Blog

What Are Analytics?

Written by David Turetsky

March 4, 2020

What Are Analytics?

I have presented at hundreds of venues.  Talked to thousands of people about how they use data to find insights into how their organization is or is not performing.  Most of the time, it goes just like this:

“How many of you use analytics daily? Ten people raise their hands.

How many of you use reporting daily? Almost all of the audience members raise their hands.

How many of those of you doing reporting daily, dump the resulting report data to Excel?  Almost all of them.

How many of you that dump to Excel run sums, counts, averages, summarize the data including Pivot Tables?  Again, almost all of them.

So, all of you use analytics daily then.  The crowd grumbles and laughs.”

Analytics is something we all do, because it is part of how we need to see the world.  We want to measure things and understand those measurements in context of how we work, live and transact life.  Well then, why are we SO afraid of analytics?  What’s the mystery?  What’s the problem?

I think it comes down to the thought that Analytics is some complex mathematical construct.  There must be some innate concern that if we don’t know advanced mathematics, we can’t use analytics.  That’s just not true.

Analytics provides us with fast, simple methods for comparing where we are right now, how things have changed and how we can find patterns in data that surround us.  The key is to find a metric (turnover, headcount) that makes sense to you and use it as a starting point. For what?

Use it as a starting point to find patterns that enable you to tell stories.  Find the threads of insight in the data that enable you to fee how the data can uncover interesting nuggets of insight.  These nuggets become the foundation to help business leaders make the correlations with the levers they have to make changes in their business to correct and solve for these patterns.

Embracing Fair Pay in the War for Talent

Download our white paper to further understand how organizations across the country are using market data, internal analytics, and strategic communication to establish an equitable pay structure.

about the author
David has over 30 years of experience starting with an Economics and Econometrics degree from the Pennsylvania State University.

Insights You Need to Get It Right

The latest research, expert advice, and compensation best practices all in one place.
Ask This Question Before Transitioning Your Team to Long-Term Remote Work
Ask This Question Before Transitioning Your Team to Long-Term Remote Work Blog
As companies plan their return, some find there may be benefits to maintaining WFH.

Read More

2021 Trends: Compensation & Workforce Transformation
2021 Trends: Compensation & Workforce Transformation Guide
We're seeing a renewed sense of optimism and workforce innovation in 2021.

Read More

DE&I Panel Discussion: Moving the Conversation Forward
DE&I Panel Discussion: Moving the Conversation Forward Webinar
In this panel discussion we will cover what the issue is when improving DE&I.

Read More

Differences Between HR-Reported and Crowd-Sourced Compensation Data
Differences Between HR-Reported and Crowd-Sourced Compensation Data White paper
To make decisions about the value of a job, you need data from a range of sources.

Read More

CompAnalyst Market Data: Smart Matches, Fast Prices, and New Insights
CompAnalyst Market Data: Smart Matches, Fast Prices, and New Insights Product Sheet
The CompAnalyst Market Data platform is easier to use than ever before.

Read More

It's Easy to Get Started

Transform compensation at your organization and get pay right — see how with a personalized demo.