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The rise (and fall?) of HR analytics: A study into the future application, value, structure, and system support

Sjoerd van den Heuvel (University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Tanya Bondarouk (School of Management and Governance, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands)

Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance

ISSN: 2051-6614

Article publication date: 5 June 2017




Driven by the rapidly accelerating pace of technology-enabled developments within human resource management (HRM), human resource (HR) analytics is infiltrating the research and business agenda. As one of the first in its field, the purpose of this paper is to explore what the future of HR analytics might look like.


Using a sample of 20 practitioners of HR analytics, based in 11 large Dutch organizations, the authors investigated what the application, value, structure, and system support of HR analytics might look like in 2025.


The findings suggest that, by 2025, HR analytics will have become an established discipline, will have a proven impact on business outcomes, and will have a strong influence in operational and strategic decision making. Furthermore, the development of HR analytics will be characterized by integration, with data and IT infrastructure integrated across disciplines and even across organizational boundaries. Moreover, the HR analytics function may very well be subsumed in a central analytics function – transcending individual disciplines such as marketing, finance, and HRM.

Practical implications

The results of the research imply that HR analytics, as a separate function, department, or team, may very well cease to exist, even before it reaches maturity.


Empirical research on HR analytics is scarce, and studies on scenarios, values, and structures of expected developments in HR analytics are non-existent. This research intends to contribute to a better understanding of the development of HR analytics, to facilitate business and HR leaders in taking informed decisions on investing in the further development of the HR analytics discipline. Such investments may lead to an enhanced HR analytics capability within organizations, and cultivate the fact-based and data-driven culture that many organizations and leaders try to pursue.



van den Heuvel, S. and Bondarouk, T. (2017), "The rise (and fall?) of HR analytics: A study into the future application, value, structure, and system support", Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 157-178.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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