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Don’t Settle for “Good Enough” HR Reporting and HR Analytics

Many HR departments are not living up to their intentions of becoming data-driven. The HRIS systems only provide monthly reports of operational workforce metrics. They only dive into a detailed analysis when a crisis emerges. 

HR has long been able to provide these kinds of metrics. But, the new world of work demands that HR connect these disparate data points together and deliver strategic insights in an easily consumable way to business leaders. True people analytics requires more than data just from your HRIS. Basic metrics like headcount and turnover rate are important, but even more vital is understanding the trends impacting these metrics and how they relate to business KPIs, such as revenue, gross margins, and net promoter score.

Data-driven, people analytic insights require a fully business-oriented approach. Being data-driven means more than providing data. To truly grow, HR needs to provide the insights that allow the CEO—and all people leaders—to bring the best their people and business can achieve together. IDC calculates, for example, that organizations achieve a 5 year ROI of 293%, break even in 7.5 months, and 16% faster time to market with Visier. 

Why your HRIS isn’t enough anymore 

Your modern HRIS may make it easier for employees to understand and monitor transactions, or to access necessary data, but it doesn’t enable real people analytics. Your HRIS system can’t bring together data about work, workforce, and workspace so leaders can see the impact employees have on the business, and the impact the business has on the employee

Your HRIS’s purpose is operational rigor. It records transactions and stores them securely. It’s not designed to provide the answers your business needs to keep key talent from leaving, understand how employee engagement relates to customer satisfaction and net promoter scores, or tell you which employees are the best candidates to succeed outgoing managers.  

HRIS vendors sell transactional systems. Even the most advanced HRIS systems cannot effectively provide the analytics needed to answer strategic workforce questions, connect workforce decisions to business outcomes, or support future modeling and projections. Their underlying technology simply does not allow it in any meaningful way. The “embedded analytics” in these systems simply provide the basic metrics and dashboards with the same reports HR always provides. They are built for delivering data–not for guiding business decision-making. 

What about building our own solution?

A traditional approach with modern tools like Prism, Tableau, Power BI, or Qlik may initially look easy and cost effective. But, many organizations regret this choice. General BI tools struggle to deliver actionable insights and scalable people analytics that meet changing needs of HR teams as well as people managers. The reality is, people analytics are hard to build. Developers need to get accurate business requirements, to extract, transform, and load data, and then to build key performance indicators to share via dashboards and reports. It could take years to deliver. Do you want to spend millions of dollars on a solution that’s too inflexible to change when the business changes? Consider the following key questions before deciding on a DIY path: 

  • Opportunity Cost: What is the opportunity cost of building people analytics in-house?
  • Business Requirements and Use Cases: Have you surveyed the current and future use cases that will drive your in-house people analytics solution?
  • Content, Metrics, and Data Integrations: Do you have the domain expertise to build new key performance indicators and data integrations as your users’ needs evolve?
  • Internal Rate of Return: How does the internal rate of return compare to a purchased solution?

Quote from the head of people analytics at Uber saying We could invest time to build a people analytics solution but why do that when there is an outstanding solution already

What about niche people analytics solutions?  

If your organization has a specific area of interest—such as HR data orchestration, DEI, recruiting or engagement—a niche analytics solution that dives deep into the specific area may help solve your immediate problems. However, some niche solutions only serve a small spectrum of your organization’s analytics needs and merely complement more comprehensive solutions. 

Visier’s pre-built approach is better

Accelerate people analytics strategies by simplifying key aspects: 

Data management: Visier’s open and extensible platform accepts people and business data, prepares and models it. Then, it immediately lights up pre-built analyses to explore, present, and share. Visier is constantly expanding and adding more value. And for those times when you need analysis unique to you, or simply to add HR data to the organization data lake, Visier enables you to extract clean, standardized data. 

Analytics content and capabilities: Visier People provides consumable analytics, with in-app context, predictive analysis, and data exploration capabilities.

User experience: Visier’s intuitive user experience and built-in benchmarks and context guides users to the right questions for better, more responsible decisions.

Scalable security: Visier also keeps sensitive data secure with automated controls that align detailed and aggregate content to the user’s role and responsibilities

Interested in learning more? Download the People Analytics Solutions Comparison infosheet.

About the author: Visier Team

People-centered ideas and insights by the editorial team at Visier.

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