A commonly overlooked feature of HR software applications is reporting: what information do you need to export, in which format and how often?
A typical HR software application might process thousands of pieces of data every minute, and can offer powerful insights into your business – if you know how to extract that knowledge.
“With our HR software, we can report on anything that has a statistic attached to it,” says Mina Kumari, HR director at internet service provider Star Internet.
“For example, we can look at any combination of holidays used, sick days, holidays remaining – and score that against quarterly objectives or the sales pipeline. Really we can look at just about any metric you can think of.”
Getting the best possible results from the reporting functionality in any HR software depends on understanding what is possible and what knowledge you want to achieve, says Beverley Mallon, head of HR at entertainment group Loewy.
“Rather than reporting on things just because we can, we use the reporting tools within Resource Link to manage employee information more efficiently,” she says.
“So we can look at employee trends over time much more quickly – we’d have done the same sort of reporting before, but rather than taking days, it can now be done in minutes, and we can slice the data in countless different ways.”
If used well, reporting tools can give HR a great strategic advantage, adds Keith James, HR and payroll officer with Southwark Council, which uses Aquire software in conjuction with its SAP system.
“Strategic planning and review depends on having accurate information, and that’s why reporting tools are so important,” he says.
“We’ve reduced the time taken to prepare annual budgets, and they’re more accurate – but the real benefit is in understanding how many staff are deployed where and what the reporting lines and structures are.”