What Is a Workforce Analyst? (With Skills and Duties)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 24, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Analyzing employment trends and assessing employee performance and satisfaction can help businesses plan their operations and increase efficiency. Workforce specialists gather data on external business situations and internal performance, analyze trends and issues, and write reports to inform management of current developments. Learning about workforce data analysts can help you discover the key skills for succeeding in this profession and understand their various duties. In this article, we explain what a workforce analyst is, share important skills for working in this role, consider the primary duties of this profession, and review their work environment.

What is a workforce analyst?

A workforce analyst collects and interprets data relevant to employment, hiring and training practices, and employee performance to determine trends and share their findings with others in the company. They help businesses prepare for changes in the labour market to anticipate staffing issues and maximize the productivity of the current employees. Analysts gather data concerning external factors, such as unemployment, salary trends, and industry growth. They also assess internal performance metrics and processes, such as employee turnover, efficiency, and training programs.

Analysts use data management and analytical thinking skills to process large amounts of data and identify relevant trends. They use communication and presentation skills to share their findings with colleagues and suggest improvements in hiring and training processes. Workforce management analysts can find work across many industries because workforce trends, hiring practices, and training approaches are fundamental for business success. Some analysts might specialize in labour market analysis, while others focus on internal metrics and hiring process improvement.

Related: What Does a Human Resources Analyst Do? (With Skills)

Key skills of workforce analysts

The following are some important skills workforce management analysts use to succeed in their work:

Data management

Data management skills allow analysts to collect information from various sources to learn more about labour market trends and internal performance. Analysts determine key areas of focus, establish methods for gathering information, and collect data on spreadsheets to facilitate analysis. They assess the validity of each data set and strive to eliminate errors in their methodology. Efficient data management helps analysts sort large amounts of data and conduct research to obtain practical benefits that enhance company performance.

Related: What Does a Data Analyst Do? (With Requirements and Salary)

Statistical analysis

Statistical analysis enables analysts to interpret the data they collect and notice relevant trends. Analysts determine effective methods for sorting large data sets to eliminate data noise and reveal trends impacting a business's ability to hire new staff. They use mathematical knowledge to select appropriate formulas and often display their data in graphs or charts to make it accessible to company executives. Analysts also use statistical analysis in assessing internal metrics, such as employee performance and turnover, to consider how these statistics may impact future growth.

Related: What Are Workforce Analytics? (With Types of Analytics)

Critical thinking

Critical thinking skills help analysts determine the key areas of focus and produce relevant analyses offering concrete benefits for business performance. Analysts strive to assess broad economic trends and ascertain how those trends can impact a company. They consider numerous factors affecting the labour market and try to anticipate its future performance. Analysts use critical thinking skills to determine the most effective methods for interpreting data and deciding which metrics to focus on to help a business make proactive plans.

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Organization and planning

Organization and planning skills help analysts balance their responsibilities and provide regular updates for company executives. Many analysts create regular reports on market conditions and make assumptions concerning future trends. Analysts monitor both internal and external metrics and may assist several divisions of a business. They might report to company leadership concerning market trends while providing support and advice to HR management regarding training programs and hiring practices. Organization and planning skills allow analysts to take on multiple responsibilities within a company.

Technical knowledge

Analysts develop technical knowledge of software programs and tools to manage data sets and produce reports and presentations. They use spreadsheet software to collect data and deploy analysis tools. They might utilize software to translate data into graphical formats that show trends and share their findings with others. Analysts use specialized programs to create reports and presentations to gain company management's attention and translate technical details into actionable metrics. Technical knowledge also helps analysts interpret reports on the labour market and learn from other researchers.

Communication skills

Communication skills help analysts share their research findings and take direction concerning the focus of their work. Analysts might make presentations to company management about labour market trends and can influence how a business approaches the hiring process. They prepare reports to share labour market information and internal performance metrics with key stakeholders. Communication skills allow analysts to explain how complex economic processes can impact business performance and offer valuable suggestions to management.

Related: What Is Workforce Planning? (Importance and Steps)

Primary duties of analysts

Workforce analysts perform a range of duties. Some analysts might focus on gathering data concerning specific performance metrics, while others take a general approach by filling multiple roles within an organization. Below are some of the primary duties of analysts:

Collecting data

Analysts collect data from various sources to learn more about the labour market and employee performance. They gather data concerning unemployment, average salaries, and labour market participation. Analysts also collect information concerning employee turnover rate and productivity. They evaluate the reliability and relevance of specific figures and use spreadsheet software to gather data sets and conduct analyses.

Analyzing trends

Analysts use data sets to interpret how trends can impact a business. They might employ charts and graphs to display these trends and predict their future impact on business performance. Workforce analysts apply a range of formulas and approaches to eliminate noise from data sets and find patterns. They might analyze external market factors or use internal performance metrics to determine how hiring practices and scheduling impact efficiency.

Assessing performance

Assessing performance involves considering how hiring practices, scheduling, and training programs contribute to business efficiency. Analysts might gather information on company performance and compare key metrics with other businesses in the same industry. They use critical thinking to determine which workforce policies significantly influence productivity and profitability. Analysts assess the benefits of training programs and determine if extensive training increases employee performance. They consider hiring practices and determine if the process that the company uses provides qualified candidates in key roles.

Preparing reports

Analysts prepare reports to share results influencing company policy. They use statistics, charts, graphs, and explanations to show how labour market trends can impact a business in the future and propose how to mitigate the effects of potential changes. Analysts also report on internal performance and suggest improvements to hiring processes and training plans. They use statistics to offer evidence of their assertions and might use modelling to indicate the impact of decisions on future performance.

Collaborating with management

Collaborating with management involves taking directions on research goals, gathering data to help leaders make informed decisions, and offering advice on hiring and scheduling practices. Analysts collaborate with company leaders, providing actionable information and forecasts of future labour market performance. They analyze specific aspects of the business and identify potential areas for improvement. Some analysts might make presentations to management and share thoughts about trends that can impact hiring and employee retention. Other analysts review hiring processes and consider how different approaches might reduce turnover and increase performance.

Work environment for these analysts

Analysts typically work in corporate offices and spend much of their workday using computers. They might attend meetings with company management and take directions about the focus of their work. Some analysts collaborate with HR managers and offer suggestions that influence training programs and hiring policies. Analysts could attend conferences to discuss employment trends with other experts and share techniques for assessing internal performance.

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