People Analytics Technology:
A Growing, Complicated Market

People Analytics Technology

Why we care:

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[i].

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 and we will present our final results at PAFOW Philadelphia, September 11 and 12, 2019.


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:


The above list represents our initial hypotheses as to what the study will cover. However, one of our core values at RedThread is collaboration, so we are currently looking for feedback on what we will study. We’d love to get your feedback (whether you’re a vendor or a practitioner!) on:

  • What we should study
  • What we shouldn’t study
  • What else we should know about this topic

In addition, you can come along on our research journey as we explore this topic. We will be publishing some of our work products along the way.

Planned outputs for this project include the following:

  • Premise: February 2019 (this document!) 
  • Literature Review Findings: March 2019 * 
  • Survey (of vendors and practitioners): March 2019 
  • Initial Interview Summaries: April 2019 * 
  • Initial Findings: Presented at PAFOW London: April 24-25, 2019 
  • Sneak peak of the research: Presented at PAFOW Philadelphia, September 5-6, 2019 
  • Executive Summary of Report: October 2019 
  • Final Report: October 2019* 

We welcome comments from the getgo! Please comment, share with others interested in people analytics technology, tell us where we’re wrong, and suggest people we should interview!

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

* Full final report available only to Insight222 members

Follow this project:

Follow this project to receive updates about new articles, surveys, and other content and calls to participate in roundtables, interviews, and webinars.


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