Many years back, Google experimented with 42 different shades of blue on the Google Toolbar to find which color would optimize click-through rates. Launching experiments and learning from the behavior of users to improve products is ingrained in Google's product development and business practices. Indeed, many organizations use this type of experimentation in their product development, customer engagement and business practices. The people analytics mindset is about instilling this type of data-driven approach in people issues.
“All people decisions should be informed by data and analytics.” ~Google People Analytics motto
The People Analytics team at Google was founded to ensure all people decisions are informed by data. The team didn’t start with fancy forecasting algorithms or advanced predictive tools. Instead, the team began by understanding the people problems that needed to be addressed and the organizational context. Today, the People Analytics team not only develops and maintains a wide set of data and metrics but also tests hypotheses, runs experiments, reviews academic research, builds models, and uses science to make work better for Googlers.