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How to Use Data Visualization to Hire and Retain your People

March 6, 2017


Meet Susan, an HR executive at a medium-sized tech company. With over 100 employees and growing, Susan and the human resources department use SAP Analytics Cloud to optimize human resources and staffing. She has three main areas of focus:

  • Hiring
  • Retention
  • Training

Hiring New Talent

Hiring the right people requires a lot of time, money, and effort, and hiring the wrong people can be just as costly. Without using data analytics to make data-driven decisions, Susan may be prone to hire based on some cognitive bias that she’s not aware of. Susan and her team want to use data analytics and data visualization to find patterns in large volumes of HR data to make more insightful hiring decisions for her company.

Susan starts by uploading data from all the company’s employees into SAP Analytics Cloud. She looks for characteristics and commonalities among top performers such as:

  • Education and qualifications
  • Years of experience
  • Skills
  • Turnover rate
  • Job satisfaction (based on data from a recent survey)

Running this data against digital resumes, Susan can identify candidates with these same traits. In effect, predicting the probability of success in a new recruit.

Salary allocation is one place where Susan really relies on SAP Analytics Cloud. Using historical trends, she can offer unbiased salaries to new hires that is consistent with the aggregate data of all her existing employees.

She can also juxtapose that data with employee attrition. If turnover correlates with salary, then perhaps offering higher salaries to new employers, and pay raises to existing employees will positively affect retention.

She notices that her company tends to lose top-tier employees after two years. Knowing this information helps her predict upcoming employment shortages, adjust compensation packages, and incorporate more on-job training.

Get started today with your free 30-day trial for SAP Analytics Cloud. Sign up now. 

Retaining Top Talent

Retention and engagement are ever-growing concerns for Susan and her team. To reduce the cost and disruption of attrition, they look at answering key questions such as:

  • Who left, and why? (based on exit interview data)
  • Could anything be done to keep them? (using historical retention data)
  • Are employees engaged and excited to come into work? (based on employee job satisfaction surveys and attrition rates)
  • Are salaries and benefits competitive? (based on historical and industry data)
  • Are there opportunities for career growth and development? (based on budget and employee surveys)

Using this information, she can then take preemptive action to retain employees. Anticipating turnover early does two things:

  1. It helps her team prepare for vacancies and skills shortages
  2. It gives her a chance to preemptively address employee engagement needs prior to her staff leaving


SAP Analytics Cloud is a crucial for Susan to see exactly where her company’s strengths and weaknesses are, and how to properly address those with training and other resources.

She recognizes that ongoing training will nurture employees in their career development as well as provide long-term investment in the company.

Based on data from a recent questionnaire, Susan looks at the psychological traits of her employees to determine leadership potential. The survey measures five personality traits, known as OCEAN, or the ‘Big Five’:

  • Openness (how open they are to new experiences?)
  • Conscientiousness (how much of a perfectionist they are?)
  • Extroversion (how sociable they are?)
  • Agreeableness (how considerate and cooperative they are?)
  • Neuroticism (Do they get upset easily?)

Based on these findings, she can make assessments into who is likely to succeed in a leadership role.

Looking at some other HR data in SAP Analytics Cloud, she uncovers factors behind:

  • Attrition (i.e. length of employment, reasons for leaving, etc.)
  • Characteristics of top performers (i.e. performance scores, bonus payouts, etc.)
  • Indicators of leadership potential (i.e. performance scores, desire for growth, time management, personal questionnaire, etc.)

Using data visualization, she can see which training programs produce the highest results. From there, she can manage which training programs are best for each employee.

Why SAP Analytics Cloud for HR?

Susan uses SAP Analytics Cloud to answer her HR-related questions. The powerful software analyzes patterns in her data to reveal key drivers impacting her company’s future success.

By combining HR data with revenue projections, Susan can conduct her workforce planning, such as:

  • Allocate headcount to certain areas
  • Analyze salary to performance ratios
  • Identify issues before they arise with predictive analysis

Susan can further customize her stories by adding images, charts, table, text, geo-maps, and input controls. Once complete, she can share them with other users or teams, set permission levels, or compile them into an SAP digital boardroom agenda for presentation.

SAP Analytics Cloud – all analytics, all users, one product. Discover a new generation of cloud analytics.

To learn more about how analytics can work with your line of business explore the Ultimate Guide to Enterprise Analytics.

To learn how holistic workforce plan that brings together the right talent at the right time and the right cost, read our Ultimate Guide to Enterprise Planning.