5 minute read

In an increasingly data-driven world, information has become the golden currency for organisations. Organisations that don’t use data, such as employee data, to make informed decisions are missing out on a powerful tool. 

Employee data is just as valuable as customer data but, for many reasons, it will often go underutilised. If your HR team simply collects and stores it, you are missing out on an important window of opportunity. 

Nevertheless, collecting, storing, and using employee data comes with its own set of nuances. Organisations need to be extremely careful when handling it due to GDPR compliance and privacy laws.  

This blog will cover: 

  • What employee data is
  • What the different types are
  • The benefits
  • How to use it to drive business impact 

What is employee data?

In short, employee data refers to all information collected by an organisation about its workforce. More specifically, it refers to all job applicants, agency staff, casual or part-time workers, contractors, as well as current and former employees of all levels of seniority. 

birds eye view of city at night

Different types of employee data

We can differentiate between basic identifying data and sensitive data. It’s important to note the difference because you don’t need any permission to store basic identifying data, but you do need permission to record sensitive data.  

Basic identifying employee data

This type is self-descriptive. It refers to information that describes the general characteristics of your employee. This includes data such as: 

  • Name, date of birth and sex 
  • Address and emergency contact details 
  • Tax code and national insurance number 
  • Education, qualifications, and work experience 
  • Employment history, terms, and conditions 
  • Work-related accidents or disciplinary actions 

Sensitive employee data

This is information that requires permission to store and process, typically because this information could be used to discriminate against them. This includes information such as: 

  • Religion 
  • Race and ethnic origin
  • Sexual orientation 
  • Political membership 
  • Health or medical conditions 
  • Genetic and biometric data
  • Trade union membership

But, no matter what type you store, basic identifying or sensitive, you must make sure you take all the necessary steps to protect ALL employee data.  

The benefits of using employee data

The benefits are widespread. When used correctly, it allows organisations to engage, educate, and communicate with their employees in a proficient manner.

Paint a picture of your workforce

Knowing what your team looks like from a holistic perspective allows you to make informed decisions that improve the employee experience all-round. Once you identify the employee demographic data, expectations and motivations, you can make significant changes within the organisation. 

2 employees listening to another employee

Improves employee happiness and empowerment

Happiness is immeasurable, however, data analysis on employee satisfaction provides insight that is equally beneficial. With this valuable metric, you can offer data-driven employee engagement incentives, such as bespoke benefits programs or after-hours support. 

four employees smiling at a computer

Develop the right culture for your business

Company culture is a shaping force of employee motivation, and a high-performing culture will undoubtedly influence your employee retention data. Ask employees to rate the organisation’s attributes, such as collaboration, value alignment, and work environment. 

Reduce staff turnover

When employers collect data on employee retention, you can tweak the parts of your organisation that influence staff to leave and even predict staffing needs. You can use employee turnover data to develop strategies that boost team morale, increase productivity, and ultimately keep a hold of your best talent. 

Cut costs/saves money

Overall, using this model will allow you to cut down on costs. Conducting data analysis on employee retention can help you reduce staff turnover and cut down on costs associated with hiring new staff.  

How to use employee data to make an impact

As we’ve noted, data is an extremely powerful tool. This is why you must know how to collect data from employees and how to protect it.   

heart shaped data

To make the most of this valuable resource, organisations should follow these best practices:  

  • Examine it holistically – this is rather than individually as this perspective allows you to identify patterns, gaps, and correlations in your employee experience data. 
  • Collect and use it on a regular basis – if your data isn’t up to date, it loses its value, and deleting outdated information also frees up space to optimise procedures.  
  • Use a wide range of formats to collect it – examples include surveys, polls, 1-2-1s, interviews and reviews. Employees engage with different formats so this is to make sure you have the best chance of getting quality data.
  • Just ask – if you’re missing any vital information, you can simply ask! Just remember to get consent when you update your data management system.
  • Always be transparent and fair – your management process must be clearly outlined and the purpose behind this collection should always be justified. 
  • Only collect useful data – there’s no point in storing irrelevant data as excessive collection will only take up valuable time and space.
  • Ensure it’s compliant and confidential – data regulation laws are to be taken very seriously and we have a legal obligation to make sure to respect your employees and keep their data secure. 
  • Educate staff on how and why their organisation uses their data – this will increase trust within the organisation and consequently improve the employee experience.  
  • Listen to employee feedback – use your data analysis on employee satisfaction, retention, and engagement to make palpable changes within the organisation. 

Invest in secure employee software

Epay is a digital employee communications and online payslips portal that helps you improve employee data management and increases the employee experience.

Investing in secure employee communications allows you to easily connect with your staff and provide them with digital payroll, HR, reward, and pension documents. Epay can generate reports to add strategic value to your organisation. 

Analysing the way employees interact with the important documents you send is a great way to improve the delivery and distribution for employees. It will also allow your teams to work more productively and engage more effectively with employees. For example, learning when and how employees view their documents means you can capitalise on this opportunity to send other important messages or documents.


Above all, the communication management system is fiercely secure because we understand the importance of its protection. You can use your reports to drive business impact and add strategic value to your organisation. 

Final thoughts

Without a doubt, the power of data in a digitalised world is unparalleled. We’ve explored what it entails, as well as the difference between basic identifying data and sensitive data. 

This blog has also illustrated the benefits of storing employee data and how to do this correctly. We’ve outlined some of the best techniques organisations can employ and how data-driven strategies can be used to create tangible improvements in the business.  

If you’re interested in learning more about Datagraphic or need some further advice with regards to securely communicating documents to employees, please don’t hesitate to contact us or request a demo