With another year of SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics consulting and implementations underway, I’ve seen some interesting shifts in how customers are approaching both the discipline as well as the software. As I was writing out my thoughts for inclusion in the “The Future of SAP HCM and SuccessFactors Consulting – 2014” article, I had some opinions on the coming year that I wanted to explore a bit more outside of the article.
The two main trends I see are an external standardization in basic workforce measurement that is propelling consistent reporting and an internal demand for proactive data mining and issue highlighting.
Workforce Reporting and Analytics remains a catch all phrase that is applied to all manners of workforce assessment, from transactional data rosters to predictive models of future workforce trends. There is something wonderful about how ubiquitous these terms are now within organizations. It is giving HR leaders a focus and framework for the advancement of the HR function. With that said, what one organization calls basic workforce reporting is another’s great achievement. There is no judgment on the value and impact between the two, as both are moving HR and their respective organizations toward including workforce data into the daily course of how their business is run. However, as more analysts ask for insight into the workforce on earnings calls and HR bodies look for GAAP equivalent metrics for HR, we are at a point where organizations must be able to speak consistently to how and who will execute on their business strategies. Being able to report and analyze foundational data such as headcount, turnover, retirement, and skills within critical job roles is no longer discretionary. It is mandatory for organizations to retain shareholder value.
From an internal perspective, I see the advancements in reporting capability across the entire SuccessFactors BizX suite including Workforce Analytics as where customers are seeing the greatest traction in what I would call data adoption. The ease of highlighting KPIs and areas of interest in the data through reports and Headlines, is bringing a new level of awareness to managers and leaders into their teams. There is a democratization of data available in ways I have not seen in prior years. While role base security remains paramount, the mobile nature and speed of business today demands leaders are able to have the data necessary to traverse issue identification to action implementation at their fingertips. As more and more data becomes available to report and analyze, leveraging the software to mine the data and manage schedules reporting suites allows already lean HR functions to reallocate their time to more value-add analysis of the findings rather than just collection of the data.
As a side note, from an HR function standpoint, I see these two trends continuing to push the diversity of skills making up HR. Standardization requires discipline and statistical analysis but equally demanded is data synthesis and communication. We do diminished good if we aren’t able to translate the insight into action across the entire organization. Here’s to a great year…
Written by: Rana Hobbs, Senior Director of Workforce Planning
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