I can’t escape my new Fitbit. It keeps nagging me until I reach my daily goals. My old Fitbit was very polite. It had five little lights, each indicating 20% completion of my daily steps. It was a gentle reminder of how many steps I had taken. And very often, at the end of the day, I had not reached my goal. But my new Fitbit is relentless. Ten minutes before each hour, it tells me exactly how many steps I need to reach my hourly goal. And with that bit of specific information, I have been making my hourly and daily goals and, presumably, getting more fit. By getting a measurement and direction ahead of time, I’ve been able to change the outcome.

For a long time, companies have used the phrase “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Many companies struggle to make fact-based people decisions while leaders demand better insights on how to build the workforce. And yet very few have embraced the analytics that could help.

New technology has brought positive transformation to the ability to measure the workforce. And along with those new measurements comes a greater opportunity to proactively manage your people. Like my new Fitbit, it’s not just measuring what has already happened; it can predict issues before they happen. This allows companies to maintain the productivity of their workforce while ensuring that people are aligned with their business strategy and working toward their goals.

This proactive people management is possible because of data-driven, fact-based analytics. Interactive dashboards provide managers with real-time information and help them identify and take corrective action on issues like employee turnover. When combined with best practice benchmarks, companies can identify strengths and weaknesses in their workforce. They can also see where there is a shortage of qualified talent. This is important for many distributors that are facing the challenge of an aging and retiring workforce. Detailed information about the workforce helps to hire, retain, and develop the right talent for the right positions.

Understanding the profitability of each employee is also possible. With this knowledge, companies can create group initiatives for improvement or create a development or training plan for individual employees.

There is even more value for a company when HR analytics are integrated with other operational data. It’s possible to discover why people in certain roles quit or what people issues are behind certain operational issues. It’s also possible to understand the behavior of high performing managers who help develop others. This kind of information takes people management out of the HR office and puts it in the hands of the managers who run the business.

How does your company analyze your workforce? The right analytics can help your employees be more productive and your company be more profitable.

SAP can help with all your people initiatives. Learn how to manage the modern workforce with our HCM software.

This blog was originally published on the Digitalist Magazine.