I recently attended SuccessConnect 2019 in Las Vegas, and enjoyed collaborating with colleagues, customers, and old friends. Having been an SAP SuccessFactors Reporting and Analytics practitioner and consultant for many years, I’m quite excited about the new SAP SuccessFactors People Analytics solution, and therefore attending the People Analytics roadmap sessions was a top priority for me.
Kim Lessley and Rob Wood held two People Analytics roadmap sessions, and both were well attended with lots of participant interaction. Here is my recap of the key highlights and notable developments from the sessions.
People Analytics Editions
Kim started with an overview of the three editions of SAP SuccessFactors People Analytics, and it always worth reviewing that breakdown:
For all editions, SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) advanced visualization tools are embedded in SuccessFactors. The embedded edition is included with any/all SAP SuccessFactors modules, while additional licenses are necessary for the Advanced and Planning editions. Note that existing Workforce Analytics (WFA) and/or Workforce Planning (WFP) licenses will remain valid for the Advanced and/or Planning editions, respectively.
An Aside: WFA lives on as Advanced Edition and remains an important part of a People Analytics strategy and program
I’ve observed some misunderstanding around WFA and its future. The most common misconceptions are that People Analytics replaces WFA and/or the embedded edition with the new SAC tools makes WFA/Advanced Edition unnecessary.
Let’s break both of these down:
- The WFA on Hana Data Factory continues as the engine to transform your data into strategic time-trending metrics and dimensions in an OLAP cube database.
- While the SAC tools provide state-of-the-art visualization and dashboarding capabilities for your transactional data, the time trending with WFA/Advanced Edition is absolutely crucial to enable strategic insights and continue your movement up the People Analytics maturity curve.
This slide explaining the point 2 above really resonates with me:
— Mike Hoekstra (@HoekAnalytics) September 17, 2019
Embedded and Advanced Live Demo
Rob delivered an excellent live demo of both the embedded and advanced editions. It was great to see these tools working smoothly as the release dates approaches. Certainly the possibilities to create fresh, dynamic visualizations are exciting.
Overheard from a member of the audience: “These look awesome!”
Related: See Erik Ebert’s People Analytics first impressions post with some great dashboard screenshots.
Migration Tools look like a no-go for now
A new minor development is that that SAP does not necessarily plan to provide automatic conversion tools for existing Canvas/ORD, Table/AdHoc, and Tile-based Dashboards. My impression of the two primary reasons are
- Customers are recommended to take a step back and re-imagine the reporting delivery format with the great new visualization tools available. Related: See my People Analytics Action Plan post where I touch upon this concept.
- There are technical challenges of mapping fields from the previous data models to the new one.
Both of these reasons make sense to me. And while migration tools were never explicitly promised, especially for more technically complex reports created with YouCalc Builder or BIRT, I believe that most customers have a number of relatively simple Table or Canvas list reports that will make sense to remain as list reports in People Analytics. A migration tool for this simple use case would be useful, and allow customers to focus on creating those more complex and impactful visualizations.
Customers were encouraged to consider partners for assistance with this migration.
First I’ll note that this roadmap recap is my interpretation of what has been shared by SAP and accurate as of this writing in September 2019. The latest roadmaps are always available directly from SAP at www.sap.com/roadmaps (S-ID required) or in the People Analytics Jam group.
A high-level timeline:
An update to the Embedded edition roadmap is that customers will now have a projected 36 months after General Availability (GA) to run legacy reports. Details:
- 12 months after GA (late 2020): Customers can no longer create new legacy reports, but can still edit and run legacy reports.
- 24 months after GA (late 2021): Customers can no longer edit legacy reports but can still run legacy reports.
- 36 months after GA (late 2022): Customers can no longer run legacy reports.
Rob noted that these dates are not set in stone and may change based upon customer adoption rates of the Embedded Edition.
A key benefit of the new People Analytics embedded edition is a single data model for all SAP SuccessFactors data. This is mostly being accomplished in the upcoming GA release. However, there a couple of notable exceptions:
- Learning data is not projected to be included in People Analytics embedded edition for another 12-24 months. The reason is that the LMS team has been focused on the UI redesign due to Adobe Flash end-of-life. There is no way to sugar coat this—this is a significant miss, but PRD will continue to be available and fully supported for LMS reporting.
- EC Payroll: Also 12-24 months away.
GA for the Advanced Edition remains Q1 2020 with core metrics included at rollout. Additional metrics will be released going forward.
One nugget of interest in the Advanced roadmap is self-service configuration. It will be interesting to see where this leads!
GA later in 2020. More details to come.
We are getting closer to the launch of People Analytics and it is exciting to see new ways to visualize and consume your HR data.
What were your impressions of the roadmap sessions? Did I miss something in this roundup? Leave a comment below or contact me directly!