HR Software as a Decision Support Tool
Many organizations falsely identify HR Software as a tool for Document Management, Time & Attendance, Payroll, and numerous other simple automated tasks. The often-used term HRIS, or Human Resources Information System, is in itself a misnomer. In reality, technology available for HR can be a robust resource for organization-wide analytics that spans far beyond the HR department and acts as a decision support tool for executive management.
A decision support system, by definition, transforms raw data into information that can aid in decision-making to identify and solve business problems. HR handles all the information for the organization’s human capital, which is evidently their largest asset and highest expense. Therefore, information on productivity, labor costs, turnover, recruiting, and compliance, is central to an organization’s success. Unfortunately, most HR software reporting only scratches the surface of the heaps of data stored within the system. In fact, when Bersin interviewed HR leaders, many complained that their reports and dashboards were fairly useless.
Three characteristics of HR software that move from simple data systems to decision support tools include:
- Real-Time Results
Delivering relevant reports in real-time is crucial for strategic decision-making. Many standard reports provided by basic HR software are backward-looking, forcing executives to make critical business decisions with incomplete information. Access to real-time, organization-wide information enables executives to make proactive choices to ensure success within the organization.
- Unified Data
On average, organizations are using 3-4 different HR applications to complete organizational processes. This silo approach forces you to piece together information, trying to get a full picture, but always feeling like you are missing a piece. Furthermore, the process of gathering information is time-consuming and by the time you think you have it right, the report is probably outdated.
- Industry Expertise
To get the most from your HR software, it's important to choose a vendor that understands the inner workings of your industry. Often times, standard reports do not address the unique needs of your organization when it comes to workforce planning. In order for your HR software to act as a decision support tool, you need to free your data from the cookie cutter restraints of a standard system that doesn’t understand your business. Configurable reporting capabilities allow your organization to produce innovative insights that fit your needs and solve your business problems.
HR software that contains these characteristics goes beyond the traditional definition of a decision support tool because it is not only an informational tool, it is an operational tool as well. This means that it not only collects and stores the data, but also actively analyzes information and presents it in relevant ways. To unleash the power of data using a true decision support tool, you need to go beyond the traditional, out-of-the-box HR systems. This will allow your organization to achieve complete transparency with a unified system, so you can make the right decisions, right now.