Following our blog last month about how systems issues can open the door to staff underpayment, a number of our stakeholders have asked if we might be able to go deeper into how a people analytics solution and specifically, how One Model can solve this problem.
We are nothing if not obliging here at One Model, so here we go!
We thought we would answer this question by articulating the most common system-derived problems associated with people data and how One Model and an integrated people analytics plan can help resolve these issues.
PROBLEM NUMBER ONE - PEOPLE DATA IS STORED IN MULTIPLE NON-INTEGRATED SYSTEMS
As discussed previously, our experience is that most large organisations have at least 7 systems in which they store people data. In some larger organisations - that number can be more than 20!
Data silos present a major risk to HR governance. Silos create the risk that information may be different between systems or updated in one system and then not updated in others.
If information in one non-integrated system is wrong or out of date, it becomes very hard - firstly to isolate the issue and remediate it and secondly, if the error was made months or years in the past to understand which system controls the correct information.
Often when people are working across multiple systems they will take shortcuts to updating and managing data; this is particularly prevalent when data duplication is involved. If it isn’t clear which system has priority and data doesn’t automatically update in other systems - human error is an inevitable outcome.
With One Model, you can decide which systems represent the most accurate information for particular data and merge all data along these backbone elements resulting in greater trust and confidence. The data integration process that is core to the One Model platform can, in effect, create a single source of truth for your people data.
This presentation by George Colvin at PAFOW Sydney neatly shows how the One Model platform was used by Tabcorp to manage people data silo issues.
PROBLEM NUMBER TWO - LIMITED ACCESS TO DATA IN OLD AND NON-SUPPORTED SYSTEMS
Further to the issue of data spread across multiple systems, our experience tells us that not only are most large organisations running multiple people data systems - at least one of those systems will be running software that is either out-of-date or no longer supported by the vendor.
So even if you do wish to integrate data between systems, you may be unable.
It is always best if you can identify data issues in real time to minimise exposure and scope of impact, but this isn’t always possible and you may have to dig into historical transactional data to figure out the scale of the issue and how it impacts employees and the company.
If that wasn’t challenging enough - most companies when changing or upgrading systems for reasons of cost and complexity end up not migrating all of their historical data.
This means that you are paying for the maintenance of your old systems or to manage an offline archived database. Furthermore, when you need to access that historical data, running queries is incredibly difficult. This is compounded when you need to blend the historical data with your current system.
It is, to put it mildly, a pain in the neck!
One Model’s cloud data warehouse can hold all of your historical data and shield your company from system upgrades by managing the data migration to your new system, or housing your historical data and providing seamless blending with the data in your current active systems.
If you are interested in this topic and how One Model can help - have a read of this blog that covers in more detail how One Model can mitigate the challenges associated with system migration.
PROBLEM NUMBER THREE - ACCESS TO KEY HR DATA IS LIMITED TO THE CENTRAL HR FUNCTION.
Either as a result of technology, security, privacy and/or process, HR data in many large organisations is only accessible by the central HR department. As a result, individual line managers don’t have the autonomy or capability to isolate and resolve people data issues before they develop.
Data discrepancies are more likely to be identified by the people closest to the real-world events reflected in the transactional system. Managers and HR Business Partners are your first line of defence in identifying data issues, as well as any other HR issue.
Of course, line managers need good people analytics to make better decisions and drive strategy, but a byproduct of empowering managers to oversee this information is that they are able to provide feedback on the veracity of the data and quickly resolve data accuracy issues.
Sharing data widely requires a comprehensive and thoughtful approach to data sensitivity, security, and privacy. One Model has the most advanced people analytics permissions and role based security framework in the world to help your company deploy and adopt data-driven decision making.
PROBLEM NUMBER FOUR - EVEN IF I RESOLVE A HISTORICAL UNDERPAYMENT, HOW DO I ENSURE THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN AGAIN?
One of the consistent pieces of feedback we received from the initial blog was that many stakeholders were comfortable that once an issue had been identified they would be able to resolve it - either internally or with the support of an external consulting firm.
However, those stakeholders were concerned about their ability to uncover other instances of underpayment in their business or ensure that future incidents did not occur.
There is no silver bullet to this problem, however, our view is that a combination of the following factors can ensure organisations mitigate these risks;
- integrated people data - having a one-stop single source of truth for your people data is crucial.
- access to historical data - to understand when and how issues developed is also very important.
empowerment of line managers to isolate and resolve issues - managers are your first line of defence in understanding and resolving these issues and you need to enable them to fix problems before they develop.
People analytics and the One Model product give organisations the tools to resolve all of these problems. If you are interested in continuing this conversation, please get in touch.
PROBLEM NUMBER FIVE - A COMPLEX INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS SYSTEM AND A LACK OF PEOPLE HR RESOURCES
Previously, most back office processes had a lot of in-built checks and balances. There were processes to cross-check work between team members, ensure transactions totaled up and reconciled correctly and supervisors who would double-check and approve changes.
Over the last 20 years large enterprises have been accelerating ERP adoption, in order to realise ROI from that investment, many back office jobs in payroll and other functions were removed with organisations and management expecting that the systems would always get it right.
Compounding this and despite many attempts over the years to simplify the industrial relations system, the reality is that managing employee remuneration is incredibly complex. This complexity means that the likelihood of making payroll system configuration, interpretation or processing mistakes is high. So what to do?
Of course you need expertise in your team, or be able to access professional advice as needed (particularly for smaller companies). In addition, successful companies are investing in people analytics to support their team and trawl through the large volumes of data to find exceptions, look for anomalies, and track down problems.
Our view at One Model is that organisations need to develop metrics to identify and detect issues early. It's what our platform does.
We have developed data quality metrics to deal with the following scenarios;
- Process errors
- Data inconsistency
- Transactions contrary to business rules
- Human error
A combination of quality metrics, system integrations, and staff empowered to isolate and resolve issues before they become problems are key to minimising the chances of an underpayments scandal at your business.
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or would like to discuss how One Model can help your business navigate these challenges, please click the button below to schedule a demo or conversation.