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Author's profile photo Frans Smolders

New: SAP Advanced HR Analysis

Hi HR Analytics experts,

On January 7, 2013 we launched SAP Advanced HR Analysis rapid-deployment solution as part of our on-premise HR Analytics Applications portfolio.


It is amazing to see all the activity around HR Analytics customers, analysts, and even within our own organization. Until a few years ago HR was used to playing second fiddle when it came to analytics. Now, with turnover rates that are higher than ever, globalization making organizations more complex, and a hunt for talent at a global level, HR is more relevant than ever. HR Analytics plays a critical role in meeting these challenges, by providing insight that upports confident workforce decisions. Yet despite the urgency, HR has still struggled to get started using HR Analytics. That is, until the rising of predefined content, I would say!


Our strategy to provide predefined content directly addresses a major pain point for many of our customers. Their increased ability to obtain insight using powerful visualizations on top of already existing data sets and volumes is being received very well.


This journey started when we released SAP Executive HR Reporting rapid-deployment solution a few months ago. The dashboards featured in this solution provide insight for executives and HR Business Partners, and allow them to measure the pulse of their organization. This is shown in Figure 1 in the ‘Explore and Analyze section’.


Figure 1: The “Explore & analyze” phase of the Decision-Making Cycle


The result of providing dashboards to senior management is normally that new insight triggers new questions. This means that the uncover phase has started. These new questions are most appropriately answered by HR Business Partners, and in the most sophisticated organizations, the HR Analyst. This has exposed the need for a follow up solution that allows a drill down from the dashboards into the details to answer business questions such as how global talent pools are built up demographically, or what risks  are associated with aging employees in certain critical parts of your organization.
These questions can now be answered with Advanced HR Analysis rapid-deployment solution.

Advanced HR Analysis


The SAP Advanced HR Analysis rapid-deployment solution enables HR Analysts and HR Business Partners to answer questions, uncover problems, and validate hunches quickly. This solution contains predefined content for the important topics in human capital management, including workforce headcount, mobility and cost; recruitment; and talent management. The new solution enables HR to explore and assess data visually, drill down to identify the root causes, and share findings with stakeholders throughout the organization.


HR Business Partners can easily see correlations between metrics as they slice through the information. Advanced HR Analysis can provide insight into time management-related metrics such as overtime and illness. It also shows headcount and workforce mobility statistics. Recruitment processes can be visualized; and talent management metrics provide insight into the talent pipeline and key positions. Twenty-one (21) predefined workspaces are delivered. See the following overview (Figure 2) for all offered predefined workspaces. 


Figure 2: The 21 workspaces containing predefined content for the Advanced HR Analysis solution


All workspaces consist of a graphical and a detailed view. The graphical view that provides a quick overview of the status in the organization. Within this graphical overview the HR Analyst can drag in new dimensions to explore different angles, or change key figures to validate new hunches. Figure 3 provides an example:


Figure 3: Advanced HR Analysis workspace

The graphical view consists of a trend graph that shows how the metrics are evolving over a given period of time, and another graph that shows the organizational or cost center structure, which allows internal benchmarking to compare certain parts of the organization. 


The second part of the workspace contains a detailed view that allows the HR Analyst to slice through the dimensions to perform desired analyses. See the following example (Figure 4):


Figure 4: Detailed view of Advanced HR Analysis workspace

In the example contained in Figure 4, the user created a quick age breakdown overview of all employees in a specific part of the organization. The solution enables you to focus on specific key figures and allows zoom in on various dimensions, like age ranges. Such information can be leveraged in the following year’s recruitment plans when follow-up needs to be discussed for older employees. By dragging and dropping in new dimensions, correlations can be visualized that provide detailed insight into the workforce composition.   


Advanced HR Analysis is built on BusinessObjects Analysis edition for OLAP, which is a self-service, data exploration and analysis tool for business analysts in mid to large enterprises who want to quickly answer their complex questions. It is the go-to analysis tool for BW customers.


The Advanced HR Analytics solution builds on the exact same data set as Executive HR Reporting. This provides organizations with a single source of truth: their BW system. This rapid-deployment solution comes with an eight-week implementation time. During the implementation the visualizations (called workspaces) will be developed and the BW data models will be set up. When customers want to get started with both the dashboard solution as with this
detailed analysis solution, they can be implemented in only 12 weeks due to the synergy advantages it brings.

