HRMS and analytics: A recipe for accurate operational HR reports
Your HRMS holds large quantities of data and is a natural source for reporting. Operational reporting from your HRMS can be a value-add to the business, in particular when you have strong analytics functionality and it is managed in an efficient manner. Here are key areas where you can make the best use of your analytics functionality to help manage operational reporting in HR.
1. Use all built-in analytics functionality to automate reports
When your HRMS has strong analytics functionality, it is an inefficient use of time and resources to not use it to its fullest. Reporting specialists are often tasked with building out reports for HR end users to run. These reporting experts will know the most efficient way to build reports to incorporate delivered features such as date prompts, filters, expressions and formatting such as percentages or dollars. Often, your HRMS vendor will include calculated fields as reporting options, for example, is employee age a delivered reporting field or do you need to perform a calculation of birthdate compared to today’s date?
Too often operational reporting is only seen as keeping the lights on rather than as a strategic advantage. The more that you use the advanced analytics features and functions in your HRMS reporting, the less time that your HR staff is spending on the logistics of report administration.
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2. Customize and distribute reports
I have seen a number of companies where the HRMS is capable of producing robust analytics but instead of setting up the system to deliver what the end-user requires directly to a user’s inbox, a workaround is established: a data dump is placed on a shared directory on a set schedule and individual users then go and retrieve the data and start to delete and perform manual steps in Excel. Often it’s the same steps each month as the same report is needed. When you have an HRMS with strong analytics functionality it is an up-front investment to establish specific user reports, but it is one that pays off in the long run. Also, defined analytics in your HRMS will reduce the risk of an unauthorized data release.
Do your operational reports consist only of lines of data or have you incorporated features such as charts and graphs? To show an increase in headcount, a visual picture such as a line graph is often more understandable than only the cold numbers and a strong HRMS will provide such options to you. Operational reports should not be limited to traditional Excel documents, keep an open mind about other means to distribute the data, such as targeted dashboards as a report output.
3. Design and maintain an analytics catalog
Operational reporting is often a regular event for HR staff, be it weekly new hire reports or monthly promotion reviews or the regular time to file reports in the talent acquisition area. Is someone building these operational reports from scratch each time? Do you have a master list of available reports? If you devote the time to implementing extensive analytics in your HRMS, it is a must to promote this functionality in an easy to find and use format to enable your HR team members to spend their hours in strategic activities rather than report administration.
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