People Analytics Tech Vendors: What You Need to Know

December 30th, 2019

As you may have seen, we launched our report on the broader people analytics technology market. While that report is full of great information, there are still more questions that need to be answered, especially regarding the vendors, like:

  • How can we categorize vendors?
  • What are truly differentiating capabilities – and which ones are commodities?
  • Which vendors offer which capabilities?
  • What should buyers and vendors be thinking about?
  • What do we see for the future of people analytics technology?

Here’s a taste of just some of the key findings:

  1. Many vendors claim commodity features to be differentiators. For example, most vendors indicated their solution is scalable and flexible, customizable, takes little time to implement, and is easy to use. These are necessary capabilities, but they are not necessarily differentiating.
  2. Differentiating capabilities can be grouped into three categories: addressing foundational barriers to implementation and adoption; enabling new insights; and, making people analytics more human.
  3. The people analytics technology market needs a framework to understand vendor offerings. We developed a 2×2 model that categorizes vendors based on frequency of use and the data sources from which they pull, overlaying 10 types of vendors on the model. All vendors in our study are categorized on this matrix.
  4. Of the 10 types of vendors, the most represented category was employee engagement / experience, followed by multi-source analysis platforms, and organizational network analysis.

While our first part of the report focused on our finding about the people analytics technology market, our second part focuses on the vendors. These findings and the insights we share along with them will be of particular interest to two audiences: practitioners and buyers looking to understand the market, and vendors looking to differentiate themselves more effectively.

For practitioners and buyers, we have a section on vendor categories, which will allow them to familiarize themselves with the offerings in the market. For each vendor in our framework, we provide a brief description, names of a few existing customers, founding year, screenshot of their technology, and a case study (if provided by the vendors). In the appendix, we provide some more information on their primary talent areas of focus, data capabilities, and analytics capabilities.

For vendors, we provide our insights on which capabilities are truly differentiating and which are not. We also touch upon the outcomes vendors report most impact on, and which ones they should focus on instead. For example, when asked to identify the primary business, talent, and HR outcomes they impact, vendors responses reflected huge similarities, with 78% of vendors identifying efficiency as a business outcome, 82% pointing to both employee engagement and retention as a talent outcome, and 94% of vendors stating “better insights into the workforce” as a HR outcome (see Figure 1). However, we found several critical outcomes vendors could impact, but that comparatively few of them do today. We talk about those outcomes in more detail in the report.

Figure 1 People Analytics Tech Vendors What You Need To Know

Figure 1: Most Commonly Impacted Outcomes, Reported by Vendors | Source: RedThread Research, 2019.

While we introduced our 2×2 matrix and the four quadrants in the first report, we summarize it in this report and follow it up with more detailed insight into where we think vendors fall on each of the four quadrants. The result, which we share in the form of a graphic, is a product of innumerable conversations, briefings, demos, discussions, and feedback conducted with and shared by vendors, practitioners, our sponsors, and members of the RedThread team involved in this project. We know that this is just the beginning, and our thinking and approach will evolve as the conversation on people analytics technology gets richer and deeper.

We invite you to comment below or reach out to us at [email protected].

Heather Gilmartin Adams