Hiring and retaining top talent has never been more difficult – or more important to business sustainability, innovation, and performance. That’s why HR leaders and C-level executives need data-driven workforce insights to develop informed people strategies that emphasize learning and career development resources, as well as drive performance, employee satisfaction and well-being, and engagement.
However, getting to these insights has always been a challenge for HR. Businesses without a human resources information system (HRIS) have HR-related data scattered across the enterprise, making data access an early barrier to data-driven insights. Those with an HRIS – even SAP SuccessFactors customers – have a difficult time accessing the data stored in this system and using today’s analytic capabilities needed to turn it into timely, rich insights. Sure, HR can engage a data scientist to run analysis for them, but this takes time (“get in line”) and budget they may not have.
Businesses need self-service people analytics solutions that hide the complexity of accessing and analyzing data, so leaders can focus on understanding and solving the problems in front of them. This approach turns data into timely and actionable insights – no data scientist needed.
Using Solutions from SAP to Make HRIS Data Actionable
SAP has tackled this issue by innovating intuitive solutions for analyzing HRIS data: a new workforce analytics connector that lets customers collect data from SAP SuccessFactors solutions and bring it into the SAP Analytics Cloud solution. There, they can use powerful, self-service analytics capabilities that eliminate technical complexity.
Now, HR and other business leaders can quickly access and analyze the data they need to answer questions and solve problems in a wide range of areas in terms of common questions and related workforce metrics, as illustrated in Table 1.
Table 1. Use Cases
Digging Deeper into Data Than Ever Before
SAP SuccessFactors solutions are systematically being populated with data as part of normal business operations. This data is always available and well-structured using an extract, transform, load (ETL) process in real time. The new connector empowers business users to access this data and use SAP Analytics Cloud to perform multiple types of analysis. Beyond standard reporting and online analytical processing (OLAP) analysis, users can also perform exploratory analysis (what happened?), predictive analysis (why did it happen?), and prescriptive analysis (what is the best that could happen?). Users can leverage five levels of analysis – incrementally – to get answers to their questions, as summarized in Table 2.
Table 2. Levels of People Analysis Built into SAP Analytics Cloud
Level of Analysis
Sample Questions the Level of Analysis Can Help Users Answer
Level 1: Prepare (with ETL)
What is the data regarding turnover? Are there any date related to pay equity?
Level 2: Inform (with reporting)
What job type is susceptible to pay disparity? What type of employee tends to leave voluntarily?
Level 3: Detect (with exploratory analysis)
What are the key drivers for turnover? What are the key influencers to pay disparity?
Level 4: Explain (with predictive analysis)
Which employees are likely to leave voluntarily? Who is likely impacted by the disparity?
Level 5: Prevent (with prescriptive analysis)
How can we make employees stay? How much is needed to mitigate pay disparity?
This kind of embedded automation simplifies analytical processing. For example, if an HR leader wants to understand the key drivers of turnover across the business, they can simply interact with their workforce analytics by:
Selecting related data points (or having them be recommended)
Choosing relevant attributes (or having them be recommended)
Comparing selected attributes (or having them be recommended)
Searching for important drivers (or having them be recommended)
Tweaking discovered drivers to meet business goals
Level 1 analytics functionality comes standard with every SAP SuccessFactors solution. However, levels 2 through 5 require an add-on workforce analytics solution that requires a professional services engagement for report creation, data analysis, model development, and more. For example, you can build a “level 5” app focused on workforce availability so you can detect absences or focus on talent management to track voluntary terminations (or flight risks). Similarly, you can build models to monitor for pay equity, understand which job types are most susceptible to pay inequities so they can be prevented, and more.
The Big “So What” for You
These innovations from SAP make sophisticated people analytics accessible and trustworthy for decision-making. Data can efficiently be turned into readily available insights so users can focus on the business and people challenges they need to solve – not the complexities of data integration and advanced analytics. And because the user experience is easy for almost anyone to understand and use, it eliminates barriers to adoption.
So, what HR-related questions have you been struggling to answer? What challenges do you want to understand and solve by digging into your SAP SuccessFactors solution data? Join Jenngang Shih,