HRMS feature overview series: HR analytics

When it comes to HR technology, information doesn’t have to be complicated to be useful. So, for today, let’s keep it simple. This is one of a series of overview articles, looking at the available features in different HR-related software apps. So without further ado, here are some of the features you can expect to find in a good HR analytics module…

1. A dashboard of ready-made reports

Most businesses have their own specific issues to track but there are also commonly useful metrics and reports and the chances are your software will pack them as standard; for example, the use of turnover rates, resignations, involuntary turnover and so on to identify retention issues; or sick absences rates and causes to monitor workforce health. Another key element is the capability to compare such reports and the trends they identify between different teams, departments and business units.

2. Real-time reporting

For some issues – specially workforce management and ad hoc scheduling – real-time information and reporting is required, allowing timely decisions that can maintain customer service levels and performance against KPIs.

3. Predictive capabilities

It’s not enough to report on what was and what is, today’s business software must offer a view of what will be, offering a guide on future performance against metrics and KPIs and suggesting the factors which may influence results either way.

4. Automated data-gathering

This should be a given, but your HR analytics package should be able to access whatever information it needs, when it needs it in order to provide you with the insights you want. This includes access beyond the HRMS database – a CRM, ERP and other business intelligence software will contain data which can be combined and cross-referenced with the HR people information to produce more sophisticated reporting.

Recommended Reading: HRMS Software Guide - Find a software system with HR analytics

5. Recruitment and succession planning

Ideally, your HR analytics application will be able to reference the business goals and KPI performance to identify the roles and skills required by the business to meet its targets. This then informs recruitment planning and activity, bringing HR and managers together for targeted hiring. Appropriate HR analytics can ensure you’re recruiting the right people, at the right time, and within budget.

6. Non-universal access

Some data and reports may be public, some will most certainly not be. Your analytics app should allow tiers and levels of access to what can be ‘classified information’. Ideally, the approach to security will protect against reports being shared with non-authorized users.

7. Analysis of the bottom line

The reality is that cost is still a significant factor driving many business decisions. A good HR analytics package is an opportunity for the HR function to demonstrate that it is sensitive to the harder-edged business realities by linking reports and insights to workforce costings.

8. Flexibility for the future

HR analytics regularly feature in the annual “disruptive technologies of the year” predictions. One difference between analytics that are genuinely designed as an integral part of the HRMS and those that are simple an afterthought, is that they not only offer functionality that is new to your business but that is new to the HR software market.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall