People Analytics and Evidence-Based Management

Join this free online course to learn about people analytics and evidence-based management and how it can help drive better decision-making in your organization.

This course was retired in October, 2023.

Self-paced since April 17, 2019
Language: English
Subtitles (auto-generated): Deutsch, English, Français, Español

Course information


This course was retired in October, 2023.

Course Summary

People are often described as an organization’s most important asset, while data was recently referred to as the oil of the 21st century. It’s therefore not surprising that people analytics is considered a game-changer for human resource management practices. Instead of relying mainly on intuition and gut-feeling, analytical approaches and evidence should drive decision-making in organizations.

In this course, you can learn what it takes to start with people analytics, how to address typical challenges, and how existing scientific evidence can help form management decisions. Experts from academia, business, and sports will share knowledge and experience from their people analytics journeys.

This MOOC emerged from the PeopleAnalytics@Mannheim initiative of the Chair of Human Resource Management and Leadership of the University of Mannheim and the Mannheim Business School. The aim of the initiative and of this MOOC is to help human resource managers make better decisions by leveraging people analytics and an evidence-based approach towards HR management.

Here is what some participants are saying about the course:

  • “It's one of the fabulous openSAP course I've ever attended (I have more than 70+ Records of Achievement) till date.” Read the original post

  • “I like: 1) Clear course structure, concise, clear and at the same time rich content; 2) Each week is divided into thematic units, which helps to better assimilate information; 3) The combination of a theoretical framework and a variety of practical use-cases; 4) Discussion section where one can ask questions and share ideas and doubts.” Read the original post

  • “I took this MOOC because I am going to be working on some HR-related functionality and this course was a treasure trove of information. I think it would be great if SAP partnered with other universities and offered other courses as well.” Read the original post

  • “I would like to express my gratefulness to every single one involved in realizing this wonderful MOOC! It was a great learning experience and I am looking forward to apply what I have learned so far and gain practical people analytics experience. The theoretical foundation was laid, now it's time to act!” Read the original post

  • “Since I am not familiar with the topic, I had to consider whether I could attend the course without being overwhelmed. But I really enjoyed it, because it also picked up beginners well. I especially liked the fact that it was the perfect balance between theory and practice. Thank you!” Read the original post

Course Characteristics

Course Content

Week 1: Introduction to People Analytics
Week 2: People Analytics Use Cases
Week 3: Getting Started with People Analytics
Week 4: Final Exam

Target Audience

  • HR and people analytics managers
  • HR reporting, HR controlling
  • CHROs and CEOs who want more value from HR
  • Anyone interested in learning more about people analytics

Course Requirements

  • Basic knowledge of HR and people management
  • Interest in people analytics

About Further Content Experts

Ralf Buechsenschuss

photo Ralf Buechsenschuss

Ralf Buechsenschuss is global people analytics manager at Nestle HQ and expert in HR strategy, HR transformation, and people analytics. He started his career in finance / internal audit before moving to HR to drive the analytics journey for the Telefonica Group and the Nestlé Group. 

Ralf holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Open University of London / Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Stuttgart and an MBA in global management from the IE Business School, Spain.

Steffen Riesenbeck

Photo Steffen Riesenbeck

Steffen Riesenbeck leads the Global People Analytics team at Bosch. Unlike other companies, Bosch is establishing people analytics starting with UX, not with data. The aim is to set up small pilot projects across the globe and use the knowledge and experience gained from them to develop a global strategy.

Steffen studied international HR management, organization and consultancy, and is an experienced HR business partner and project lead. He worked for more than 7 years in Compensation & Benefits, focusing on Eastern Europe/Asia Pacific, and 4 years as a group lead in HR IT.

Marius Prohl

Photo Marius Prohl

Marius Prohl is a senior people analytics analyst with SAP, working in the Chief Operating Office in HR. He manages people analytics projects to enable SAP HR to become a data-minded organization.

Marius has a diploma in psychology and strives to apply research methodologies to the HR field.

Stefan Heeke

Photo Stefan Heeke

Stefan Heeke is head of HR Data Science, Insights & Innovation at Deutsche Bahn. He is currently involved in establishing the people analytics practice, pioneering the use of data in an HR context to solve meaningful problems related to human aspects of Deutsche Bahn’s operations and contribute to a better, more productive workplace.

