Workforce analytics enable Human Resource professionals
When it comes to IT support, the Human Resources department’s needs are often secondary and sometimes even tertiary to that of the core operation. The information technology specialists in the basement neither understand nor appreciate the critical functions that HR performs on a daily basis.
Human Resource professionals, however, need a cost effective analytical point of reference to make informed human capital decisions – just like their operations, finance and sales colleagues. And while internal IT departments may not grasp key HR concepts, this does not dilute the impact that thorough workforce analytics can have on organisational success.
Workforce analytics enable Human Resource professionals to be more engaged in the formulation and implementation of corporate strategy and the development and implementation of learning programmes. The result is better fact-based decision-making capability that is aligned with the long-term business imperatives of their organisations. Despite the potential, this discipline is simply not delivering on its capacity. And what makes the situation worse is that the data is readily available and only needs an effective means to be leveraged and manipulated.
"While organisations are able to obtain basic workforce data, relatively few are applying more advanced analytic techniques in their decision-making processes. At most, only 36% of companies are using workforce analytics to identify historical trends and patterns, and 13% are developing future-based scenarios based on this data ... Without these insights, the HR function finds itself subject not only to further scrutiny, but also to criticism for failing to adhere to the decision-making standards practiced by other functional areas." Getting Smart About Your Workforce: Why Analytics Matter, IBM
You have the data, now use it!
Payroll systems typically used in South Africa can hold extensive data. This data is not always readily available and the time and expertise to manipulate said data is often limited. Workinfo.com – an HR and IT consultancy based in Johannesburg – has been steadily developing easier, more cost-effective means put an otherwise-wasted resource to good use. With mandatory Equity reporting, the solutions that have been developed pay for themselves and still contribute to organisational success.
The extraction and manipulation of existing data sources represents a significant opportunity for human resource professionals to move beyond being an administrative and data input function to providing strategic input to organisational initiatives based on empirical data.
“We have developed a dashboard that extracts HR statistics in realtime and presents that data in raw or graphic formats. Head counts, payroll cross-sections, salary distributions and employee breakdowns are readily available for any given period at the click of a button,” explains Gary Watkins of Workinfo.com.
The solution allows the extraction key data from payrolls into relevant fields for workforce planning, employment equity and succession planning initiatives. The typical human resources metrics would include employee retention, employee turnover, employee training, skill gaps, travel costs, overheads, and human resources scorecards.
Depending on the level and area of an individual's responsibility, the metrics would be presented for that area at appropriate aggregate levels with security to block non-privileged metrics.
The following are some of the human resources areas that may be included within a dashboard:
- Skill gaps and training
- Employee satisfaction surveys and feedbacks
- Per-head productivity and revenue
- Employee costs, overheads, and benefits
- Full-time, part-time, and contractors
- Learnership and artisan programmes
- Performance Management overviews
- Turnovers, new hires and layoffs
- Age and retirement analyses
- Disciplinary records and trends
- Quarterly equity status reports
- HR Executive reports
“Our design approach to business reporting allows unlimited information on a one-page dashboard report. These clear and effective charts, tables and visual indicators within our interactive dashboard – customised to your requirements – are powerful tools for your business. They are applications built in MS Excel, MySQL or MS SQL that manage and convert your data into a usable display of relevant information,” says Gary.
Contributing to the common destiny
With the new array of data available, management can no longer ignore the potential. HR strategies can be aligned to organisational objectives as decision makers now have reliable information for setting goals and targets, establishing proper checks and balances and monitoring and reacting to trends and KPIs. The ability access key information whenever needed and the simplicity and effectiveness of the business reports they use are critical factors for high business performance.
The dashboard is designed to supply human resources management personnel with important data regarding the effectiveness, functionality and morale of their company. It is broken down into manageable sub-sections with part historical data to form a relative comparison to the up-to-date metrics.
As part of a unified approach to solving common business challenges, the non-destructive data interrogation technique used by the Workinfo.com solution is integrated into existing systems and can be complimented by other HR solutions such as Learner Management Systems. The solution can also be extended to other parts of the organisation by parallel development of Customer Relationship Management solutions and closely-integrated internal communications.
For more information on how the Workinfo.com dashboard can extend your abilities, contact Gary Watkins at