One of the topics we’ve recently discussed with our clients is how their workforces have changed over the last few years. What has become apparent, across all our client industries, is that technology in HR is needed now, more than ever – whether it’s video conferencing tools for interviewing, leveraging best practices for development programs, or even reporting on HR metrics for decision-making.

Every aspect of an HR professional’s day is centered around activities that generate important data. So, how should HR professionals leverage the imperative data that this new trend in adopting HR technology has created? And, more importantly, what exactly do they need to maintain this data and evaluate how best to use it?

Defining the Employee Data Platform (EDP)

HR activities consist of recruitment, compensation, benefits, time tracking, employee engagement, performance reviews, terminations, among others. Analytics tools can vary from simple Excel spreadsheets where you manually gather data to business intelligence tools that aggregate data, analyze data, use algorithms to predict behaviors, and provide visualization in dashboard form.

Some organizations use multiple analytics tools to get the information they need to make informed decisions about their workforce. But what if there was a more efficient and effective way to gather that data?

An Employee Data Platform (EDP) – also referred to as an HR data warehouse, or an HR Data Platform or People Analytics Platform – is the key. The EDP is technology that centralizes all these different sources of data and gathers the insights into an interactive dashboard that’s easily accessible to various teams.

Importance of an Employee Data Platform

Let’s revisit the challenges listed above by our clients and see how an employee data platform like Employee Cycle plays a critical role in the solutions.

Leadership quickly shifting the entire workforce to a remote work model.

Business leaders are responsible for strategy of the organization. Understanding the performance and success of their strategy can’t happen without the right information being available when needed. Employee Cycle’s EDP provides interactive visuals, such as org charts and maps, and functional reports to help leaders see and comprehend the dynamics of their organization in real time, allowing them to plan, forecast, and adjust for future needs. With this critical information at their fingertips, leaders can communicate organization-wide to ensure clarity of goals and alignment, which leads to successful results.

Managers changing the way they engage with their teams

Managers are responsible for executing on leadership’s strategy and objectives. The EDP provides them with business intelligence and technology to communicate with, engage, and inspire their teams to deliver the results that leadership expects.

Real-time views of team structure, team member performance, project bandwidth, meeting participation, and more allow managers to easily access information and course correct as needed. The time saved alone – avoiding tracking down data from disparate systems and teams – allows the managers to be much more efficient and effective in managing their teams.

HR recruiting for different roles and responsibilities in job positions

Modern HR specialists must use data and algorithms to advise and drive workforce decisions, unlike the past which was guided by intuition or experience. It’s critical to use metrics to influence recruitment, development, retention, productivity, and many other areas of an organization’s workforce.

Technology is changing the way HR acquires its employees – it must to keep up with competition and improve processes. An EDP provides data and in turn is a key advantage in decision-making in how to best manage employees and inspire them to reach business goals.

Employees adjusting to new work environments set up in the middle of their home life

For some employees, the balance of work and home has been a challenge during the pandemic because there hasn’t been a clear delineation between the two. It’s important for employees to understand how they contribute to the big picture strategy from leadership, what their responsibilities are to deliver on objectives, and using technology to stay connected to not only their teams, but the rest of the organization.

With an EDP, each team member has clarity on personal goals, responsibilities, professional growth, and access to critical organizational information no matter where their “office” is located.

What to Look for in an Employee Data Platform

HR data and analytics help organizations make well-informed, smart decisions. At a minimum, make sure the platforms you are looking at provide information about the following:

  • Turnover: Use this data to ensure HR teams and managers can predict the risk of turnover by job title, office location, roles, and responsibilities. Use the analytics to model different scenarios that can reduce the turnover rates.
  • Retention: Use this data to assist HR teams in identifying where the highest risk of turnover typically is, and which employees may be at risk. Use the analytics to allocate resources and training where most needed.
  • Talent: Use this data to help HR identify which new hires will be high performers. Use the analytics to determine which employees should be put into fast-growing career tracks.
  • Future Planning: Use this data to model changes in workforce, org charts, and job titles that may affect the organization’s future. Use the analytics to identify impacts to the organization of hiring new talent, retaining current employees, and workforce engagement.

Of course, there are many more types of data and analytics that an EDP can provide. And access to this information is just the start when it comes to leveraging it to improve your organization’s workforce policies and practices. In a Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends  report, it mentions, “The real value is in turning these insights into change that delivers business value. The hardest part of people analytics is implementing the changes recommended by the models, which call for people analytics to be accompanied by sound change management practices.” And that is where your trained HR team comes into play.

We see the trend of leveraging HR analytics growing and playing a key role in recruiting, hiring, professional development, and organizational operations. Your HR team can show the ROI that an investment in centralized data and analytics can bring to your company, especially as recruiting is more competitive in this changing environment, and organizations compete for top talent.

An Employee Data Platform not only provides key data for leadership and decision-making, but it also provides clarity, visibility, and transparency for HR, managers, and employees to be on the same page and drive results. It’s truly a one-stop hub for the entire organization that can provide you with a competitive advantage in the workplace. Employee Cycle offers the visibility that HR teams required to take information that is housed within an EDP and leverage it in a clear, unified dashboard for ultimate transparency and visibility across all HR data points. Working with a unified HR data platform means that not only do you have real-time access to critical HR data, but you’re easily able to click and share robust reporting with relevant team members to support the best decision-making. See for yourself how easy it is to unify your HR data by creating your free Employee Cycle account and receive access to your customized HR data platform. Click here to get started at zero cost.