HR Leaders Gain Fresh Insight on Using Data Instead of Intuition through People Analytics

Wharton Executive Education program explores the art and science of collecting, analyzing, and applying data in management decisions.

October 15, 2018

PHILADELPHIA, PA: A report released earlier this year from the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development says companies that fully apply people analytics to their business decisions are more likely to see strong performance. But the study also revealed how few of them are doing so.

The survey of nearly 4,000 business professionals across the world found that 39 percent said they had no access to this data for decision-making purposes. Two Wharton professors aim to change that: Matthew Bidwell and Cade Massey, faculty directors of the Wharton People Analytics research initiative.

Bidwell and Massey are launching a new program in 2019 called People Analytics: HR Transformation through Data. The program, offered through the Wharton School’s Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the University of Pennsylvania, is designed to help business leaders move from an intuitive or instinctive approach to one that is data-based. “Making more rigorous and evidence-based decisions about employees is the single biggest way to add value to your organization,” says Massey. “Getting in early by developing the knowledge and tools needed to exploit people analytics can also give you a serious advantage over your competition.”

The People Analytics executive education program shows participants how to collect and apply objective data and deep analysis to their subjective decisions on recruiting, performance evaluation, leadership, hiring and promotion, job design, compensation, and collaboration. Bidwell and Massey, pioneers in the field, will demonstrate how cutting-edge companies are applying analytics techniques, and how to build practices that lead to better individual and organizational performance.

Joined by global talent experts and Wharton professors Martine Haas and Prasanna Tambe, they will show participants how to become more educated data consumers, recognizing the good and the bad in terms of data collection and applications. Also teaching in the program is Wharton professor Kevin Werbach, who will address the legal and ethical issues involving the collection and use of personal data.

In addition to learning the latest insights and best practices, participants work throughout the week in small groups on a real-world issue. In this true learning laboratory, they run data analyses and make recommendations based on their findings. Participants will also have an opportunity to discuss their specific challenges with faculty and fellow participants as they begin to explore how people analytics can be applied in their organizations.

“At the end of the day, your ability to perform depends on having the right people in the right job, who are engaged and aligned with your strategy,” says Bidwell. Instead of relying on instinct to get it right, People Analytics will show business leaders how to recruit and manage people based on real data. It is a tactical and strategic shift that can lead directly to improved performance.

To enroll, or for more information on People Analytics: HR Transformation through Data, please visit WhartonPeopleAnalytics.com or contact Wharton Executive Education at +1.215.898.1776 or execed@wharton.upenn.edu.


About the Wharton School

Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 13,000 participants in executive education programs annually; and a powerful alumni network of 98,000 graduates.


Media Contact

Eleena de LisserDirector of Marketing CommunicationsAresty Institute of Executive Education
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
+1.215.898.7239 execed-pr@wharton.upenn.edu