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Hi HR experts,

In Embedded analytics provide immediate answers to key HR business questions I described SAP’s focus on HR Analytics in EHP5. In this entry I will describe what has happened in the SAP HR suite since the EHP5 delivery in the Reporting and Analytics space. I will first focus on the EHP6 delivery and after that cover HR Renewal 1.0.

Enhancement package 6

In order to have customers spend less time fumbling with databases, and more time understanding how the organization can transform human capital into value-creating activity, EHP6 delivered a completely new data modeling technology for HR Reporting and Analytics. The technology that was delivered to support this is called Operational Data Provisioning (ODP).

Operational Data Provisioning

Before talking about the HR business value, I’ll first explain the technology. In businesses there are several use cases for analytics scenarios, e.g. simple list reporting, multidimensional analysis, formatted reporting or dashboarding. In each of the different scenarios, different UIs are needed to support the analytics needs, even though they all consume the same data. ODP assures that data provisioning is unified in a such a way that the same data can be consumed by different UIs, based on the same data model.

ODP is a technology that unifies data provisioning for both Analytics and SAP Enterprise Search, and is designed in a common modeling environment for Enterprise Search and Analytics. The business logic (e.g. for transformations from a transactional to an analytical view of the data) is implemented by application development only once in the DataSource. With ODP models the following scenarios can be supported:

  • Replication to BW
  • Direct access from BW
  • Direct access in the backend system
  • Replication to BWA à If a BWA(TREX) is applied, then Enterprise Search and Analytics share the same index, which i.e. can also be consumed directly in the BusinessObjects Explorer.
  • Replication to any (registered) ETL consumer (e.g. Data Integrator).

The main benefit of ODP is simplification of the way data modeling is performed,. Whereas in the past multiple data modeling methods were needed to be applied for different SAP systems, now only one ODP needs to be set up. So given this technological benefit, what about the business value?

ODP data models delivered by EHP6

In order to provide immediate business benefits, SAP delivered eighteen (18) ODP data models that can be switched on with the business function HCM_ANALYTICS_2. The following data models are delivered:

  • Personnel Administration
    • Actual Headcount / FTE
    • Trend Analysis for Headcount / FTE
    • Personnel Actions (Hiring, Terminations, etc.)
    • Quality of Hire
    • Reminder for Birthdays and Anniversaries
  • Enterprise Performance Management
    • Process Status and Progress Monitor
  • Enterprise Compensation Management
    • Process Status and Progress Monitor (including Budget)
    • Time & Labor
  • Reporting on Time Types
    • Overview of Absences, Attendance & Overtime
  • E-Learning
    • Overview of Trainings and Training Costs
    • Qualifications Compliance
    • Course Appraisals
  • E-Recruiting
    • Posting Channel Efficiency
    • Requisition Monitor
    • Planned Job Interview
    • Efficiency of Application Sources
    • Activity Monitor
    • Time to Fill

These ODP data models support the manager, HR Business partner and Talent Specialist in their daily work. The data models answer crucial business questions regarding headcount and workforce mobility, including: what is our headcount, and how is that divided over our different functional areas and locations? What is the composition of our headcount? Did we hire the best people? How is overall employee mobility within the organization? How many employees left the company, and for what reasons?

The ODP data models also address important questions on employee development, such as: How many top talents do we have in the organization? How many top talents have left the organization? What is the performance and potential of our employees? in addition the data models will address simple business questions, for example what are the upcoming birthdays and anniversaries of my employees?

There are a few other enhancements I would like to draw special attention to, because these address functional gaps. On the recruiting side not too much business content was delivered over the past years. With the five ODPs that are delivered in EHP6, a thorough analysis can be conducted in the recruiting area to answer questions: like what is the average time to fill a position and are we using the right channels to find the best new-hires? In addition, there are ODPs that enable Compliance Reporting. Answering business questions concerning whether employees have the appropriate qualifications and if they are compliant was very hard before EHP6. The new Learning ODP queries answer these business questions.

