In this guest blog post, Lisa Rowan, Research Vice President for IDC responsible for global research on human capital and talent management software and services discusses the impact of accurate and timely information to help make data driven decisions to achieve organizational objectives. The workforce management function is one area that benefits greatly from the application of analytics, and HR organizations are well-positioned to implement and share the results with management
Guest IDC Blogger: Lisa Rowan, VP Modern HR Strategies
Date: March 2023
Sponsored by SAP
Having accurate and timely information to make data-driven decisions is a major contributor to achieving organizational objectives. Yet, only 39% of HR organizations report that they develop and share comprehensive analytics with their company’s management teams, according to IDC’s 2022 annual survey of 500 human resources (HR) decision-makers. According to the research, the balance of HR teams either work solely with a few metrics and traditional reports or develop metrics but do not share them beyond the confines of the HR function. This leaves ample room for improvement in the quantity, quality, and reach of key people-related information.
The workforce management function is one area that benefits greatly from the application of analytics, and HR organizations are well-positioned to implement and share the results with management. Labor is the most expensive cost to the employer. Making sure that scheduling and staffing is appropriate for the particular projects or programs underway helps keep costs contained and objectives met. Additionally, analytics can empower organizations to become agile and responsive through workforce tracking. Being able to influence cost and productivity levers through the availability of timely analytics allows management to have control over labor costs such as overtime.
Specific use cases where the deployment of analytics relating to workforce management add value include:
Being able to track and course correct for time leakage. Time leakage is the difference between actual time worked versus actual time recorded.
Cost control. Elimination or minimization of errors, which can lead to cost overruns.
Optimization of labor. Analytics help identify the work at hand and how best to staff.
Labor agility. Placing the right people into the right job.
In addition to regular monitoring of ongoing timekeeping and scheduling, analytics can be powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to identify patterns and offer predictions to improve future operations. Examples include examining behavior such as regular late arrival, Friday call outs, or early trench-out behavior. By having access to this information, management can head off labor problems and resolve issues before they become acute.
There are very real cost savings benefits associated with tracking and managing time and labor with analytics. Analytics can also help with the shortage of trained talent, a problem many industry sectors are facing right now. Despite some economic weakness, unemployment in the U.S. still remains very low, and organizations everywhere are finding it difficult to staff up to optimal levels. In the face of labor shortages, companies have to be confident that they are staffing intelligently to make sure that each shift has the right balance of talent. Analytics can lead the way toward having the right information on hand to make sound business decisions.
HR teams and their business partners on the front lines can both reap the benefits of improved oversight and visibility through the development and deployment of workforce analytics. These two stakeholder groups should come together to understand where their own analytics efforts currently lie in order to plot a course for further adoption of this technology to help mitigate existing pain points. What gets measured gets better.
Lisa Rowan is Research Vice President for IDC responsible for global research on human capital and talent management software and services. Ms. Rowan provides expert analysis focused on both the business services and software used to address HR and talent-related dimensions. Her research addresses developments in human capital and talent management applications, human resources consulting, and HR outsourcing services.