Previously, Stefan worked in advertising agencies, at Bertelsmann USA, Siemens USA, and a New York based non-profit organization.

As an adjunct professor, he taught a semester course “Data Science for Social Innovation” at New York’s Columbia University (SIPA) and now leads an executive seminar at DB Akademie called “Data Science for Managers”.

Prof. Dr. Jan Mayer

Photo Jan Mayer

Jan Mayer is joint managing director of Coaching Competence Cooperation Rhein-Neckar. He has worked as a sports psychologist for 20 years and has also coached various national teams. He currently takes care of the German soccer team TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and also advises the German Olympic Sports Confederation. 

Jan is also a professor at the German University of Applied Sciences for Prevention and Health Management (Saarbrücken) and an honorary professor at Saarland University. 

Dr. Christian Schmeichel

Photo Christian Schmeichel

Christian Schmeichel, Chief Operating Officer for Global HR at SAP SE, is responsible for the strategic and operational steering of SAP’s global HR function, serving the workforce of over 95,000 employees worldwide. A particular focus of his work is on establishing a data-driven HR culture as the foundation for creating superior HR consumer experiences.

Christian joined SAP in 2005 and is a recognized expert in successfully driving global transformation programs in the era of digitalization.

Prof. Dr. Laura Marie Edinger-Schons

Photo Edinger-Schons

Laura Marie Edinger-Schons is Professor of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at the University of Mannheim. Her research focuses on consumer and employee reactions to CSR, CSR management, CSR communication, as well as innovative pricing mechanisms and business models.

Her work has been published in renowned academic journals including the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, and Journal of Business Ethics.

Prof. Dr. Friedemann Kainer

Photo Friedeman Kainer

Friedemann Kainer holds the Chair of Civil Law, German and European Business and Labour Law at the University of Mannheim. He is director of the Institute of Business Law and a senior member of the Mannheim Centre for Competition and Innovation (MaCCI).

His research interests include data protection law in the context of work and business.

Course contents

  • Course content no longer available

  • Week 1:

    Introduction to People Analytics
  • Week 2:

    People Analytics Use Cases
  • Week 3:

    Getting Started with People Analytics
  • I Like, I Wish:

    We Love Your Feedback … And Want More
  • Final Exam:

    Good Luck!

Enroll me for this course

The course is free. Just register for an account on openSAP and take the course!
Enroll me now


Course End
Apr 17, 2019
Course Start
Mar 19, 2019


This course was rated with 4.38 stars in average from 919 votes.

Certificate Requirements

  • Gain a Record of Achievement by earning at least 50% of the maximum number of points from all graded assignments.
  • Gain a Confirmation of Participation by completing at least 50% of the course material.

Find out more in the certificate guidelines.

This course is offered by

Dr. Sabine Staritz

Sabine Staritz is responsible for the corporate network and HR platforms of Mannheim Business School. Together with Torsten Biemann, she initiated the “Expertenforum Digitales Talent Management” and the “PeopleAnalytics@Mannheim” network to help her HR partners master the challenges of digitization.

Sabine studied business administration and economics at the University of Regensburg and received a PhD from the University of Mannheim. Her research, which was published in the Journal of Marketing, focused on the relationship between employees and customers in the downsizing context.

Chris Kaibel

Chris Kaibel is a research associate at the Chair of Human Resource Management and Leadership at the University of Mannheim. His work with Mannheim Business School and the “PeopleAnalytics@Mannheim” initiative focuses on bridging the gap between science and practice. He advocates evidence-based management and consults organizations on how to use data and scientific evidence for better decision-making.

Chris studied business education with mathematics at the University of Mannheim, where he is currently completing his PhD. His research looks at the use of algorithms in HR and new research methods that can be applied in organizational practice.

Prof. Dr. Torsten Biemann

Torsten Biemann is Professor of Human Resource Management and Leadership at the University of Mannheim. His research focuses on the effectiveness of HRM instruments, careers, leadership, and research methods. He advocates an evidence-based approach to management.

Torsten’s work has appeared in a number of publications, including the Journal of Applied Psychology, Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Organizational Behavior, and Organizational Research Methods. He is an editor of PERSONALquarterly and was voted one of the HRM thought leaders in Germany by Personalmagazin in 2017.