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Making decisions in real time: The unfinished business of HR managers

By Francisco José De Juan, SuccessFactors Talent Module Process Advisor

As a Human Resources professional working with a large database, how many times have you wished you had access to information in real time? Not just being able to download workforce data at any given time, but having up-to-the-minute information that we can observe even as it evolves with every hour of every day? This is one of the main advantages of implementing HR Analytics.

Let's discard the idea of “real-time” as a 2-day-old download of your database being the most consolidated and most up-to-date information you can get. Let's think for a moment about the competitive advantage actual, up-to-the-minute real-time data can deliver. 

Here are a few recent scenarios experienced by some of our clients. How many times have you heard the following?

“We can’t prepare the complete report for the Director because the cut-off date to obtain that information isn’t until next week.”


“I'm sorry, I can't give you that information right now. You’ll have to request it from the ‘third party’ team, so they can extract it and give me the numbers.”


I'm afraid we don't have the capacity to give you those figures. The numbers come from different data sources, so first we’d have to extract the information, then cross-reference it and then integrate it into the final report. That will take us at least until tomorrow.”

Will these reports truly reflect the day-to-day realities with your team? Wouldn’t it be great to circumvent all of this? What if there was another alternative?

Imagine a manager (technical expert or HR business partner) who could actually access all the information in their area of responsibility in real-time. Who had sufficient credentials to be totally independent of third parties and could obtain all that information, comprehensively, from a single source. 

This is where HR Analytics solutions can make a difference. Generating periodic reports is a tedious and time-consuming manual process. HR Analytics solutions provide the capability to quickly compile and deliver comprehensive reports offering genuine insights into your workforce.

We can even take it a step further. Imagine having the ability, not only to glean information in real-time, but to anticipate changes in the demand for talent by simply observing the trends reflected in reports, or foreseeing possible retention problems before they occur. 


What can real-time HR Analytics provide?

  • Immediate availability of global workforce information, from selection and hiring to payroll and training.
  • Capacity and agility, offers room to maneuver when making decisions based on objective information.

How HR Analytics gives HR a competitive advantage:

1. Quick response to changes: 

In today's business environment, speed is key. With real-time information, you can quickly respond to unforeseen changes. For example, if a new competitor enters the market and starts hiring your key employees, you can quickly identify the signs and take steps to retain them.

2. Information on-demand: 

Real-time information is a significant competitive advantage. Up to date, objective data gives you the ability to outperform your competitors who still rely on retrospective analysis. This allows you to quickly adapt to changing market conditions and maintain a solid position in your industry.

3. Informed decision-making: 

Obtaining objective, real-time data means making informed decisions. If you see an increase in employee turnover in a specific department, you can immediately investigate and take steps to address the situation before it becomes a larger problem.

4. Projection of results: 

With real-time information, you can project results and take preventive measures. If you notice that the retention rate is declining in a certain team, you can implement measures to improve the work environment and reduce turnover before it negatively affects the financial results.

5. Identification of patterns and trends

By analysing data in real time, you can identify emerging patterns and trends in the areas of talent, performance and engagement on the part of your employees. This allows you to proactively adjust your strategies.

Simply put, implementing an HR metrics system not only increases awareness of what is happening in your organisation in real time, but it also allows you to effectively anticipate and address future challenges.

Real-time information is the key to making informed strategic decisions and maintaining a competitive advantage in an ever-changing market. Rather than just reacting to past events, you can lead the way to a successful future.

Learn more about HR Analytics here, or feel free to contact us.

Francisco José De Juan
Francisco José De Juan
By Francisco José De Juan

Francisco José De Juan is currently People Analytics Lead at Alight, responsible for advising our clients and configuring and implementing visual Reports & Dashboards based on HR Analytics & IAS/IPS. He has extensive experience in the digital Human Resources sector, having worked with different international teams from a very young age. Before joining Alight, Francisco developed his career from end client as international HRBP. His academic background includes Maastricht University, Utrecht and ESIC.

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