The following link provides more details into all ODP’s for HR: https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/bpx/index?rid=/webcontent/uuid/40bdb7d7-8ea6-2e10-5c93-ebee641e5cf9

Now let´s focus on the business content that was provided on top of these ODP data models.

Analytics in HR Renewal 1.0

The overall goal for SAP HR is to make the user experience consumer grade, and so usability and the look and feel for HR Reporting have been upgraded. Special attention has been given to enhancing embedded analytics, and updating operational reporting. Significant improvements have also been made to improve the usability of the processes in Manager Self-Service (MSS), by bringing consolidated information to the manager and allowing fewer clicks to execute on a process. This means that managers will benefit from faster reporting, more facile user experience, and better access to embedded analytics, all aimed at equipping the manager to make the best decision directly from within the business transaction.

MSS reporting

Line managers have had access to reports in MSS for a while now, but the user experience for these reports had become outdated. In HR Renewal 1.0 MSS reports are now delivered with a modern look and feel, so that these are consistent with the rest of the ERP HCM user experience and MSS functionality. In addition, managers will notice a great amount of attention has been given to the navigation within these reports, and the ease of use to operate these reports.

The following MSS reports are delivered:

  • Personal Data
  • Organizational Data
  • Duration of Organizational Assignments in Company
  • Position Overview
  • Attendance and Absence Quota Overview
  • Overtime Overview
  • Salary Overview
  • Talent Management Information
  • Employee Entries
  • Employees Leaving the Company
  • Training activities
  • Expiring Qualifications

All these MSS reports run on the ODP functionality delivered in EHP6, and include variant functionality, which enables managers to create their own views of the data. This feature affords greater insight into what actually matters for this specific line manager.

The following two examples of the delivered reports illustrate the new MSS functionality. Figure 1 contains an example of one of these new reports that shows the manager’s view of employee data.

picture 1.png

Figure 1: Personal data report

This provides the manager with all the details he needs to know about his employee in one overview. Variants can be created to display the information that the manager wants to focus on.

Figure 2 shows a mockup of a report that displays length of service for all employees within a manager’s area of responsibility.

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Figure 2 Duration of Organizational Assignments in Company

This can give an indication to the manager about what employees might be ready for the next challenge in their career, and what other employees could fill that spot.

All these reports are directly accessible from the manager Launchpad in MSS.

MSS embedded analytics

SAP HR Renewal 1.0 also focuses on delivering enhanced insights for a manager performing operational processes, providing new functionality that shows the manager precisely where action is required. Figure 3 below is a screenshot of the manager start page, which visualizes such an example:

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Figure3: MSS Team view

Directly from the team view the manager can click into details to get more insight. This is visualized in figure 4.

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Figure 4: Detailed view approve working times

From such a detailed panel a drill down is possible directly form the bar. For example, if a manager clicks on a bar he or she will see a filtered list that displays only the incomplete timesheets. Other functionality that was added includes the ability to send mass reminders directly from this view. These embedded analytics provide a better overview for the manager, making analytics actionable.

All the analytics on the start page can be configured and personalized by the manager according to business need enabling flexibility to choose what areas to focus on. 

As mentioned at the beginning of this blog, there is a big focus on HR Analytics and delivering pre-defined content. With this post I hope that I have offered more insight into the innovations SAP is providing to managers. In later posts I will further elaborate on what is cooking in the SAP HR Analytics labs

Regards,

Frans Smolders

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11 Comments

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  1. Jean-Bernard Rolland

    Thank you for sharing this perspective. ODP is a very interesting feature that allows to go back to what was a simple use case: reporting directly from the transactional systems.

    First were the DBMs. They were purpose-built Then came RDBMS and ACID transactions. RDBMSs supporting ACID transactions provided an efficient and reliable way for storing and retrieving enterprise data, for for OLTP and OLAP. But when data volumes became too overwhelming , in the early 1980, the RDBMS became incapable of supporting OLAP because disk reads could not keep up with the volumes.

