21 Key HR Data Sources That Revolutionize Talent Management

Human Resource Analytics has become an integral part of HR departments in organizations. It involves the statistical analysis of workforce data to improve business decisions, employee retention, productivity, and overall impact on the bottom line HRIS data and other data collected through surveys or measurement techniques. Business data play a crucial role in HR Analytics.

The HRIS of an organization contains information on typical HR processes such as hiring, performance evaluation, and talent management.

Other sources of HR data include the Applicant Tracking System, demographic data, performance management system, learning management system, job architecture, compensation and benefits, and succession planning.

This article outlines the 21 HR data sources for Analytics and how they can be used to drive business results.

What Data Should Your HR Team Be Paying Attention To?

You should choose and use data based on your organization’s specific needs – for instance, your industry and company size are two critical differentiators.

It would help if you didn’t waste time analyzing data that does not affect your company’s business results.

Your business objectives and KPIs should be closely related to your HR analytics. Your leadership and HR team can use business-focused data to determine what processes, attitudes, skills, and competencies drive business success.

Ensure your HR analytics include information necessary for other leaders across your organization, not just HR personnel.

Don’t keep HR a cost center – rather than a profit center – that only cuts costs, positions, programs, and overhead to bring value. Think about what your department leaders care about.

Analyzing HR data

It is common for people to think of HR analytics as a narrowly focused area of data that is exclusively used by HR staff.

While HR analytics is the statistical analysis of workforce data, it can also be integrated with HRIS, OKR, Performance, Applicant Tracking, Engagement, LMS, Payroll, and Rewards & Recognition data across an organization. Leaders use these analytics to turn data into action items that help them:

  • Improve business decisions
  • Recruiting, managing, and retaining employees
  • Enhance return on investment.
  • Improve the working environment.
  • Enhance employee productivity
  • Positively impact the bottom line

Organizations have yet to employ HR data to understand their employees better typically.

It’s commonly used one to two times a year, measuring engagement and conducting performance reviews. However, HR analytics can be leveraged for much more than that.

Employers should regularly evaluate what the data demonstrates – noting any trends – so leaders can discern additional metrics, such as days away from work, travelers’ schedules, and staff development.

Historical data should be examined to discover what took place in the past. This information can then be leveraged to anticipate future problems and better prepare.

Furthermore, HR data should correlate with other departments’ figures to determine how team performance, customer retention, and profit per employee can improve.

There are three types of HR data sources.

  • HRIS data. Most of the company’s employee information comes from the Human Resources Information System or HRIS. Examples of HRIS systems include Workday, Oracle, and SAP.
  • Other data. HR data that is not included in the HRIS but is vital for data-driven decision-making. These data are usually collected via surveys or other measurement techniques.
  • Business data. It is impossible to cover company data entirely, but it plays a crucial role in people analytics. This section will discuss the essential business data used for people analytics.

HRIS Data Sources

The HRIS of the organization houses information on the most typical HR processes, including hiring, performance evaluation, and talent management.

Although the HRIS modules vary from business to business, a cooperative group of modules frequently contains data suitable for people analytics.


Data from the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is the first shared data source in the HRIS for recruiting.

In addition to information about the number of candidates who applied and their CVs, recruiting sources, selection, etc., this system is the most common input for recruiting metrics.

Demographic data

In addition to demographic data, HRIS employee records provide information such as employee ID, name, gender, date of birth, residence, department, cost center specifications, termination date, etc.

Control variables are often used to analyze these demographic data.

Also, when data is combined manually, the database is often enriched with data from other systems by matching employee IDs as unique identifiers.

Performance management

A performance management system (PMS) is part of an HR system that contains information about performance management, including employee reviews and ratings.

Learning management

Another resource for HR data is the learning management system (LMS).

The LMS tracks employees’ advancement through various programs and offers a course selection. However, not all learning data is stored in the LMS.

Finance usually holds information about spending on external courses, while surveys measure learning impact and effectiveness.

Check out our comprehensive guide to learning & development for more details.

Job architecture

Job architecture, or global grading/job leveling, is a framework for remuneration. It consists of salary scales with bands and grades for specific roles with defined maximum reward levels.

For instance, in the case of Dutch universities, Function scale H2, and H1 are dedicated to full university professors with salaries ranging from €5582 – €9812.

Moreover, commercial companies usually include these salary scales and job architecture in their HRIS.

Compensation and benefits

To keep employees engaged, compensation and benefits data are also stored in the HRIS. These include remuneration details as well as secondary benefits.

For more information, check out our complete guide to compensation and benefits.

Succession planning

Succession planning involves identifying and preparing potential replacements for vital organizational positions, which is also a component of HRIS (Human Resource Information System).

The data stored in HRIS for succession planning can vary based on the level of sophistication of the organization’s practices in this area.

The information can include details on who is a likely candidate to fill a leadership role in the future, data related to the development of these potential candidates, and the overall strength of the organization’s pool of management talent.

Talent Development

Talent development programs often consist of courses and workshops that are included in learning management systems, which makes them weird. Another critical piece of information that can be retrieved from the HRIS is the broader approach to developing talent.

Exit interview

In some organizations, exit interview information can also be stored in the HRIS. This provides information about the reasons why employees leave the organization.

This information can be used to reduce employee turnover through analyses.

HR Data Of Other Types

We categorize other HR data sources as not commonly stored in the HRIS because they are hard to collect.


