HR Reporting: Unlocking Data-Driven HR

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Data-driven HR is the key to effective decision-making, delivering key workforce insights and improving HR strategies to meet business goals. More than just tracking a few metrics here and there, data-driven HR is the ongoing process of rooting your HR decisions, processes and strategies in the data collected from your staffing and business processes. HR reporting software brings together the enlightening analytics that can boost the data capabilities of human resources departments and organisations as a whole.

Yet, many organisations still do not use HR reports and analytics to their full potential. Despite 91.9% of firms accelerating spending on big data and AI projects, only 30% currently have a well-articulated data strategy. Organisations that are not prioritising their data strategy are missing out on vital insights and overlooking important workforce trends.

How can we ensure that our HR operations are truly data-driven and strategic? Read on to learn how HR technology can unlock the power of people analytics for your organisation.

What are the barriers to becoming a data-driven organisation?

In the current day, we have advanced AI-powered technology for analytics and reporting. Cloud-based, accessible from desktop and mobile, and user-friendly, HR reporting and analytics software means that advanced insights about employee engagement, retention, performance, and much more are only a click away. So, why are so few organisations using them effectively?

The biggest challenge to becoming a data-driven business is not that we lack the technology; it’s the cultural and social barriers that play a larger role. In one survey, 91.9% of executives cited cultural obstacles, not technological obstacles as the greatest barrier to becoming data-driven.

Perhaps some data in your organisation crosses departmental or team boundaries, leading to nobody taking ownership of it; maybe your HR staff are so busy with their administrative duties that they don’t have time for the data-driven, big picture stuff. Possibly the Human Resources team lacks data literacy and training, or, maybe your organisation’s leadership team doesn’t understand the value in workforce analytics and HR reports.

For all these reasons, becoming a truly data-driven business can be a real challenge. In addition, despite the huge volumes of data that organisations process, much of it is unstructured, difficult to quantify, and not useful for data-driven decision making. HR professionals need to identify the useful data and put it to use with relevant reporting.

By using the right HR technology and getting buy-in from key players in your organisation, it’s possible to overcome these challenges and create data-driven strategies. Here are some ways that the right HRIS can unlock data and reporting for you.

Apply data to decision making

People analytics allow HR professionals and business leaders to make more informed decisions that are backed by data rather than gut instinct. Using analytics to uncover insights from your data means that strategic decisions can be made without unconscious bias or lack of evidence.

For example, HR reports can bring data-driven science to performance management and reward. High-performing employees no longer have to be identified by line managers, a process that is susceptible to bias and human error. With HR reporting, it’s easy to analyse the productivity of employees and have a clear view of their overall performance. This enables HR and Payroll to ensure that employees are fairly compensated for their efforts. The integration of timesheets, performance review data, payroll and reward, and employee information makes it possible to assess employees’ performance and compensation with ease.

Using HR reporting to inform decision-making is the most effective means to make your organisational processes more data-driven. Utilising the data already at your disposal ensures that any future plans are specific and effective for your workforce.

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Tailor your reporting with customised dashboards

One of the challenges to becoming a data-driven business is getting the C-suite leaders to pay attention to the importance of people analytics and apply the strategic value of this information to their decision making.

One way to get around this problem is to give them access to custom dashboards that are tailored to their specific needs. Using XCD HR software, you can personalise reporting dashboards for your leadership team, giving them access to the top-level HR data they require, and the information that will engage them.

With a good HR analytics tool, you can also create custom dashboards for specific events and time periods as well as individual people. For example, here at XCD, we created a Covid-19 impact dashboard which allowed C-suite to identify at a glance the crucial HR reports concerning the pandemic. We analysed the questions that leaders were asking about their workforce and added the relevant analytics to the dashboard, including metrics about the amount of sickness in the workforce, the cost of furloughing employees, and, crucially, the percentage of sick employees that would cause operations to become unsustainable. These HR reports conveyed important data that could inform decision-making and help leaders plan ahead in that turbulent time.

With custom HR dashboards, it’s easier than ever to collate the data that is most important to your business, present this data with ease and create data-driven strategies from the findings.

Plan ahead with predictive HR analytics

Predictive analytics can help you identify future talent requirements and skills gaps by looking at your current metrics. Does your organisation tend to see higher turnover levels in a certain month of the year? Using turnover data, you can plan ahead for your talent management needs. Or, even better, you can analyse turnover data alongside other metrics to gain important insights about why employees are leaving at this time of year, and implement changes to address the reason that they are leaving.

Perhaps retention rates differ between different office locations — analytics can be used to compare retention with employee engagement levels to see if these differ between your different offices.

Or, maybe your reporting suggests that future skills gaps are expected. With the current data in mind, HR strategists and business leaders can design career development programmes that allow employees to train in the necessary skills to advance their careers before these gaps arise.

Using data to drive recruitment, onboarding and learning and development processes enables organisations to ensure their HR efforts are aligned with wider business goals.

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With HR metrics and analytics holding vast potential to shape a more effective data-driven organisation and workforce, it’s time for HR reporting to take a more central role in informing decision making. With the right HR reporting software, implementation and gaining buy-in from the whole organisation can be a breeze.

XCD’s HR and Payroll solution is a full-featured, cloud-based software with advanced analytics capabilities. Integrating HR analytics with payroll, performance management, learning and development, and a wide range of other HR functions, XCD’s software can help you make your organisation more data-driven.