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Have Your Cake and Eat it, Too: How Visier Combines Fast Time to Value with Openness and Extensibility

Well over a decade of refinement makes Visier one of the most intuitive and generally appealing user experiences in enterprise software. But don’t let the pretty face fool you; what’s under the hood is every bit as powerful. Visier is a people analytics solution that’s both highly capable in its own right, and engineered to fit nicely within your data and application ecosystem.

Visier is built around an open, extensible, and transparent architecture that balances the often-conflicting objectives of delivering fast time to value with out-of-the-box utility, while also giving you the flexibility to integrate Visier into your tech stack, data fabric, and workflows.

Full Visier architecture

Let’s take a look under the hood, working from the bottom to the top:

Aggregate data sources

Common data sources

People data is everywhere. It’s both scattered across your organization and outside your walls through market and industry data. In fact, on average, considerably less than 10% of relevant people data can be found in your HRIS

Visier aggregates people data from applicant tracking and talent management systems, HRIS, onboarding tools, learning management systems, payroll–and also employee experience platforms\, market and industry data, and quite literally any other source of people data, wherever it lives. 

Multiple ways to integrate with your data 

Visier ingests all of this data in one of three ways: 

  1. The most basic is a flat file transfer via SFTP 
  2. Visier can also source this data programmatically with prebuilt connectors available for leading systems
  3. Or, via a data transfer API that provides programmatic access to Viser from other enterprise systems 

Cleanse data, validate data, repeat

Visier then processes this data in a way that’s uniquely required to understand the movement and progression of people in a workforce. Visier breaks down this data into individual events and applies time-based parameters that make it useful for understanding your workforce as it changes over time. Visier also provides tools for easily cleansing and validating all of this data.

Data that’s organized for insight

The Visier analytic model organizes this data into objects that are then exposed within and outside the application:

  • Subjects are entities that are separate and independent things that have attributes that change over time. ”Employee” and “candidate” are good examples of a subject.
  • Events represent a change to a subject at a specific point in time. Manager change, interview, or promotion are examples of an event. 
  • Dimensions are properties that are attached to a subject and are either in the data or calculated from the data. Birthdate, location, and tenure are examples of dimensions.
  • Concepts are used to define attributes or business terms independent of data. Concepts are used to standardize information—such as defining employee movement in the organization or diversity factors.  
  • Metrics are numbers or ordinal values that perform a calculation on your data. They can be simple such as an average or a count or significantly more complex using filters, time frames, or more advanced mathematical functions.  
  • Overlays allow you to augment your data with industry benchmarks or third party data about your people. EEOC data or Visier benchmarks are examples of overlays. 

The way Visier organizes the data and materializes it is a massive accelerator to the traditional people analytics approach. The alternative to this approach requires not only time and money but complex data models, data snapshots, and multiple data aggregations to reconcile the complexity of your people data. In addition, the traditional data warehouse and analytics tools approach results in a long list of enhancements and new capabilities that cost more and lack agility and insight.  

Manage your people from recruitment through retirement

Visier then packages all of this as a set of analytic applications or modules that you can apply to understand and improve your workforce across the entire lifecycle, from recruitment to retirement. Visier applies AI and machine learning to create predictive insights to manage your people more effectively. In addition to predictions, you can also test scenarios and perform what-if analyses. With the planning modules you can move beyond reporting to strategic workforce planning and collaborating on headcount and financial planning to achieve workforce goals.   

People answers, on demand

Visier content model includes guidebooks, topics, analysis, and explanations

One of the most difficult and time consuming aspects of any analytics project is crafting the right questions and building the corresponding content to support answering them. Visier does this for you with over 2000 questions you need to ask about your workforce—available right out of the box. Visier organizes the end-user experience around guidebooks that allow anyone to drill into topics, perform analysis, and see results paired with detailed explanations. The result is highly consumable insights that allow everyone in your organization to make data-backed decisions. 

Flexible and extensible

Visier Studio experience diagram

Visier’s studio experience is our developer and administration interface that includes the tools technical users need to change, secure, customize, and deploy Visier applications. These changes are captured and tracked in projects which can move together from development to deployment. Unlike most analytic systems, Visier streamlines analytic deployments with embedded lifecycle management that eliminates the need for multiple environments—and the maintenance and complexity that comes with them. The studio is used by our customer success and services team on your behalf and, once you’re certified, you can use it, too.

Visier plays well with others

Visier Studio experience diagram

Visier integrates with your data fabric or enterprise data ecosystem, allowing you to source people data directly from core HR systems like Workday or SAP SuccessFactors, or from your on-premise data warehouse or cloud sources like Amazon Redshift or Snowflake. Data and insights that have been processed and curated within Visier can also be easily consumed by the enterprise analytics teams using tools like Tableau or PowerBI for further analysis.

Have your cake and eat it, too

End user experience of Visier includes analytic experience and planning experience

All of this brings us to where we began-—with the Visier user experience. Hopefully you can see that what’s under the covers with Visier is as impressive as what meets the eye. 

From top to bottom, Visier is designed to deliver time to value measured in weeks, not quarters and years; while also ensuring that you never sacrifice the control, flexibility, and interoperability that you require for enterprise governance. 

Visier is about having your cake and eating it, too.

Author Photo
Steve Holder |
As the Vice President of Solution Advisory at Visier, Steve Holder is responsible for growing revenue and driving the people analytics market for Visier. As a member of the Visier leadership team Steve leads a customer facing team of subject matter experts in HR, analytics and technology. The team's mandate is to partner with our customers and prospects to solve their people analytics with Visier and to ensure they understand the solution and can realize value with Visier. Steve’s passion is making technology make sense for everyone regardless of their technical skillset.