HR Dashboard: Free People Analytics with Google Data Studio

Building an HR Dashboard used to be expensive and difficult. With the free Google Data Studio, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a beautiful HR dashboard this week. It doesn’t matter if you lead a team of twenty or two thousand, your first HR Dashboard is within reach.

What is Google Data Studio?

Google Data Studio is free so that people can visualize data that helps them make better decisions.

HR Dashboard Google Data Studio

Since Google makes most of their money from ads, it’s only natural that they would give helpful tools away for free so that they can sell more ads. They focus on importing data from marketing software, but they also allow data to be imported from many common databases, CSV files, and Google Sheets.

That’s why Google Data Studio is interesting for HR professionals. You may not care about ads, but you should care about making better decisions about people. If you only cared about making better decisions, there are plenty of tools that cost a lot of money to build dashboards or explore people analytics. The key difference here is that Google Data Studio is free. And since it’s free, there is very little risk in trying it out. If you end up needing more than Google Data Studio provides, your effort won’t be wasted. You’ll learn a lot about your data and perhaps even end up with a prototype to show to the expensive vendors.


Finding Data for your HR Dashboard

No doubt, you have a lot of data about your people across many systems. The key is to make sure you have good data and a clear question to answer before you get started.

In the example below, we used data exported from OrgWeaver and uploaded to Google Sheets to build an HR Dashboard.

The questions we needed answered:

  • What offices have vacant positions?
  • Where do we have “span of control” issues?
  • What is the most common job in each office?
  • Can we consolidate org levels to be more efficient?


Example HR Dashboard built with Google Data Studio

Using an HR Dashboard

Dynamic filtering makes dashboards much more meaningful. For instance, in the example above, use the filter in the top right to change the office location. You should see all of the data change to show only data from the chosen locations.

To make a decision based on the dashboard, it’s important to understand what is out of the ordinary and should potentially be fixed. For instance, in the “Span of Control” section, we see that Justin has 41 direct reports. This is much more than other managers, so it definitely raises the question if this is a problem or not. It’s always best to consult with your team before jumping to the conclusion that it’s time to make an organization change.

Feel free to use this example HR Dashboard to explore how it could help your organization.

Why OrgWeaver is helpful for People Analytics

OrgWeaver is more than just an org chart software. It also validates if your HR data makes sense. For instance, when you upload data to OrgWeaver,

HR dashboard user

it checks if data is missing or if your hierarchy is illogical. That’s critical information to have before you start to send reports to executives. If the report you send isn’t accurate, then the HR team can lose a lot of trust. And if your HR Dashboard isn’t trusted, then it isn’t useful when making decisions.

Once your HR data is visualized as an org chart, it’s important to check if there are any differences between how people “think” the org works and how it “actually” works. With OrgWeaver, it’s easy to make quick updates by dragging and dropping entire departments into a new hierarchy. Once everyone agrees that the org chart is how it should be, then it’s time to export data from OrgWeaver and use it to make an HR Dashboard.

Check out this example org chart that was used to build this example HR Dashboard in Google Data Studio.