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Analytics Helps Power HR Transformation

Michael Singer
Director, Product Marketing, Oracle Analytics

Human Resources managers often have a difficult time finding, keeping, and developing talented employees, but the tools they can now use to transform their business have never been more enabling, according to a principal with advisory services firm KPMG.

While HR managers use their usual toolsets for employee acquisition and retention, data analytics tools are helping companies keep on top of market trends, discover underlying factors for worker success, and understand how future worker opportunities can be developed into revenue streams. 

We asked KPMG's Todd Randolph to join us for a discussion about improving business through analytics. Randolph is a huge proponent of analytics in HR and has written several articles on the subject.

Feeling the drive to be competitive, many organizations are moving their core transactional systems to the cloud. In the HR department, KPMG’s 2017 HR Transformation Survey found that 75 percent of surveyed companies reported a successful implementation of cloud technology after undertaking HR transformation. Randolph says it all starts by understanding leading practice HR processes.

"Our group does a lot of what we consider HR analytics or human capital management (HCM) analytics," Randolph says. "This involves exploring ways to improve the overall employee experience using analytics. And what we see is the idea of the whole, e.g., self-service or directed analytics. With self-service, it's giving employees the opportunity to help themselves. Rather than waiting for someone to pull data from a number of different data sources to deliver a report, you allow people to go out to a dashboard or even be sent information on their cell phone or mobile device, greatly improving the employee experience. We advise workers or managers and even executives to know what they should be looking at. So, they are reviewing data from areas where the company needs to focus and can take meaningful actions."

Often times, Randolph says companies start their analytics journey with a dashboard supplying data from a source or sources that are transparent to them. They may review key data points, compare competitive information, and be guided to indicators that recommend a change or that action be taken. If action is necessary, the user should be seamlessly routed to the transaction system to initiate or approve the required action.    

Randolph says that new technologies like Oracle Analytics Cloud are driving his clients to look at how they're using data, specifically in three major categories: embedded analytics, strategic analytics, and advanced analytics.

With embedded analytics, Randolph says the business decision to move to the cloud allows embedded analytics to thrive outside the IT department and become a real competitive advantage.

"It creates an opportunity to start looking at how you pull data together into a single source of truth for operational reporting," Randolph says. "Strategic analytics—with maybe a product like Oracle Analytics Cloud where we can have that single source of truth pull data from multiple data sources—gives executives and managers the opportunity to look at the organization as a whole from a reporting and analytics perspective. We're also seeing a lot more advanced analytics over the last few years as well as the tools are getting better and easier to use, giving people who are not necessarily data scientists the ability to create some more advanced analytic functions or embedding things like artificial intelligence and other advanced functions."

By using embedded analytics, strategic analytics, and advanced analytics, companies can avoid keeping information separate (in silos) and even develop more data transparency. This can include transactional data that can be reviewed, analyzed, reported, and shared so that the data helps validate the right business decision in a very intuitive way.

As Randolph explains, "You go into an organization because there’s an issue or some sort of problem.” When that’s about reporting or analytics, it often involves either moving to the cloud or some other ERP type implementation. The client knows they're having issues or can get better at doing their reporting and analytics function.  A lot of times, we find that the problem is siloes. Even within one function such as HR (with its sub functions such as recruiting, payroll, and so on), things can be extremely siloed. You can look across finance or supply chain or any other parts of the organization and see the same thing. There are often different source systems, and you have someone manually pulling data from all these solutions to try to get to that single source of the truth. Then it's typically offline, with people developing some sort of Excel and/or PowerPoint reporting and then delivering that out to stakeholders. So much of what we do is streamlining the process of getting to that single source of truth for our clients.”

To hear the conversation with KPMG's Todd Randolph in its entirety, click on the photo below to play the podcast.

To find out more about how Oracle Analytics Cloud can best complement your company's business process strategy, visit our website.

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