The potential value that people analytics could create within the SAP SuccessFactors ecosystem is immense. Around the world, over 13,000 businesses use SuccessFactors to manage the careers of over 200,000,000 people. This means that 6% of the employees in the entire world have their HR data stored on a SuccessFactors system - data which can be used to drive business performance, to improve the way employees experience their careers, to solve diversity problems, to adapt to the future of work - and so much more.
Unfortunately, despite this potential, most SAP SuccessFactors customers struggle with people analytics. In 2020 in a survey conducted by 3n Strategy, only 16% said people analytics was used strategically in their businesses, and 89% said they were at the beginning of their data-driven HR journey.
As People Analytics specialists in the SAP SuccessFactors ecosystem, we work with SuccessFactors customers who are not only doing people analytics, but doing it well. In this blog we look at five of the factors that we think make them successful.
1. They know that people analytics is about using data to answer HR questions
People analytics is about more than lists and dashboards. The businesses that are most successful with data-driven HR understand that people analytics is about using data to answer HR questions for a decision-maker, enabling them to make a better choice.
Based on our research the average HR leadership team at a large organisation typically asks 150-200 HR questions which reflect their mindset as they problem-solve the HR problems at the highest level. The questions will reflect all elements of HR from diversity to recruitment to learning to reward and more.
Organisations that do people analytics well know that they are not just creating charts or doing statistics - they are investing in answering these HR questions better. Not just once but over and over.
CALL TO ACTION: Want to learn more about the HR questions which SuccessFactors customers are using their data to answer? Listen to the opening talk by 3n Strategy or the HR Question Panel with BAE Systems, Volvo Car and Nestle on Day 1 of the Festival of People Analytics.
2. They understand the SuccessFactors People Analytics Product Roadmap
Many SAP SuccessFactors customers are confused by the People Analytics roadmap - so much so that we have had to write dozens of blogs to Workforce Analytics and Report Stories, and hosted many webinars (available on demand) on the topic.
The most common question comes from customers not understanding if they should use Workforce Analytics or if they should use Report Stories. Customers that do people analytics the best understand that different people analytics tools are better at answering different types of HR questions.
This means they can communicate to their leaders that Workforce Analytics will be better for answering the more strategic HR questions, whilst Report Stories will be better at answering more operational HR questions.
They will also be able to communicate that there are questions that will require different analytics tools to answer the more complicated predictive and prescriptive questions in the future, and some questions which cannot be answered by analytics at all.
CALL TO ACTIONS: Watch Glanbia and Ball present on Day 2 of the Festival of People Analytics on how and why they recommend other customers think about their people analytics product roadmap.
3. They think about people analytics before implementing modules
One of the biggest people analytics obstacles for SAP SuccessFactors customers is when they realise that they did configure a field during their implementation. In fact, 39% of SAP SuccessFactors customers say they do not know what data their organisation needs to capture.
Why does this happen? We cannot say for sure, but the usual reason seems to be that most modules seem to be implemented with only workflows and process in mind. Whilst most customers begin their journey dreaming of the Future of HR as seen on a SuccessConnect stage, they implement based on workflows, approvals and compliance. They do not think about the decisions being made, or the questions that will need to be answered.
What does this mean? If customers do not think about the decisions they want to make, then they might forget to switch on a particular field. For example, there may be no obvious business or recruitment purpose to ask an applicant their gender - but without this field, it is impossible to answer the question of 'Do more men or women apply for jobs in our business?'.
Customers that are good at people analytics will feed their people analytics design into the configuration of their source module, collecting data today to answer questions tomorrow.
CALL TO ACTION: Listen to Glanbia present on Day 1 of the Festival of People Analytics explaining why they did their people analytics strategy before implementing Employee Central.
4. They invest in the adoption of data-driven HR culture
A successful people analytics journey can be measured by studying how well a business can both ask and answer HR questions. If it makes progress with people analytics, not only will it be able to answer HR questions more effectively (perhaps using Workforce Analytics and Report Stories as tools), but it will need its decision-makers to ask better questions.
Businesses that do people analytics well recognise that they need to do more than just implement technology - in some ways, investing in people analytics and building a People Analytics Centre of Expertise is actually the easy part. SuccessFactors customers that do people analytics well will have a stream of work dedicated to the adoption of people analytics - both as a technology and as an HR practice.
There are many factors which organisations need to consider to drive the adoption of people analytics and data-driven HR culture. The SuccessFactors customers that do it best will have a dedicated change management approach, perhaps leveraging their overall HR transformation, planning how their will enable decision-makers (their end-users) with the right message, analytical and behavioural skills, and more.
CALL TO ACTION: Listen to Ball Corporation at the Festival of People Analytics as they explain their change management approach to drive the adoption of data literacy across their HR function.
5. They do not treat Reporting and Workforce Analytics as an after thought
Most importantly, the SAP SuccessFactors customers that do people analytics well understand that good analytics and reporting does not just happen. It is not safe to assume that you can leave analytics until the end of your implementation, and it will somehow just work.
Nowadays every HR function in the world understands that people analytics is a vital part of HR practice. The best HR leaders understand that people analytics is not a dashboard or a gimmick, but is the difference between doing good HR and great HR. And the best SuccessFactors customers understand that the people analytics tools are the most strategically impactful module in the SuccessFactors suite, and they plan up front accordingly.
Join the SAP SuccessFactors people analytics community in March 2022 at the Festival of People Analytics: Using SAP SuccessFactors Data, as we celebrate how SuccessFactors customers are using their data to Make Better People Decisions.