SAP SuccessFactors People Analytics – the true approach for operational reporting
HRIS architectures often present heterogeneous configurations, the result of a history of implementation and the fact that an “All in One” solution did not exist until recently. These architectures often rely on specific applications to take into account certain HR activities specific to the company, such as the management of intermittent workers in the entertainment industry or HR processes, which enable the company to differentiate itself from the competition. Today, when redesigning their HRIS, decision-makers have the choice of an “All in one” platform that is therefore centralized to cover all HR processes. An HR department will be looking for a scalable and modular architecture to manage a smooth transition, with a unified user experience, simplified integration, and better functional coverage of processes. It will also look at the openness of the platform to enable the operation of “in-house” processes that are specific to its business. Functional and technical architectures have a direct impact on the way data is accessed, reconciled, and analyzed, and how “Data Visualization” can be integrated to meet business challenges.
It is possible to outsource the reporting in a third party software, however, we think it is appropriate to address the challenges of a data visualization and data analysis directly integrated into an “All in one” HRIS platform such as SAP SuccessFactors through the differentiating elements listed below.
The value of an “All in One” platform such as SuccessFactors is to centrally operate employee administration and talent management modules. The integrated reporting layer provides access to all data collected during the execution of HR processes. Because of the ability to connect directly to the platform tables, there is no need to extract and replicate data. This reduces the time spent on the “Data Discovery” and “Data Preparation” phases. Data quality is guaranteed by the fact that the semantic that defines the relationship between the different functional objects is provided by the platform itself, taking into account the functional customization and the extensions of the HRIS. The employee benefits in real-time from data updates and can, by example, quickly provide a workforce inventory.
The questions of granularity and completeness of information do not arise in SuccessFactors People Analytics: detailed data is always available. This makes it possible to verify aggregated information or to extend the scope of analysis to data from individual processes. For example, the effect of training on employee performance or the extent to which employee performance is taken into account in the compensation policy can be quickly demonstrated. We can also talk here about an “actionable BI” with the possibility of creating links in the reports to the employee profile, the job offer, the organization chart, or a performance evaluation form; the visualization element facilitates decision-making but also its implementation.
With the regulations on personal data protection (GDPR, Chinese law on cybersecurity, …), each company must implement processes to ensure compliance and proper management of personal data. SAP SuccessFactors provides functionalities for, among other things, consent collection, data deletion or anonymization, purpose compliance, inventory of private data storage, and access auditing. By keeping this data in a single system, the HR department reduces administration efforts and the risk of data propagation. It thus resolves the issue of selecting personal information that can be “legally” used for data visualization.
Since the query is performed in the solution, authorizations and permissions, defined on the functional modules, are automatically applied to the perimeter of employees (organization and team) but also to the modules and data fields (compensation module or succession plan, sensitive information). These authorizations will not be replicated or maintained in other systems, thus considerably reducing the risk of security breaches.
To complete the operational reporting layer, SAP SuccessFactors also offers the possibility to build integrated data marts (Workforce Analytics), providing an ETL layer based on the business rules of the HR Core and allowing the loading of external data to deliver business metrics related to HR processes: revenue, margin, training cost per FTE, employee satisfaction, … Thanks to a temporal model and benchmark data, these metrics, trends, alerts, and objectives will provide a functional context for managers to involve them more directly in the digital transformation of their business. Those data marts are part of the cloud platform and are operated the same way as other modules.
Finally, with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence and the simplification of the use of Machine Learning concepts in People Analytics (Smart Insights), HR analysts will be able soon to benefit from recommendations from the system, enabling them to correct human bias issues in the analysis of business situations, and thus glimpse other causes and new levers for action with a view to better engaging employees.
SAP SuccessFactors People Analytics, directly integrated into SAP SuccessFactors, therefore offers a certain number of advantages, particularly in terms of the data quality and selection of HR data, and the interoperability of the modules enables the recurring problems of business semantic and the legal context to be directly taken into account.