There has been much talk about ‘HR Big Data’ over recent months, and against a backdrop of news articles about HR needing to add greater value.
So, rather than simply administer employee records and deal with day to day issues as and when they arise, what tools are available to HR professionals and business leaders to bring about positive change and to help make informed decisions?
HR are being accused of not doing enough to assist in the commercial growth of the companies they work with. And many of them live with criticisms being levelled against them for not understanding what’s being asked of them, or how their actions ‘could’ impact the bottom line, made more possible if they were more proactive and aligned themselves better with the company’s strategic and financial goals.
According to a 2013 survey by talent analytics software vendor SHL, more than three-quarters (77%) of HR professionals are unable to determine how their Company’s workforce potential is affecting the bottom line, while less than half (44%) use objective data regarding performance to guide business decisions.
So, what might be the thought process for businesses and HR professionals, in using data to support the achievement of business objectives and to provide HR with the business insight to initiate change and add significant value?
Aligning Analytics with Business Objectives:
- Identify what matters in your own organisation and tailor your data analyses to add value to the business
- Determine the links between business problems and workforce trends to produce valuable recommendations
- Produce business-focused hypotheses, interpreting your results to deliver business-driven insights
- Decide upon what to measure to inform effective business decisions
- Use your data to produce relevant, powerful and useful insights
- Join up the insight by linking data to business performance
- Apply those insights to enhance people management and company strategy
- Define the economic impact of the analytics to support the value to the business
- Use analytics to set, assess and measure KPI’s and business goals
- Use analytics to monitor performance and identify development needs
- Decide on what should be measured and analysed to increase business profit
- Communicate how to use analytics to increase employee engagement and satisfaction
- Formulate analytics-based recommendations to increase engagement
The good news is that Youmanage will shortly release its Reporting and Analytics component, which will see sophisticated business intelligence tools embedded throughout the Youmanage platform. Our technology will provide a simple and fast way for all clients to deliver relevant and compelling dashboards, reports, and analytics to all relevant users.
The design of our modular and flexible architecture has allowed us to provide enterprise-level business intelligence functions to be embedded directly inside, and throughout, the Youmanage application. This will deliver critical information when needed most and where users can act on it, dramatically speeding up commercial discussions and ultimately, decision making.
Dashboards are a single or a collection of configurable screens within Youmanage where various critical pieces of information are chosen and placed in the form of ‘tiles’. They allow each user to have a unified and personalised view of any data and information that matters to them to assist in their day to day duties and ultimately help to drive the business forward.
Dashboards clearly communicate business objectives throughout the organisation, allowing users to see progress towards company goals, keeping everyone focussed and informed with real time data.
With a personalised layout, each user will only see the information that is most important to them; they can filter out information that is not relevant to them, add data in and all data is governed by the permission sets for each Youmanage user.
Users can immediately see any problems and drill down on charts and links to explore detailed information and further analyse data to determine root causes and to correct negative trends.
Dashboards provide HR, senior executives and line managers with convenient and immediate access to key performance metrics. This is designed to help them have a greater understanding of the business by monitoring performance measures, outstanding tasks and activities and HR/business processes.
With the flexibility and the navigability of the Web in mind, the tiles can be as diverse as:
- Business metrics displayed as charts and graphs
- Key performance indicators
- GIS maps
- Web sites, news, RSS feeds, real-time share info etc
- Personal reminders
- In short, almost anything that can be displayed on the Web
Put simply, Business Intelligence (BI) is the effective use of data and information to be able to make sound business decisions.
For Youmanage, it means the process of accessing data, formatting it and delivering it throughout the application. By turning data into meaningful and useful information through analysis, making it more possible to immediately action decisions which are aimed at fulfilling strategic goals.
Analysing data means asking it questions and getting meaningful answers in return. For example, the simple command “sort in descending order” on a column of data in Excel representing outstanding performance reviews would answer the questions “Which manager has completed the most reviews, or the least reviews?” The sort command has contextualised the data, making it much more meaningful in terms of the strategic goals of the business.
The goal of the analysis features is to enable decision-makers to understand data, to spot patterns between numbers, to identify trends and the reasons behind them.
Getting the most out of BI requires a strategic focus. Business intelligence should be a lever that enables a company to “lift” itself more efficiently towards its strategic goals.
No matter how cutting-edge our BI application is, and no matter how well it’s been built and implemented, it is ultimately the end-user who has to make the most out of it.
The true test of the usability of a BI solution is with the non-technical end-users. The tests undertaken with some non-technical users have been very positive, where the feedback reported has been to tell us that the new capability is powerful, intuitive, easy to use, engaging and insightful.
Therefore, we’ve developed our BI solution, designed for HR users and Managers who does not necessarily possess IT skills and who want to use business data and information from within Youmanage to guide their actions.
Charts and graphs, as well as more advanced data visualization tools, help users to better understand their data and provide a fast, more meaningful view in context, especially when comparing sets of data.
We have included a wide range of standard flat charts, including line, pie, bar, stacked bar, and so on, to more advanced, three-dimensional and dynamic Flash charts and features like heat maps, text clouds and GIS maps. These visualisation features offer a way to present data and information in a tangible and impactful way.
In today’s fast-paced business environments, scanning through rows of data can be time-consuming and impractical. Many HR, line managers and all business people want easy visual tools to see accurate, real-time business-critical information. They may want to start with the big picture and then further explore the details as required. Or, they may need to spot exceptions and identify emerging trends to take immediate and appropriate action.
Cutting-edge visualisation tools show high-level summaries of important data. They present information in clearly defined spaces using shape, size and colour to provide context and meaning to the user, who can get insight at a single and quick glance.
Custom Reports stands in contrast with Standard Reports, where we, the technical authors, have created a large suite of Standard Reports, accessible via the reporting menus.
The idea of creating Custom Reports continues with the release of our newly developed BI solution.
We’ve connected the reporting capability to all data sources within Youmanage and established the necessary security parameters, which determines which data any user is allowed to see.
From that point on, the Custom Reports are created by business end-users. The Custom Reports capability is provided to all clients, enabling them to easily build reports and distribute these as required, and decide whether to make these Public or Private within the main reporting area.
Naturally, Custom Reports can be as simple as a one page data table or as complex and rich as interactive tabular or cross-tab reports with drill-down and visualization features, or present themselves in the form of various styles of dashboard ‘tiles’, such as a heat map, or other more advanced forms.
Automated Report Scheduling
Automated report scheduling and delivery takes information proactively to the right users at the right time, allowing information to be distributed efficiently and consistently to relevant end-users.
Report scheduling helps streamline information delivery as well as help users to optimise the running of many reports, which can be set up to automatically export data in various formats, for example to Excel or PDF and these can be delivered to specific users on a regularly scheduled basis.
For example, if payroll requires a monthly employee changes report, users can automatically schedule the creation and delivery of the report to finance every Monday at 9:00 AM.
We’re scheduled to launch the new reporting and analytics capability to existing and new customers in the final quarter of 2014. Please get in touch if you’d like to know more about Youmanage or our new reporting and analytics capabilities. 01786 458037 or firstname.lastname@example.org