HR | April 10, 2017

The HR Analytics Revolution

By: Sharon Gedney


I was recently reminded of a human resources tangle I found myself in some time ago. Due to return from maternity leave, I’d presented a business case to change my working patterns, but the company was unable to review any HR data that proved my point: I’d maintain my productivity and they’d benefit from cost savings at the same time. Unfortunately, without the data, the company took a rigid stance. The result? I left, taking my 20 years of experience with me.

The whole experience was frustrating and unfortunate, and it also highlights one of the primary challenges for many HR departments. In many organizations, HR is a cost center and sits at the back of the queue when funds are on offer. Systems-wise, this has led to HR being the poor relation, often resulting in intricate, heavily customized legacy systems running on old technology, and with vast volumes of data held in unmanageable silos.

Good reporting is a challenge in itself, let alone analyzing the data to make informed decisions about the workforce—not the building blocks anyone would want for the new world of HR, where informed talent-related decisions visibly affect the bottom line.

But change is coming, driven by the need to identify and target scarce talent, and do it better than your competitors. So how has the revolution gathered pace? The need to identify the best people for the job, retain a skilled workforce, and offer a balanced remuneration package is not new. What is? Global recognition that insights on workforce trends and factors affecting performance can help HR acquire, optimize and develop talent, and the delivery of cloud-based tools that can provide these insights.

Cloud solutions offer companies global access to files and data, improved storage structures, and greater solution distribution, increasing business agility, lowering costs, and reducing IT complexity. Cloud computing now offers an affordable path for HR departments to store, organize, and apply data smartly, with solutions that offer modern, personalized applications, rich functionality, ease of use, and accessibility through a range of channels. SaaS-based applications are faster, simpler, and provide companies with the ability to scale up and expand as they grow. Next-generation, cloud-based HR systems offer analytics solutions out of the box, allowing businesses to gain insight on practically any talent-related issue.

And there are many—from targeting the right employees for promotion and development to identifying future leaders to hire, and from discovering skill gaps and training needs to identifying factors affecting workforce productivity and rates of attrition. Success in any of these efforts can have an important impact on driving the business forward and increasing profitability.

To have the freedom to explore data to this extent requires integrated systems, an elastic infrastructure, and simple application management. In addition, it requires the ability to gather data from external sources, to present results visually, and to share information with other stakeholders. Oracle Analytics Cloud for HR delivers a visual analytics solution that can blend data from HCM and talent systems, providing a single, global source of employee data. For example, the Dow Chemical Company, a global chemical manufacturer with 45,000 employees and a variety of HR tools, used an Oracle solution to deliver global reporting and to put data securely in the hands of senior leaders.

In addition, Oracle’s integrated platform gives companies the flexibility to run HR entirely in the cloud or to blend on-premises HR data with cloud-based recruiting and talent information. Blending different data sets and turning it into powerful insights can be done by easily connecting to any Oracle SaaS application. Oracle Analytics then designs, displays, and deploys to any device, to share live, dynamic insights, without the need to learn complex tools or rely on specialized resources.

To find out more about how Oracle is helping HR reposition itself as a value contributor to the business, click here.

Sharon Gedney is marketing manager for Oracle's cloud strategic initiatives.

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