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Predefined content for HR based on SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, Edition for OLAP

On January 7, 2013 we launched SAP Advanced HR Analysis rapid-deployment solution as part of our on-premise HR Analytics Applications portfolio. 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. This rapid-deployment solution provides datamodels and visualizations that can be implemented in as little as 8 weeks.

The value of predefined content 

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.


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!

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.


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 anon-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 prepackaged solution!


Best regards,



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  • Very nice, but I think that in figure 2 you are missing compensation and also it’s not clearly represented the ability to analyze data from the registration date point of view instead of the start of validity date point of view.

    I mean, sometimes raises or promotions are given at a date but are valid from a date in the past, this leads to the need for a “double view”.

    • Hi PM,


      The talent compensation queries are part of the solution. They
      are also leveraged in SAP Executive HR Reporting. However we do not have a
      dedicated workspace out of the box. Nevertheless, it is fairly easy to include
      this in our offering via linking the query to a new workspace. One of the
      biggest advantages of this solution is the ease of integration with BW. 

      Is your question regarding time windows, if we include from and
      to date?





      • HI Frans,

        not only from date and to date, but also the creation date.

        I mean that sometimes you get promoted or you get a raise on a certain date but valid from a previous date, date from reflects the valid from date but it’s difficult with standard content to analyze data from the point of view of when the raise or promotion has been given.


  • Good job Frans. I like the content that is coming out of SAP now for on-premise analytics, although BOBJ could be a limitation for some. However, if orgs are serious about analytics they will invest in the right tools.

    How would you compare these solutions to SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics? Is there are similar kind of value proposition?

    Best regards,


    • Hi Luke,


      I come across 2 types customers roughly (always dangerous to generalize 😉 ):


      1. Customers with a strong HR department that can invest in an own
        Analytics solution that is dedicated for HR.
      2. Customers with an on-premise Analytics strategy and HR is part of this overall strategy

      For segment #1 the SuccessFactors suite is very powerful,
      because it is dedicated to HR Analytics and it is more complete from an
      out-of-the-box content perspective.


      This solution mainly targets customers in segment #2. A lot of
      our customers are investing heavily in BOBJ (and in Edition for OLAP). All
      these customers now can leverage their licenses and supply their HR
      organization with nice analytics in only 8 weeks. Quick time to value.


      Please let me know your thoughts.


      Best regards,



      • Hi Frans,

        Sounds reasonable to me and I hope that customers using BOBJ and other analytics solutions consider HR within their overall strategy. Analytics can offer a lot of value to HR and I’m fairly confident that the new SAP HCM analytics solutions support this strongly. I guess with SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics you know have solutions to cover most types of customers, depending on their overall technology and analytics strategies.

        Best regards,


        • Hi Luke,

          Our focus is indeed to support customers with pre-defined content that have the ‘traditional’ on-premise Analytics strategy, or all customers that want to run HR analytics in the cloud.



  • I received a demo of this solution some weeks ago.  It is top-notch. 

    I have presented your other RDS (HR Executive Reporting) to a few clients, and inevitably the question comes back to…  “The dashboards are great, but how do we drill down?”

    This solution definitely helps to fit that need.  I see this as a powerful 1-2 punch along with the Executive Reporting RDS.

    Congratulations Frans.  I am excited to see what you have coming next.  On-Premise HR Analytics is still a big play — particularly for clients that have already invested in BusinessObjects licenses for other parts of the business.