15 February 2019

People Analytics Tech: A Growing, Complicated Market

Stacia Garr
Co-founder & Principal Analyst


This article is an introduction to the reason, hypotheses, and plans for our research on people analytics technology.

Why is this important?

Research shows that the best performing organizations use advanced people analytics. For example, research from Sierra Cedar shows that mature people analytics organizations have a 79% higher return on equity and research from the Corporate Leadership Council (part of CEB / Gartner) reveals that these organizations have 6% higher gross profit margin.1

To realize these results, organizations need many things (e.g., capable people data analysts, strong relationships with HR and the business, and many others), one of which is technology. To meet that demand, many technology vendors have entered the market. Our recent analysis shows that there has been a 145% growth in the number of people analytics vendors in the market over the course of the last ten years. For anyone trying to make a technology purchase, it can be quite difficult to understand the landscape or providers, their offerings, and the relative benefits and drawbacks of each. Further, our current review of articles and literature reveals there is relatively little research published on this topic to date.

RedThread Research is excited to announce our newest research initiative on the people analytics technology landscape. This research is being supported by PAFOW and Insight222.


While it may certainly be the case that better performing organizations make the investment in advanced people analytics, we believe that every organization has a lot to learn from a more sophisticated, and data-driven approach to enabling their people.

The growth in the number of vendors in the people analytics technology market within the last 10 years has been exponential. These vendors offer a dizzying array of capabilities and there is an offering in every area of talent management (talent acquisition, performance management, learning, strategic workforce planning, etc.).

The capabilities and the ways these vendors interact is confusing to many, hindering customers’ abilities to understand and buy from the market and vendors’ ability to differentiate themselves. The market needs a clear framework that explains the different vendors, their capabilities, the needs of the leaders, and where the market is going.

This Project:

We will dive into the people analytics vendor landscape in detail. Our intention is to assess the current state of the people analytics technology market, analyze vendors in the market, and understand practitioners’ needs.

More specifically, we will examine the following topics:

People Analytics Technology: A Growing, Complicated Market premis


  1. CEB Corporate Leadership Council (2013), “The Analytics Era : Transforming HR’s Impact on the Business”

Written by

Stacia Garr
Co-Founder & Principal Analyst

Stacia is a Co-founder and Principal Analyst for RedThread Research and focuses on employee engagement/experience, leadership, DE&I, people analytics, and HR technology. A frequent speaker and writer, her work has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal as well as in numerous HR trade publications. She has been listed as a Top 100 influencer in HR Technology and in D&I. Stacia has an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.

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