but should be seasoned by an experienced HR Professional as we know that some people traits and nuances are still invisible to AI no matter how much data they have to project from.

It is very lightly that some companies will have the People Analytics function by 2018. Asian Data Analytics Exchange CEO, Sharala Axyrd stated that 20% of their 2.378 professionals ware SME business owners. The organization is planning to nurture 20.000 data professionals and 2.000 data scientists by 2020 to meet market demands. “We educate businesses, governments, academia, and start-ups, enabling them to rapidly adopt data analytics as an integral part of their operations,” she said.

As more and more companies require data people in different areas the market tries to adapt. Universities are trying to respond to market needs but Academia has its rules and regulations and tends to be slow. This creates a huge gap between market needs and universities’ graduates. Tired of waiting, Microsoft, Linux, and other employers have teamed up with edX, a collaboration started by Harvard and MIT to provide online education that is much easier than brick-and-mortar programs to keep up to date and to disseminate to vast numbers of students simultaneously. The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation in October launched its Talent Pipeline Management Academy, encouraging employers to become involved much more directly in ensuring that the education system produces people with the skills they need.

Keep in mind that according to Gallup, a polling company, while 96 percent of chief academic officers at higher-education institutions say they’re effectively preparing students for work, only 11 percent of business leaders strongly agree.

The gathering of data for HR management becomes more and more critical as these new professionals tend to be in the teams for a shorter time span and some team members (44% in some areas, according to Gallup) choose to work from home or abroad telecommuting. In this case, it becomes harder and harder for the HR professional to access team member’s level of mental fatigue and how to help them achieve top productivity and work-related satisfaction.

This data comes to show why even with great interest from companies and high-level executives, people analytics is having trouble entering the day to day company operations, creating the need for advanced software that presents data ready for analysis by non-data-experts. This is the case of Performetric, the application presents a highly developed dashboard with actionable data that is easy to analyze by team leaders and managers without a high level of data analysis training to access the level of mental fatigue, for instance. The mix between User Experience and Data Analysis is critical to generating actionable information for the team as it is today.