For all customers that have an on-premise analytics strategy, and have a BW environment up and running, this solution really can make a quick difference. The landscape required is much simples as for previous BusinessObjects tools running on BW, because there is no need for a universe. In BusinessObjects Analysis edition for OLAP you can directly visualize the queries in your existing BW landscape. This means that all customer specific BW data models can easily be integrated. What does this mean for the customer?  Investments can be leveraged and extended with powerful visualizations.

An offline demo of Advanced HR Analysis can be found by navigating to the ‘solution discovery’ section on this web page (authorization may be required)


I am looking forward to your comments and insights about this new solution!


Best regards,


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      Author's profile photo Luke Marson
      Luke Marson

      Hi Frans,

      Thanks for another great blog and this is a great follow-up solution to the SAP Executive HR Reporting RDS that you released last year. Analytics are an important part of the next generation of strategic HR and I'm delighted that SAP are showing commitment and vision to deliver solutions to help customers realize the benefits of analytics. I hope more organizations begin to realize the value and invest more in solutions to help them make better decisions and become more competitive.

      I am interested in how you will go from here. Are there plans to provide solutions for customers that don't have BW and/or BusinessObjects?

      Best regards,


      Author's profile photo Frans Smolders
      Frans Smolders
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Luke,


      Thanks for the appreciation.

      In 2012 our focus was mainly on improving our Analytics offering. For the coming year you will see a stronger focus on transactional reporting. Suite on SAP HANA provides more possibilities than ever before to deliver insight directly from our back-end system. More is described in my outlook for this year 




      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      This would surely enhance the reporting abilities for HR, Nice and great blog. Thank you Frans.


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Frans,

      How to decide between SAP SF and SAP Advanced HR Analysis ? Are there any parallels ? What is SAP's direction between these two offerings ? Will SAP continue to develop both of them ?



      Author's profile photo Frans Smolders
      Frans Smolders
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Datta,


      Generally speaking these are the two types of customers I speak to:


      1. Customers with a corporate BI
        strategy, of which HR is part;
      2. Customers were HR has the
        liberty to implement an own dedicated HR platform.


      For both options we have the platforms to support. The main
      differentiator between our SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics (WFA) platform
      and our SAP Business Intelligence portfolio is the amount and the quality of predefined
      content we provide.


      With WFA customers get access to 2000+ predefined metric and
      benchmarks on a single platform that provides dashboards to their executives,
      headline reports to the line-manager, self-service query tools to their HR
      Analysts, and even predictive models to the HR data scientist. All of those
      built on the same data set and this is all purpose build and dedicated to HR.
      WFA is a platform that has been built over 30 years and was originally
      (pre-SuccessFactors acquisition) vendor agnostic. That means that customers can
      still load in data from many different HR and non-HR sources. For many of our
      customers that takes a huge pain point away because over the years they have
      established an infrastructure with one or multiple HR Core systems, sometimes
      multiple best-of-breed talent management solutions on top, and a survey tool
      they want to leverage data from. With WFA customers get the ability to get
      consolidated insight across all their data. And the predefined metrics help
      customers to pick and choose the right ones for them to get started or to
      optimize their business.   


      Can all of these capabilities also be achieved when customers uses
      our SAP BI portfolio? I would say: Yes! And potentially even more. With our SAP
      BI portfolio we focus on providing best-in-class functionality. SAP BI provides
      point solutions for every role: SAP Design Studio to create dashboards for
      executives, SAP Lumira and SAP InfiniteInsight for self-service functionality
      for HR Analysts and line-managers, and SAP Analysis edition for Office for the
      HR Business Partner that wants to play around with real data in Microsoft Excel
      and to create a PowerPoint presentation based on real data. The main difference
      is that with SAP BI the focus is less on providing predefined content for the
      HR function compared to WFA. That means that customers and SAP Partners can
      build out great content, fully tailor made for every use case and customer


      We see very happy customers in both scenarios, so obviously we have
      a great portfolio that suits the need for all customers!