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Data-driven HR for payroll – unlock your competitive advantage


While payroll used to be a largely manual process – today’s data-driven HR innovation means we’re moving towards touchless payroll. Fully automated secure and low-risk payroll processes require minimal human interaction. Highly accurate data can be obtained to support corporate decision-making.

There are still several transformation steps to take before achieving this data-driven HR solution for many organizations. Laying the foundations with the right technology, data framework, and analytics are crucial to achieve success. Future success for all businesses is in the data. Mission-critical business intelligence sits in the payroll, waiting to be revealed.

The move to hybrid working is making it hard to attract and retain talent. How employees want to be compensated is changing too.

People are looking for more than just cash. Eyes are on a total compensation package to suit the individual. Ranging from traditional, e.g., health insurance and retirement savings plans, to those focused on the overall work environment and culture, e.g., such as flexible working and sustainability.

All change costs money and resources. However, the integration of payroll data with other business functions makes it possible to model the effects of change, e.g., on employee productivity, operational cost savings, skills development, etc.

This modern and agile approach requires a fundamental shift in how data-driven HR and payroll is delivered. Typically, four key elements make up digital payroll:

  1. Automation and robotics – driving efficiencies and reducing the risk of errors
  2. Data visualization – providing a real-time consolidated view of the workforce and financial information
  3. Analytics – based on trusted real-time data enabling more informed decision making
  4. System integration – encouraging enterprise-wide collaboration

The goal for business leaders is to create a ‘frictionless enterprise’. This is an organization where information flows intelligently between departments and processes, as and when needed. The use of modern technology coupled with automation and machine learning can remove monotonous manual tasks from core HR processes including payroll, while simultaneously streamlining operations.


What stands in the way of unlocking value from payroll data and analytics?

Future business success or failure can be shown in the payroll data and analytics KPIs. It is the only data source that reveals all there is to know about the workforce. It reveals the who, the what, the when, and the why. This makes it quick and easy for HR stakeholders to answer these questions retrospectively, in real-time, and proactively.

Payroll data analytics reports facts on every aspect of the workforce, including the total cost as a whole, unit, team, or individual. This is vital for growth. If you’re only able to take snippets and analyzing short-term pay cycles, it’s not possible to pull true intelligence from your payroll data, even less so if you’re doing this manually.

Analytics have never been more vital to help HR professionals address some of the effects of the great resignation. Organizations need to measure the effectiveness of base salary, bonus, benefits, and retention payments.

Other data-driven insights can look at potential skill gaps based on:

  • attrition risk analysis
  • current length of service and
  • employee satisfaction polls.

Predicted and actual demographic pay gaps should also be identified. All data points are under scrutiny, and failure to address them can damage your employer brand and affect recruiting efforts.

A substantial competitive advantage for data-driven payroll in 2022 is the means to model, predict and plan to unlock the vast amount of HR information.

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