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How the Autonomous Database Is an Investment to the Human Workforce

Cassie Chen
Product Marketing Analyst

A company’s human workforce represents the backbone of any organization, delivering critical talent and resources throughout all parts of the business. The purpose of human resource (HR) departments is to build the optimal workforce by aligning multiple sources of information to make data-driven decisions. They essentially serve to connect and unify – to recruit employees into their business, to align workers with executive demands, and to drive employee engagement for consistent retention.  Each employee brings forth a significant amount of data, from personal information to performance and skills. The challenge here is in integrating different and large sources of data while effectively managing them to deliver actionable insight for a company.

With data as the foundation for any organization, every business must face the challenge of scalability as their company expands. Before an organization can gather insight, it must have the bandwidth to store the necessary data. Alliance Data Systems is one of our customers that needed a new home for its HR applications. Rising costs of on-premises data centers combined with slow server provisioning times and insufficient reliability, were hurting the company’s ability to quickly respond to changing business needs. Running on Peoplesoft, its HR application originally took up 30 databases with 25 terabytes of critical financial and HR data from three quarter racks of exadata on-premises. It decided to move its software to Oracle’s Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and now run 6 environments for Peoplesoft including development, Q/A, user acceptance testing, disaster recovery, production and certification. This enabled the company to replace 3 on-prem exadata quarter racks down to two, for cost savings of more than $1 million per year. Performance increased 30-50% with access to 5 times more memory and 3 times the CPU. Putting it all together, it now has the means to quickly scale up or down computing resources in adjustment to varying demand flow, making it more agile and capable of effectively serving their customers. 

Beyond the issue of information storage, the unique challenge of managing HR-related data is the process of turning qualitative, personalized information like employee skills into numerative insight with quantifiable evidence. The difficulty here comes in two parts – with personalized data comes more data, and that data then needs to be intelligently managed.

Facing both challenges, Accenture needed an infrastructure to support its data-intensive application that manages the skills, talents and capabilities of employees. Additionally, it needed intelligent and personalized analytics to help make data-driven decisions on what to do with its workforce. Taking a slightly different approach from Alliance Data, Accenture chose to leverage Oracle’s Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud (ADWC). After migrating its application to ADWC, the application ran 14 times faster than it did in other cloud environments running the same workloads. Next, Accenture added 12 times more data into the system which actually improved performance even more. It was able to load 500M rows of data in less than three minutes, 15 times faster than its previous environment. Furthermore, ADWC provided it with analytics to help the company make faster, more informed decisions about staffing, retention, and quality of service.

With the power of data driving today’s innovation, organizations are relying on their technology to collect and manage large amounts of information. In the theme of human resources, technology ultimately serves to empower the human workforce – automating operations to open new job opportunities, utilizing intelligence to attract the best talent, and providing insight to drive employee knowledge and growth. The strength of IT goes beyond the services they provide, but extends to how companies apply those resources to challenge what’s possible and to inspire new innovations. It is the people themselves that bring out the power of these technologies, and this collaboration is giving rise to new experiences within human resources and enterprise norms.

Oracle’s Autonomous Database represents one of our most transformative technologies, culminating four decades of database innovation with the integration of machine learning. The database leverages the power of AI and machine learning to provide self-driving, self-securing, and self-repairing attributes. With these capabilities, HR organizations can easily merge disparate data sets, develop reports, and derive insights for workforce planning and talent forecasting. The self-securing features help protect sensitive employee information with automated encryption, exempting companies from risk of breaches due to IT error. In making data accessible and rapidly analyzed, HR departments can make more meaningful and agile decisions without involving or relying on IT. Customers can harness the abundance of data to gain predictive insights into their businesses. All in all, the database is designed to accentuate the human workforce so organizations can run smarter, more efficiently, and more securely to drive better outcomes for their customers.

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