SAP recently released its Executive HR Reporting RDS solution and I was quite impressed with the offering. Having been recently involved in a podcast on Cost Planning and Headcounting (http://www.insightcp.com/insights/cost-planning-and-reporting-sap-hcm), it occurred to me that many HR organizations are not providing meaningful reporting or do not make enough use of analytics for measuring what value they bring and what impact they have on the organization. Many organizations don’t take advantage of using analytics for predictive analysis of future trends and areas of focus within HR and across the organization. I think a lot of organizations are missing out on the high strategic value that HR would gain from using analytics.
The solution provides organizations with a HCM reporting cockpit that contains more than 40 predefined HCM metrics and KPIs. Organizations can also include custom-specific analytics in the solutions. What interests me about this solution is that, unlike some other RDS solutions, this offers organizations the opportunity to get a genuinely new solution that is not a fixed-scope version of an existing offering. As someone that likes to see HR prove its worth to the organization, it excites me that organizations can use this RDS to quickly get analytical capabilities within their organization with a much lower-risk than configuring all of these analytics themselves. The process of discovery workshops to define what to measure, how to calculate it and how to graphically visualize these metrics can be a lengthy process that might not provide the valued outcome that this RDS provides.
The HR Executive Reporting RDS is a SAP NetWeaver BusinessObjects “bolt on” that provides KPIs and analytics within a series of dashboards that are both visually appealing and easy-to-digest.
The 40 predefined HCM analytics (detailed below) cover workforce analysis, recruiting, talent management and cost reporting. The analytics are split across 5 dashboards that have customizable content, such as analytic definitions and definable links, and can also be configured to include customer-specific analytics. Most of the dashboards contain a number of dashboards that split up analytics into more specific topic or process areas.
When an executive or HR user logs into the solution they are taken to the Executive dashboard (the landing page). This page contains an overview of analytics and the user then has the ability to drill-down into analytics, create comments or navigate to other dashboards. Users can zoom into the organization structure or cost center hierarchy to monitor operations or identify trends – with worrying trends highlighted – and can track them over a period of time. Selecting an analytic will display a graph or chart of the analytic. Each analytic can be analyzed within the following dimensions:
- Last year
- Current year
- Current month
- Cost center
- Organization structure
In addition to this list, some analytics have specific filters directly related to that form of benchmarking. For example, in the Succession Planning dashboard Bench Strength can be filtered by Functional Area.
Other features include:
- Role-based security (although leverages BW security)
- Printing of dashboards
- Comment on trends and data
- Keep track of issues and solutions
As this is an SAP RDS offering then the usual RDS terms & conditions along with the usual RDS benefits are available to customers (fixed-price, fixed yet flexible scope, RDS methodology, deployment in fixed time, etc). The RDS implementation package is fixed at 8 weeks and includes an on-site workshop and selection of the analytics that will be displayed – configuration of these analytics is included as part of the RDS implementation package.
What analytics are included?
The landing page contains analytics that are selected during implementation. These are customized according to the need and data that the organization has and is included as part of the RDS package.
In the Workforce analysis dashboard contains 3 dashboards: Workforce, Headcount and Time and Attendance. In the Workforce dashboard the following analytics are covered:
- Employee turnover
- Employee loyalty
- Average age
- Tenure in position
- Staff in management
The Headcount dashboard covers the following metrics:
- Headcount FTE
- New hires
The Time and attendance dashboard contains metrics around the following:
- Leave balance
- Illness rate
The Recruitment dashboard is self-contained and covers:
- Vacant positions
- Time to fill
- Quality of hire (No. of leavers v performance of new hires in 1st year)
- Internal fill rate
- Offer acceptance rate
- Open requisitions
The Talent Management dashboard is split into 3 dashboards: Talents and Cost, Performance and Potential and Succession Planning. The Talents and Cost dashboard covers analytics on talents with the organization and average total pay increase.
The Performance and Potential dashboard contains analytics on:
- Performance and Potential
- Promotions and demotions
- Lateral moves for talents and non-talents
- Job rotation and movement
- Average training hours
The Succession Planning dashboard covers analytics on:
- Key positions (viewable by Functional Area)
- Bench Strength
- Readiness of succession
- Talents in key positions
- Quality of succession (what % of successors are selected to fill key positions)
The Workforce Cost dashboard is split into 2 dashboards. The Salary Cost dashboard covers analytics related to:
- Personnel cost per cost type (fixed salary, bonus, etc)
- Cost and headcount planning
- Average talent compensation
- Talent training cost analysis
The Other Personnel Cost dashboard covers:
- Education costs
- Number of training days
- Training methods
- Travel costs per expense type
- Number of travel days
- Absence costs
- Overtime costs
The RDS can be integrated with BW Integrated Planning and SAP StreamWork in order to:
- Setup targets and create KPIs on behalf of the business
- Include benchmark data
- Collaborate and share with colleagues
- Keep track of action items
- Cascade action items
The following components are required to run the RDS:
- ECC6 EhP5 or above
- EhP2 SP10 for SAP NetWeaver 7.0 ABAP AS (with BI Content 7.06 SP03 add-on)
- SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence platform 4.0 SP4
- SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.0 SP4
- Internet Explorer 8
- Adobe Flash Player 10.1 or above
If Integrated Planning is used then EhP2 for SAP NetWeaver 7.0 Java is required.
The SAP HR Executive Reporting RDS is a new and powerful analytics solution that is offered under the RDS framework, to provide added business value at a fixed-price and within a short lead-time, to organizations that use BW. The solution provides a variety of analytics across the board that can provide executives and HR individuals with access to analytics through sexy and visually appealing dashboards, while offering functionality to enable them to identify worrying trends, track those trends, identify root causes and evaluate correlations between analytics.
Since this is a new solution then the technology pre-requisites might necessitate some preparation and upgrade work before an implementation can begin. Organizations that are not using BW will have to miss out, but my first impression is very positive and I am certain that this will become a very popular member of the RDS family.
For me, the only real thing missing that would make this a complete solution is attractive functionality that provides users with the answers to the analytics. For example, the dashboard indicates what the training costs are but doesn’t indicate why the training costs are that level. To find answers to the underlying questions it will be down to the HR Business Partners or BW team to find the answers for the users using the less-than-attractive BW Bex ad-hoc reporting tool. It is rumored that SAP are planning a follow-up RDS package that will provide ad-hoc reporting on the dataset used within this RDS, which should go a long way towards creating a complete analytical solution for HR. In addition, SAP are planning to release a new package in 2013 that enables headcount and salary planning. This will help that help SAP to move away from providing only data models to providing full analytic business content that immediately provide real business value to customers.