Our client was the Director of People Analytics within a British pharmaceutical company. The organisation had grown rapidly in the space of two years, which also encompassed the growth of their People Analytics team.

This team was responsible for delivering a step-change in quality insights to the business, as well as shaping people and health strategies to improve business performance. The team was also responsible for ensuring that business outcomes were achieved through the use of analytics.

As a result of the speed of the team’s growth, there hadn’t been a focus to create and embed a formal or repeatable way of working, meaning varying outputs as well as an inability to readily scale. Furthermore, the team were beginning to drown in the number of requests being made of them, coming under significant capacity constraint whilst the workload and expectations of the team were increasing day by day.


Gate One worked with the client and their People Analytics team to understand in greater detail what was already working well with the current informal model. Using a series of meetings and workshops, as well as through benchmarking and the application of best practices in Analytics Operating Models from other clients, we developed a series of recommendations.

We established a set of ten areas of focus for improvement which had the buy-in of the team. For example, we:

  • documented a full end-to-end process for reviewing, prioritising and undertaking all analytics initiatives, aligned to a common set of document templates (some of which were already in use), but supplemented with new and improved tools where necessary
  • introduced a new data-driven method for assessing value against effort of undertaking new initiatives, facilitating the decision process to de-prioritise or push-back on requests where the value/effort ratio was disproportionate
  • reviewed and updated the team’s scope, vision, terms of reference, document management, and team meeting cadence to ensure an end-to-end approach. This provided the team with a fully refreshed system aligned to their needs, which works in practice on a day-to-day basis.


The Organisation and People Analytics team now have a coherent end-to-end operating model which incorporates process, systems, tools, and people. This allows both greater control and top-down understanding of the team’s delivery whilst minimising data risk to the organisation.

A new tool for tracking and forecasting analytics such as individuals’ time to specific initiatives has enabled a forward forecast of supply/demand. This, linked with a comprehensive initiative tracker, has allowed data-driven decisions to be made to focus the team’s energy on those which drive the biggest benefit for the least effort. As a result of the work, several less impactful initiatives have been dropped.

The project included 1:1 coaching and guidance to ensure the team’s views were incorporated and that the changes were successfully embedded.

“The quality of Gate One’s thinking, and the output of that thinking, is of a very high quality. I have been very impressed with the documentation produced, and the way they were quickly able to integrate a lot of diverse input and new content to produce a common solution for the team.”


Simon DennisSimon Dennis| Partnerlinkedin icon

A childhood spent climbing the Lake District fells and a consulting career forged in complex business transformation have firmly convinced Simon that the more painful the ascent, the better the views.

Simon has spent over 15 years leading and delivering change programmes in multiple sectors, with a focus on healthcare and life sciences. He specialises in helping leadership teams to achieve large scale change execution and culture shift.

A founding partner and director of talent at Gate One, Simon passionately believes that building a growth mindset culture of coaching and continuous improvement creates profound development opportunities for our consultants and lasting change for our clients.

Best-companies-bannerBest-companies-banner20 February 2020Gate One ranked 22 in 'The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies To Work For' 2020This accolade follows the 3-star accreditation awarded to Gate One by Best Companies late last year...
10 December 2019Global Joint Venture Integration: Sales capability organisation designOur client was undertaking the acquisition of another major retailer. This required a programme of work to optimise both teams...
28 November 2019Best companies recognises Gate One for extraordinary levels of workplace engagementGate One has been awarded a 3-star accreditation by Best Companies in recognition of extraordinary levels of workplace engagement...
22 March 2019People Analytics Operating Model for a FTSE 100 pharmaceutical companyDesigning a new People Analytics operating model, covering people, process, tools and technology, with a new data initiative prioritisation framework...
18 September 2018Being the best consultants we can bePart Two: Simon Dennis' interview on the Climb in Consulting Podcast Series....
17 September 2018Gate One's approach to consultingPart One: Simon Dennis' interview on the Climb in Consulting Podcast Series....
1 March 2018Are consultants ready for radical transparency?Aspiring to higher standards of accountability and authenticity...
16 January 2018Re-thinking talent in consultingWhy autonomy, mastery and purpose matter most...