Human Resource function has been under incredible pressure with the expectation of delivering a framework of actionable insights and, data analysis right across the organisation. The primary challenge is that they are under-resourced and subsequently under-invested in technology which could support this framework. As a result, most HR executives cannot present core HR data about the overall health of their organisation.
While core reporting is essential, it’s simply not deep enough for managers and HR to make informed choices. The goal is what is known as ‘people analytics’. People Analytics connects and aligns HR data to the overall Business goal in a manner that facilitates meaningful, proactive, and forward-looking actions.
Th first step in getting a people analytics framework live is to have the data infrastructure in place which offers basic reporting. The ability to present a report on metrics such as headcount, turnover and time to fill acts as a precursor to other value-added activities such as being able to predict what is the reason that has led to increased turnover and recruitment delays. The only way to achieve this requires an investment in HR Software that supports in-depth analysis and better, faster decision making.
- Flexibility and Reliability
Quite a few organisations still don’t realise the significance of having readily available, high quality of HR data. In these environments you find business analysts trying to pull data from disparate sources and systems of truth. The business analysts then translate this data from one system in such a manner which makes it compatible with the data derived from other systems. The outcome of such data analysis is a fragmented, makeshift set of systems which seems to be incompatible with end-user experience as well as data security. Hence, such data analysis is often considered to be unreliable, as it requires a level of manipulation and translation making it prone to errors. Also, the data output derived in this manner is found to be rather rigid. For example, an executive requires the turnover data to exclude retired employees; the business analyst needs to narrow down the dataset and re-send the results accordingly. If however, the request is of urgent nature, most of the times the analyst is unable to meet the deadline. Hence the data is ‘inflexible’ since it needs human intervention. In such circumstances, the HR systems strive to do away with the human element from data analysis to streamline the process of achieving insights and making it even more reliable. This becomes feasible since the HR system itself is the source of data. Instead of needing to ask a business analyst to split data in a particular manner, a HR system facilitates the user to perform that particular action with a higher level of data accuracy and efficiency as well. It also makes it much more likely for executive level users to be able to utilise that information.
- Integration into your business Ecosystem
Most organisations are already across the integration of their HR business processes. For instance, an integration that involves an HR system and says background checking seems to be quite common in a new hiring process. However, over and above the transactional administration of HR processing, integration of data is equally important. Data integration delivers an aggregation of human resources information derived from several sources as opposed to a business process based out of a single system that kicks off a business process in another system.
In this scenario where a user is pulling data from multiple sources and aggregating it into meaningful insight, an integrator is a person. This poses several limitations whenever people serve as data managers. Contractors or employees prove to be an expensive resource and are also prone to making errors with time constraints. In fact, a better use of people in a business context is as data interpreters instead of acting as data managers.
When the HR function reaches the point where it is able to successfully automate data integration between HR, finance, payroll, IT, and other systems into one platform, people analytics matures into a kind of actual practice. For instance, instead of worrying about the performance of sales reps purely as a HR issue, the procurement system allows you to look into their sales performance against sales targets. This gives you a more holistic picture aligned with divisional goals and the overall financial health of the organisation.
- Decisionmaking via On demand Analytics
Finally, with HR software in place, an organisation will be able to embrace people analytics thanks to the benefit of self-service. Another problem you tend to have with a person integrating HR data to create insights is that it brings about a middle-man between the data and the user. User empowerment is a concept which facilitates the end users of a system to carry out their own analysis. So instead of depending on the business analyst to include or exclude certain data in a report or dashboard, the HR user or the manager can do it all by themselves.
User empowerment works with the assumption that the user is willing to perform and is cable of carrying out certain kinds of analyses themselves which may, however, vary from person to person. However, if you assume that a particular individual wishes to have that control over the manipulation of data himself, one of the easiest answers is to provide that level of control. With the growing popularity of HR software with it becoming more user-friendly and more advanced, you will begin to see data discovery to be one of the value propositions for businesses. It will facilitate users to be able to easily navigate through information and interactively build their own reports.
Effective self-service analytics can only be feasible when human intervention while preparing HR data is removed and replaced with software integrations with other systems which house ancillary data. For instance, the territory sales data, pricing or procurement data, and shop floor data are all derived from varied sources which when integrated can produce meaningful insights.
To sum it up, in today’s era of technological environment, data seems to be all around. The challenging part is to interpret this data. So the first step towards becoming data-driven and focussing on people analytics is to depend on a single, reliable, and flexible source of data. The next step is to ensure that all primary and secondary data sources are integrated via software integrations. The final step is to empower end users by providing them appropriate security access to interpret and arrive at conclusions from this data. Without reliable, integrated, flexible, and accessible information derived from a functional HR system, people analytics will continue to be an aspiration for the organisations that are ready to make that kind of compulsory and much-needed investment.
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