First, let’s look at learning data, often separate from the LMS and managed by the learning department. Data about learning effectiveness and program evaluation is usually stored separately.

This data is usually collected using spreadsheets and survey collection tools.

When organizations are starting to use learning analytics or trying to advance their reporting, it is crucial to integrate this data into a broader HR reporting and insights database.


Travel data is another crucial source of data is travel information. Employee turnover may be predicted by a person’s frequency of overseas travel.


In talent and leadership development, mentoring is essential to developing high potential. Mentorship can make mentees more effective, stay longer, and be more eligible for advancement.

Employee surveys

Data was collected through employee surveys. This is a category of its own. An employee survey can range from a study of the cafeteria’s food quality to a survey by the CEO about his popularity.

Survey data are typically dispersed throughout the organization, and survey fatigue occurs when companies send out surveys in a decentralized manner.

Data collection in one place can provide a better understanding of employee survey data.

Engagement survey

The engagement survey may be included in our employee survey data bank. However, a third party often collects engagement surveys to ensure anonymity.

Although this dramatically reduces your data-capturing potential, it does mean that the engagement survey is a separate data source.

For more information, see our comprehensive guide to measuring employee engagement.

Absences data

Data on recorded absences is another important HR data category. Managers usually record sick days. Absence reasons can also be recorded. Holidays, maternity leave, and lateness are also kept.

Wellbeing and Wellness

Another data source that needs to be captured by the HRIS is employee well-being and wellness. Depending on the organization, wellness records may be available around (participation in) wellness programs.

Social network data

Another good source of information is social network data. Organizational network analysis (ONA) is a method of analyzing corporate social networks.

Any system that reports network information can be used as a data source, including network surveys, email accounts, phone records, or any other method that says network data

Data related to business

A variety of business data sources can be used for people analytics. We will list some of the most important ones below.

CMR data

Customer Relationship Management data. The company’s Customer Relationship Management system holds many customer data on customers, including contact moments, NPS scores, lead scores, etc.

This data can be crucial to measure people’s policies’ impact on customer-facing employees.

Financial data

Another critical source of business data is financial data. This can be used for straightforward analyses of L&D spending, as well as for more complex computations on the cost of personnel, ROI calculations for different interventions, and other financial studies.

Production management

In addition to production management data, other data sources include scheduling, number of service calls, delivery rates, delivery speeds, and much more.

Production management systems can plan, track, and manage data. In addition to being used as outcome data, these data can also be used to measure the impact of people’s policies on employees.

Sales data

Another outcome measurement is sales data. Examples include sales per store, which can be used to measure various HR policies, like the effectiveness of learning programs.

This last category includes internal business data as well as external sources. External sources include market data, flu rates, weather, and other factors affecting productivity.

Data integration

In what ways does your HR team collect and analyze data from disparate systems? Do you manually collect your data into spreadsheets?

Do you use an underperforming and unsecured do-it-yourself analytics solution to build, maintain, and administer your analytics? Delivering analytics, dashboards, and scorecards to your organization takes a lot of effort.


In conclusion, HR analytics can significantly impact an HR department’s success when used correctly.

It is essential to choose and use data based on the organization’s specific needs and ensure that the HR analytics are directly linked to business goals and KPIs.

HR analytics can be integrated with other data sources across the organization to improve business decisions, recruitment, management, and retention of employees, enhance return on investment, improve the working environment, enhance employee productivity, and impact the bottom line positively.

There are three types of HR data sources: HRIS, other, and business data. HRIS data is the most common source for HR functions such as recruitment, performance management, and talent management.

It is essential for organizations to regularly evaluate and use the data to anticipate future problems and better prepare ahead of time.


What are HR data sources?

HR data sources are the various types of information that HR professionals can use to gain insights into their workforce and make informed decisions.

These data sources can include employee records, applicant tracking systems, performance management systems, and more.

How can HR data sources be used?

HR data sources can be used in a variety of ways, such as to monitor employee performance, track recruitment trends, and identify areas for improvement.

By leveraging these data sources, HR professionals can make data-driven decisions that align with their organization’s goals and objectives.

What are some examples of HR data sources?

Some examples of HR data sources include employee records, applicant tracking systems, performance management systems, time and attendance systems, payroll systems, and learning management systems.

How can HR professionals access HR data sources?

HR professionals can access HR data sources through a range of tools and software, such as HR analytics and reporting tools, employee surveys, recruitment sources and channels, and talent management software.

Additionally, they can collect data through various methods, such as exit interviews, employee engagement surveys, and performance evaluations.

How can HR professionals ensure the accuracy of their HR data sources?

HR professionals can ensure the accuracy of their HR data sources by regularly updating and validating the data they collect.

They can also use data cleansing and profiling tools to identify and resolve data inconsistencies or errors.

How can HR professionals use HR data sources to improve their recruitment process?

HR professionals can use HR data sources to improve their recruitment process by tracking recruitment trends and identifying the most effective recruitment sources and channels.

They can also use these data sources to identify areas for improvement in their recruitment process and make data-driven decisions to enhance their recruitment strategy.

What are the benefits of using HR data sources?

The benefits of using HR data sources include the ability to make data-driven decisions, improve organisational performance, enhance employee engagement, and identify areas for improvement and opportunities for growth.

By leveraging HR data sources, HR professionals can gain valuable insights into their workforce and make informed decisions that align with their organisation’s goals and objectives.

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