Naveen Miglani, CEO and Co-Founder at SplashBI explains how disparate data in HR systems can become harmonised to help organisations understand and use data to make informed decisions that drive the business forward.
Within every business lies an endless stream of valuable employee data. From timesheets to payroll, HR has to deal with a multitude of different data types from various systems and sources. It’s HR’s job to line up this information with the rest of the business and turn it into actionable insight that holds strategic value. And with the value of HR measured on the department’s overall impact on the business – such as having the right employees in the right places, managed by the right people – making sure they have accurate data to provide this insight is paramount.
However, businesses are suffering from a plague called ‘data resource disparity.’
Ensuring that HR records and reports across areas such as training, learning and recruitment are working in harmony and are up-to-date is an ongoing battle. Additionally, as data is typically siloed in both structured and unstructured formats, organisations are finding themselves investing a lot of time and money manually reviewing and analysing reports.
The good news is that data can become united once again.
A holistic view
In a fragmented data reality, the actuality is that actionable business outcomes aren’t easy to come by. With so many organisations still relying on disparate systems, with one system being purely used for recruitment and another for training, it then becomes impossible to align the data and process outcomes. And unless these systems are communicating and working alongside each other, information is siloed.
This data disparity can lead to an isolated view of the workforce, and even if departments then gather sufficient and relevant data, it’s often too late; it’s already out of date. A holistic view is the end goal, but if HR departments continue to log their data into Excel spreadsheets they will struggle to gain this perspective.
When data becomes inaccurate and the processes used to collect it turn laborious, building a report is suddenly a complex process. However, visual tools such as dashboards can provide HR teams with insight and direction. By integrating data from multiple sources and displaying it in a way that presents KPIs, for instance whether a goal has been reached – or how far away it is – means HR can understand workforce performance better. This removes the “bottoms up” approach that has been traditionally taken by HR when it comes to data, which included using an organisation’s current tools and systems to identify which reports could be built from current data. Instead, with the use of interactive dashboards, up-to-date metrics can all be viewed in one place, allowing organisations to report using real-time data and even connect and compare these insights to business metrics.
Unlocking the narrative
HR leaders need to be able to identify what data they need in order to take action. From pinpointing how many top performers a company has to what risk there is of an employee leaving, followed by whether the company has the resources to manage these changes in the next five years, companies need to be able to spot these trends.
By presenting everything graphically in a place where it can be seen, understood and shared, dashboards can help HR unlock the hidden data narrative so that teams can analyse performance and act on their workforce data. And before you know it, gone are the days that employee data only shows a company’s turnover rate; this data can now be used to boost efficiency and performance, helping to maximise the value of employees while acquiring and retaining top talent.
Just as they are an important part of other business functions and departments, dashboards and analytics should hold the same importance for HR. For example, if there is an issue with attrition, using exit interview data, companies can create a dashboard which puts the data in one place, enabling HR to identify trends clearly and address the issue.
HR isn’t just about tracking data, it’s about how the data is used. HR teams can’t build a strategy based on outdated information, so having the right data in the right place, at the right time, allows HR to interact and engage with it the right way. Dashboard and analytics tools enable companies to fill the gap between what data they have and what data they really need. The health of a workforce is in the hands of HR, and with the right data before them, HR teams will be able to make those decisions that will impact the bottom line and fuel company growth.