People Analytics

People analytics is a rapidly growing discipline of interest to businesses. With access to more data and new visualisation and analytical tools a wide range of companies are beginning to apply mathematical, statistical, data mining and other OR techniques to HR and business data to try and understand and resolve HR-related business problems, such as:

  • Workforce modelling
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • People surveys
  • Talent management
  • Paybill modelling
  • Performance management
  • Estates modelling
  • Workplace Analytics
  • Wellbeing

The aim of this group is to share knowledge and best practise, and to promote more widely the use of OR techniques in the area of HR decision making. Alongside this, the group provides a forum for members to explore new thinking and techniques applicable to HR, as well as some of the challenges faced in using HR data and working with HR professionals.

Our most recent events

At our webinar on 21st October 2021, we were pleased to introduce Sion Cave and Jerome Wynne to the group - they gave a presentation about how they created a suite of tools to showcase the utility of job vacancy descriptions for providing insight into workforce skill requirements within a public sector organisation. 

On 10th March 2022, the People Analytics SIG welcomed Ashwini Uthrapathi Shalila (Senior Manager People Analytics, PVH Corp) to their meeting to talk about her experiences of working in People Analytics, focusing on how People Analytics teams can be set up in smaller organisations.

May 19th saw a joint event with WORAN (Women in OR and Analytics Network), with a talk by Harminder Mann, an Operational Researcher from the Department for Transport, on analysing the communicating the drivers of the gender pay gap.

The slides presented by the speakers, plus notes from the meetings are in the document list below.

Forthcoming events

Our next meeting will be a webinar on the theme of wellbeing at work - details and the link to register for this event are on this page. We will hold our AGM on 28th September 2022 (between 13:00 and 15:00), and are looking for new members to join the committee at the meeting - please get in touch with [email protected] if you are interested in getting involved.

Get involved

We are always interested in hearing from people interested in getting involved with the People Analytics SIG - please get in touch using the contact form if you would like to find out more about the group or help organise an event.

Sign up for the mailing list below if you would like to be kept informed of events and meetings as they come up.

Committee details

Katie Gronow Chair
Catriona Smith Secretary
Hazel Challenger, Maureen Usiagwu and Emma Watson Events and Network

Join us for our next event

15 June 2022, 12.30 - 14.00: Wellbeing at Work

The definitions of wellbeing vary, with wellbeing is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy’ and the World Health Organisation (WHO) defining mental health as 'a state of wellbeing in which the individual realises his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community’.

Employee wellbeing has expanded beyond physical wellbeing to focus on factors including culture, emotional, autonomy, social, engagement, and purpose. At the heart of this is the growing need for flexibility in where, when, and how employees work, with many employers looking to embed changes in working practices resulting from the pandemic. Wellbeing also brings with it challenges around how it is understood in organisational contexts and how it can be meaningfully measured.

At this event Affinity Health at Work will set out what constitutes wellbeing at work, the current context as well as considering potential measures. Microsoft will demonstrate how data can be used to support wellbeing in the workplace with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) providing a case study of how Organisational Network Analysis has been applied.



Welcome from Katie Gronow (Chair of the People Analytics SIG Committee)


Scene setting: Wellbeing at work – Dr Jo Yarker, Managing Partner, Affinity Health at Work

Employee wellbeing is increasingly a board priority, and many organisations are investing in activities to support and promote the health and wellbeing of their people. All too often however, investments are not realised as interventions are not sufficiently supported or do not reach those most in need. This session will introduce the field of wellbeing at work, current thinking on what drives wellbeing and how it can be measured. We will consider how data can be used to accelerate our understanding of what works, for whom, when - and to help organisations to make better policy and practice decisions.


Presentation 1: Using data to measure Wellbeing in the workplace, Jasminder Thind, Employee Experience Solutions Team, Microsoft

Traditional methods of measuring employee wellbeing are usually limited to yearly employee surveys, but what do you do if they show that everybody is feeling burnt out? Behavioural data can empower you to unlock the mystery behind work patterns and trends that are most detrimental for employees in your organisation. In this session, learn how Microsoft Viva Insights can guide you to design strategic interventions to effectively target and improve employee wellbeing.


Presentation 2: Understanding and steering departmental culture through Organisational Network Analysis – Tom Wilkinson, Head of Data Science, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)

Going beyond monitoring departments’ sustainable working patterns, anonymised behavioural data like that in Microsoft Viva insights can be used with the powerful tools of Organisational Network Analysis (ONA) to measure much subtler collaboration patterns across departments – like Trust, Siloing and Agility. Tom Wilkinson from the FCDO will showcase some of their cutting-edge work to help leaders keep track of how their organisation is changing like never before, with support from Microsoft and their ONA team.


Wrap up




About the Speakers

Dr Jo Yarker, Managing Partner, Affinity Health at Work

Jo is a Reader at Birkbeck, University of London and Managing Partner of Affinity Health at Work. She conducts pioneering research and leads on strategy development, risk management and training and development programmes in the field of wellbeing at work. She contributes to national guidance and publishes widely to share new knowledge, evidence and tools to promote and sustain health and wellbeing at work.

Jasminder Thind, Employee Experience Solutions Team, Microsoft

Jasminder is a part of the Microsoft Employee Experience Solutions Team. She specialises in Behavioural Analytics and works closely with leaders across the public sector looking to use cutting-edge technology to improve overall employee experience, identify drivers of engagement and productivity, and deliver targeted actions to create meaningful impact.

Tom Wilkinson, Head of Data Science, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)

Tom is Head of Data Science for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, responsible for FCDO’s Data Science strategy, while also delivering and scoping data science projects and providing technical consultancy for externally commissioned projects – like predicting conflict globally. He previously also oversaw an embedded ONS team, working on global good Data Science tools and skills building across the international development community – like satellite-based estimates of economic activity. He previously led in the Department for International Development on Data Science, Data Architecture and self-service Data Analytics. He started out in government as an Operational Researcher in the Ministry of Justice’s Big Data and Exploratory Modelling team, alongside which he drafted the first professional and recruitment cross-HMG frameworks for Data Science, as well as establishing a systems thinking service to help policymakers engage with analysts generally. Tom’s Complexity Economics PhD modelled society as networks of various trust relationships, as well as probing the philosophical underpinnings of Economics and various Statistical epistemologies.


Register here



Related Documents

Sort By
  • Title
  • Author
  • Published
  • Rev
Title Author Published Rev
Wellbeing at work Dr Jo Yarker 21/06/2022 1.00  
Improve employee wellbeing with Microsoft Viva Insights Jasminder Thind 21/06/2022 1.10  
Joint WORAN and People Analytics SIG event on gender pay gap Sheema Noorain 08/06/2022 1.10  
People Analytics SIG - Wellbeing at Work meeting agenda Catriona Smith 08/06/2022 1.00  
People Analytics SIG - Wellbeing at Work meeting programme Catriona Smith 08/06/2022 1.00  

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