New research commissioned by HR software provider Ciphr indicates that only a third of UK employers are fully leveraging their people data to gain real-time insights into their workforce.

The study highlights a significant gap in the utilisation of HR analytics and reporting, which are crucial for strategic decision-making and improving organisational outcomes.

According to the survey, conducted among 300 UK-based HR decision-makers, just 32 percent of HR professionals believe their organisations effectively use people data to make evidence-based, strategic decisions.

This leaves a substantial 68 percent of organisations not fully utilising workforce reporting to better inform their decisions and enhance their outcomes.

The research also reveals that nearly two-thirds (64%) of organisations do not actively seek HR’s input on business decisions, despite HR’s comprehensive understanding of workforce composition and capabilities. This oversight potentially limits the effectiveness of business strategies and planning.

How can it help with overall company performance?

Claire Williams, Chief People and Operations Officer at Ciphr, emphasised the importance of utilising people data for overall company performance. She stated, “It’s important to recognise the impact that utilising people data can have on overall company performance. Businesses that aren’t fully harnessing these powerful insights, particularly for planning ahead, are being incredibly short-sighted. People costs can be at least 80 percent of an organisation’s P&L (profit and loss), so this data should be scrutinised and leveraged in every way possible – the same way many look at their sales, marketing and pipeline data.”

Williams highlighted that understanding workforce dynamics can bolster business confidence, aid in workforce planning, and ensure timely hiring aligned with forecast growth. She noted, “Having an improved understanding of your workforce can help instil business confidence that you can scale your people in line with forecast growth. It can help inform workforce planning so that you can hire ‘just in time’ rather than once the capacity gap has started to impact your customers.”

HR metrics are important

The survey also identified key HR metrics deemed most important by professionals. Employee turnover rate (31%), employee engagement (30%), and quality of hire (30%) topped the list. Other crucial metrics include absence records (27%), employee performance measures or KPIs (26%), reasons for absences, employee training qualifications, and training days per employee (23%, 22%, and 20% respectively). Revenue per employee (17%) and compliance reporting (14%) were also among the top metrics tracked.

Ciphr’s research underscores the necessity for HR teams to access and utilise robust people data, especially as the HR profession gains more recognition for its strategic value at the board level. The complete survey results are available at Ciphr’s website.

Ciphr, based in Reading, UK, is a leading HR software and solutions partner for medium and large organisations. Its integrated HR, payroll, learning, and recruitment software, services, and content provide invaluable insights to HR teams, informing people strategy and fostering organisational growth. Ciphr is dedicated to amplifying the voice and value of HR through intelligent people data solutions that enhance HR’s influence in the boardroom and across the business.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.