Top 5 books to learn about People Analytics

Pranay Walia

People analytics is the geeky but smarter way to proceed with talent management using statistical insights and big data to predict events and make decisions. Unfortunately, people analytics is often misunderstood and seen to reduce people/employees to numbers, but it is just a tool to understand people better.

According to a Deloitte Insights report, more than 70% of companies worldwide now consider people analytics a high priority which Google’s Project Oxygen case study confirms.

To get you up and running with People analytics, here are 5 book recommendations (and a BONUS).

Top 5 books to learn about People Analytics - 

1. The Basic Principles of People Analytics: Learn how to use HR data to drive better outcomes for your business and employees

The Basic Principles of People Analytics by Erik van Vulpen, will give you a great introduction to the topic and give you a clear understanding of building a people analytics team in your organization. It also teaches how you can leverage the potential of data gathered to drive people and business-oriented results. It's a quick read and requires you to have a statistical or IT background.

2. Data-Driven HR: How to Use Analytics and Metrics to Drive Performance

Data-Driven HR by Bernard Marr will teach you how to practically implement people analytics to support performance management & employee engagement in the company. People analytics is another great tool to identify L&D needs among the employees and coordinate the same as required for their and organizational development.

3. The Practical Guide to HR Analytics: Using Data to Inform, Transform, and Empower HR Decisions

The Practical Guide to HR Analytics is a step-by-step guide to get you started in people analytics. The authors wanted it to be a practical and straightforward approach to using data to address actual challenges in organizations and avoid common mistakes. This book also sheds some light on data presentation through visualization and storytelling.

4. Predictive HR Analytics: Mastering the HR Metric

Unlike the above three books, Predictive HR Analytics by Martin & Kirsten Edwards dives much deeper. It takes you through the process of collecting and interpreting data with the help of examples and SPSS statistics software. This is the right book for you if you work with a larger organization and want to learn more about statistical modeling and analytical methods to do any of these - diversity analysis, employee turnover, or estimate predictive employee turnover.

5. The Power of People: Learn How Successful Organizations Use Workforce Analytics to Improve Business Performance

Authors - Nigel Guenole, Jonathan Ferrar, Sheri Feinzig share different case studies which could be invaluable to any HR professional looking to implement analytical functions into the organization. This could be a good read for HR managers and even C-level executives who want more out of their data analytics, find stakeholder support, or like "quick wins" to build upon and move ahead.


6. BONUS People Analytics

This learning path (Click to open) is a curated collection of resources that'll give you an excellent introduction to people analytics without having to spend hours reading a book.

You'll enjoy learning through videos, webinars, use cases, podcasts, articles, and more.

If you prefer a quick introduction to the topic first, start with this path, then decide if you want to read the other books.


Want to explore more books like this for topics like leadership development or people analytics? We got that covered too at our People Development Library.