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Known for delivering automated test and automated measurement systems that make engineering breakthroughs possible, NI didn't have a tool or a formalized strategy for collecting and analyzing relevant HR data within its organization. Recently, NI’s Vice President of Global Total Rewards and HR Operations, Treva Rumbeck, decided to tackle this problem head-on by partnering with Oracle as an early adopter of Oracle Fusion HCM Analytics.
NI wants to move away from disparate Excel spreadsheets to a comprehensive solution that the HR team can use to manage the company’s global workforce. The goal is to deliver a consistent experience across devices, a single source of truth for all people, processes,operations, and real-world insights to support executive and management HR decision-making. Because of its favorable history with Oracle on other projects and easy integration with existing products, NI is excited to be working with Oracle on its HCM transformation.
Despite being in its very early stages, NI decided to go with the ‘big bang’ approach with launching the self-service Executive Dashboard for the CEO and his direct reports, and Manager Dashboard for 1200 managers across the company. The first phase essentially covers the most important people-related metrics in supporting NI’s People Strategy. It covers key themes such as Talent Movement, which examines the mobility of the talent from hiring to promotion until exit of the talent, Compensation, which provides quick overview with the ‘heatmap’ and pay distribution using the ‘box-plot, Talent Management, which examines the performance and talent review distribution as well as 9-box distribution, just to name a few.
“This first phase has been incredibly well-received,” Rumbeck says. “I haven't heard about any system glitches or major concerns from managers or company leaders around having access. It's just been overwhelmingly positive that users have this data at their fingertips in real time and they can now make decisions by not just looking at the current talent snapshot, but looking back at the past years’ trend for a more cohesive picture and therefore better leveraging the insights from the dashboards.”
While the first phase covers the essential and most important People metrics, NI plans to expand the horizon. In the next phase of work, the focus will broaden to include talent acquisition and employee engagement.
“The idea is for managers to have information at their fingertips, rather than pulling reports together in Excel and then asking for help from the operations team or the HR VP’s . In the past, people were spending a lot of time pulling together data from different systems and piecing that together into something they could use for decision-making. When they no longer have to spend time on that, it will increase productivity significantly. Apart from that, the beauty of leveraging this new platform is the elevation of a ‘single dimension’ view overlaying multiple data sources and thus providing a more holistic and in-depth insight. For example, combining compensation data with talent information, allowing managers to examine if they practice pay for performance, or examining pay equity by overlaying compensation data from a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) lens. Such ‘overlay’ possibilities are unlimited, and we are definitely excited to embark on this exploratory and innovative journey,” Rumbeck says.
Although different business units love having all this data, it’s going to take time for the company to build a self-serve model that takes full advantage of its incredibly valuable Oracle HCM resource. Users will need to figure out how to use the data that’s available to them. Each group will need to formulate its own questions and then learn how best to analyze that data to solve their problems. And as a company, NI will continuously educate and rally the managers on the key people metrics. For example, the D&I dashboard that measures short-term progress in achieving 2021 D&I goals as well as in achieving 2030 Corporate Impact, ensuring NI’s people metrics are in line to support overarching business goals.
“As we transition from a basically manual process to a more integrated data-driven approach to People metrics, we can’t assume that users will automatically know how to take full advantage of the new environment and tools,” Rumbeck says. To help the organization move forward, she and her team will work to reset expectations. “We’re going to be doing things differently and there are real-world benefits to those changes.”
As the old manual analysis and reporting makes way for the new HCM model, some groups will probably move faster than others as they transfer their reporting over from Excel and stabilize their data. “I expect we will all learn from these early efforts as we enhance our skills and develop best practices for the company.”
As user expertise grows and company impacts expand, NI plans another launch in October that focuses on talent acquisition and employee engagement using data from its annual employee survey. It’s also looking at incorporating compensation benchmarking data, labor cost modeling, and wellness and rewards data that will flow into both the manager and executive dashboard as well.
Earlier this year, NI launched a new global well-being platform NI Thrive that will be used to build a global strategy around five pillars of employee well-being: physical, emotional, financial, community and purpose. When the aggregated data from this platform is combined with the data in the Oracle Fusion Cloud HCM dashboard, it will give NI’s leadership team insights about well-being and how that relates to productivity and employee engagement.
Finally, lessons learned will be used to expand the use of analytics cross-functionally into other areas of the business, using the company’s experience with Oracle Fusion HCM Analytics as a model.
“Being an early adopter was kind of a no brainer for us,” Rumbeck says. “Data-driven decision-making and integration among our data and systems are very important to me as they are to most of us. We feel we’re in good hands with Oracle. Our relationship has been great.”
“The views expressed in this blog are those of Treva Rumbeck, and do not represent those of NI or any other NI executive, business unit, geographical site, or function.”
VP, Global Total Rewards and HR Operations at National Instruments