How Self-Service People Analytics Helps Us Tell a Better HR Story

I’ve already written about the importance of having self-service analytics in the finance department to help make more informed business decisions. But data isn’t just for CFOs. The CHRO of the future must use people analytics and employee data to make strategic decisions about their company’s workforce.

If you are going to lead a data-driven HR organization, you first need reliable data at your fingertips. One of the main issues companies face, however, is that they lack a single source of truth, with data spread out over multiple systems that can’t and don’t talk to each other. Many HR organizations still rely on their IT partners to get the data needed to answer fundamental questions about talent, employee engagement and performance, and productivity.

When people analytics are easily accessible to everyone, we can make better decisions faster.

However, we see more and more companies taking matters into their own hands. When we polled some of our largest customers, we discovered that many of them had their own analytics teams inside the HR organization to handle data requests. While this solves one issue—having to ask IT to pull information—it creates another: each team resorts to running a complex daisy chain of software that is strung together in order to answer workforce questions. A simple query like,Which employees are most at-risk of leaving based on their tenure and pay?,” can take months to answer and in many cases, the data is outdated after doing the analysis. By the time HR receives the information they need, those at-risk employees may have already left.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to get answers about your workforce quickly and easily? One of the things that differentiates Workday from legacy HR systems is the Power of One, which has a number of benefits including access to real-time data to help you guide the business with agility and insight. When people analytics are easily accessible to everyone, we can make better decisions faster.

This is what we’ve set out to achieve with Workday Prism Analytics, which will bring together both Workday and non-Workday data in a self-service tool that empowers users to access workforce insights when they need them.

Here are four ways we intend to help customers use  Workday Prism Analytics to benefit their HR organizations:

Uncovering Historical People Data

The late philosopher George Santayana once said, “To know your future, you must know your past.”

In order to become a more forward-thinking HR organization, practitioners often need answers to questions like, “Is our current capacity on trend to keep up with demand?” By examining historical data like workforce trends and how the organization’s growth, retention risk, and compensation have changed over time, we gain valuable insights into the past that can help us build a better future.

View the Entire Workforce in One Dashboard

We’ve talked before about how the traditional workforce is shifting, with the number of contingent workers on the rise. While many companies have a single view of their internal workforce, many still manage their contingent workers in a separate system. Without a full view of all employees, it’s impossible to optimize teams. Bringing disparate data together in a single view will make HR organizations more equipped to make smarter workforce decisions.

Greater Insights from Ancillary Data

You likely have more people data than you think—it’s just spread out across the entire HCM ecosystem, sitting in separate systems like an external learning and talent management tool or a survey provider, and it’s impossible to cross-reference. Having all of this personal data on hand is vital to helping employee career development over the long term. Being able to get a full view of performance and skill data enables you to suggest different courses to take or paths to explore within your organization, translating to greater employee satisfaction and lower retention risk.

Using Operational Insights to Understand Performance

There is also a lot of data that can be useful to the HR organization from the operations side of the business. For example, an airplane manufacturing company normally has large manufacturing sites that are separate from its front office facilities, meaning HR is disconnected from the valuable data that is being collected on the operational level around efficiency and production metrics. By combining this external operational data into existing HR data, we can better understand employee performance.

Today, the hardest part of leading a data-driven HR strategy is getting to a reliable, single source of truth that can give you information from multiple data sources in real time. We are continuing to work hard in this realm to deliver a deeper, richer experience for customers.