    ODP is a simple way of addressing this challenge. We are going back to the glorious days of DBMs in the systems…

    Of course, the C-class of reporting on the transactional data will be HANA. I can’t wait to start sharing what HANA can do for HR reporting.

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    1. Chris Paine

      Hi JB,

      I think very many of us are wondering what HANA can and will do for HR reporting. So far, I have been unable to think of a use case that would give a ROI – and much as there is BS spouted about ROX being more important, if that were truely the case, users/companies would be migrating from onPrem a lot faster than they are 😉 .

      As I’ve mentioned before, until payroll and time calculations can be migrated to HANA, thus allowing for some very powerful “what if” scenarios, I’m not sure what added value HANA will provide over standard BW reporting.

      Are you happy to share some previews of the things that are getting you excited?

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      1. Jean-Bernard Rolland

        Payroll on hana reporting, and time reporting are the two most immediate use cases for HR on HANA.

        Later on, the capability to 1. detect causal relationships invisible to the bare eye and 2. use the relationships thus created to predict the impact of one policy change will be powerful tools as well.

        I think that fraud prevention can also be a very powerful use case.

        Best regards

        JB

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  2. Luke Marson

    Hi Frans,

    Another great blog and I like how SAP are trying to provide analytics capabilities to organizations that aren’t using or can’t justify the investment in BI. I also like how SAP are putting a strong emphasis on analytics and how they can propvide operational benefit to HR organizations. Increasing strategic and operational efficiency are the next steps for 21st century HR.

    Best regards,

    Luke

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  3. Chris Paine

    Great stuff here, many thanks for a very informative blog.

    Much as I appreciate this new reporting capability, it is still a little way from the walk-up UX that I think at the moment only comes through custom BO development. The integrated analytics,however are great, the two examples ere however are from the previous MSS addon release. I look forward to seeing more in HR Renewal. The businesses that I have implemented these for really like them.  Indeed, they liked them so much that we built more. We did not use the profile matchup view as although it looks nice there is limited value in just seeing the first five direct reports vs an overall view of the team, which we built.

    Thanks again for releasing such useful content. It is very much appreciated.

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    1. Frans Smolders Post author

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for your positive reaction. These out-of-the box reports are part of the SAP Suite and can be used by all our customers. This is indeed different, and maybe less appealing, as what can be achieved with BO. Other advantage of using BO is that it can be made 100% according to customer needs and more advanced analysis can be made. There is however an additional license requirement to use that. This is not the case for the content described in this blog.

      I will keep the community up to date with new stuff that we deliver in the Analytics and Planning field!

      Regards,

      Frans

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      1. Chris Paine

        Thanks for posting it up there Frans 🙂 !

        Perhaps for the future developments which are to be more non-SAP user focused, a little thought could be taken into making the user experience more “walk-up”. For example, unless I was a die-hard SAP user, the word “Variant” does not conjure up images of saved report selection criteria. “Saved Criteria” might work a lot better!

        I know I can easily change this on the screen, but I’m sure it will also exist in F1 help elsewhere, making the change quite onerous 🙁 .

        Whichever way that I look at it though, this is a great step forward from having to code up custom reporting solutions (I have been almost refusing to let clients use WebGUI reporting for the last few years as it is so ugly!)

        I’m guessing – and hoping to be proved wrong (although I suspect I won’t be) that the ability to run a report from a hierarchical tree selection is not there? I.e. for a user to be able to use a tree view to select a position/org unit as a selection criteria for a report?

        It would be possible to use the MSS teamviewer app to select an object and then pass that object id into a report – although I’d be happily surprised if such eventing was handled in the standard ODP selection feeder. However, it might be driving too much from that team view, I’ll see when the requirement gets to me eventually 🙂

        Thanks again for posting this content up – I was desperately trying to find a list of the reports delivered and not having much luck. Your post came at just the right time for me.

        I look forward to more great content.

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