Ditch the DIY Drama: Embrace Vendor Maintenance for Sustainable People Analytics

When considering implementing a people analytics solution into your organization, an important first step is to consider if you should buy an out-of-the-box solution, build one yourself from scratch, or buy a flexible solution you can build upon. If you choose to build on your own, have you considered the ongoing maintenance requirements and costs you’ll encounter over time if you choose to build on your own? If you choose this DIY approach, you’ll have to constantly allocate valuable internal resources towards updating the system and keeping it running — pulling your teams away from more strategic and impactful work.

Instead, you could partner with a trustworthy people analytics vendor to take that maintenance off your team’s hands. Let’s dive into what maintaining a people analytics solution entails and why it’s so important. Then, we’ll explore how choosing the right vendor can help you ditch the DIY drama and keep your people analytics solution running smoothly.

The Continuous Journey of Maintenance

The allure of developing an in-house people analytics solution is often marred by underestimating the ongoing commitment required for maintenance (as my colleague, Shiann, learned from her own in-house development lessons). Unlike the initial setup, maintenance is a continuous journey, marked by the need to adapt to new technologies, regulatory changes, and evolving organizational needs. The pitch from internal teams who want to build their own systems that a central pool of resources will keep the analytics platform updated often falls short when confronted with the reality of constant evolution in HR systems and practices.

The Complexity of Maintenance

Maintenance encompasses much more than fixing bugs or updating software; it involves adapting to new data sources, integrating evolving HR technologies, and ensuring all systems remain aligned with organizational objectives. The challenge compounds when internal teams are tasked with maintaining a system built from scratch, as they must juggle maintenance on top of fire drill tasks, innovation, and the strategic redirection of HR practices.

Vendor Advantages: Specialization and Scalability

Vendors specializing in people analytics bring a wealth of experience and resources dedicated to the development, deployment, and maintenance of people analytics solutions. Their focus on HR technologies and data models allows them to offer solutions that are not only up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies but also scalable to accommodate organizational growth and changes in HR practices.

Expertise and Efficiency

People analytics vendors are equipped with specialized teams that understand the nuances of HR data, ensuring that maintenance is not just about keeping the system running but optimizing it to deliver actionable insights.

Economies of Scale

By serving multiple clients, vendors can spread the cost of maintenance, research, and development across their customer base, allowing for more significant investments in innovation and security.

Proactive Evolution

Vendors continuously update their platforms to incorporate new features, integrations, and best practices, ensuring that the analytics solution remains at the forefront of HR technology.

Navigating Vendor Selection and Partnership

While the benefits of partnering with a vendor are clear, not all vendors are created equal. It's crucial to conduct due diligence to ensure that the selected vendor has a proven track record, a robust maintenance and support system, and the flexibility to adapt to your organization's unique needs.

Experience and Compatibility

Look for vendors with experience in the systems you need (HRIS, ATS, survey, etc.) and those who have successfully navigated the complexities of integrating diverse HR data sources into a unified model.

Support and Maintenance Model

Understand the vendor's approach to maintenance — whether it's a named resource tracking your account or access to a central pool of experts. Ensure that their support system aligns with your organizational needs and expectations.

Subject Matter Expertise

Review the vendor’s leadership team and customer teams for a background in HR or the people analytics space. There are many data vendors out there, but there are only a few that focus on and care deeply about what it means to work in HR. That nuanced understanding shows up in how they care about your needs, what new HR support tools are on the roadmap, and how they spend their time developing solutions.

Scalability and Adaptability

The chosen vendor should demonstrate the ability to scale their solution in line with your organizational growth and the agility to adapt to emerging HR technologies and practices. You don’t want to have to switch vendors later in your people analytics journey once you realize they can’t handle more complex tasks.

Why One Model Is Your Maintenance Partner for People Analytics

When it comes to the crucial role of maintenance in people analytics, partnering with a vendor like One Model offers a comprehensive and streamlined approach that can significantly enhance your team's efficiency and focus.

Here's how One Model stands out as a true partner to HR and people analytics teams with maintenance tasks:

Seamless Data Pipeline Maintenance

One Model proactively manages data pipeline maintenance, especially in scenarios where a vendor changes their API — which happens often. This adaptability ensures that your analytics operations remain uninterrupted and consistently reliable, removing the burden from your internal teams to monitor and adjust to these external changes.

Data Engineering Support Included

With One Model, break-fix solutions and ongoing data engineering support are integral parts of the subscription service. This means your team has continuous access to expert assistance for any technical issues that arise, ensuring minimal downtime and optimal performance of your analytics platform.

Integrated Platform Workflow

One Model's platform is designed to work in harmony, ensuring that changes in the data orchestration tools People Data Cloud™ are immediately reflected in the data storytelling front end and OneAI advanced analytics toolkit. This integration eliminates the common headache of fixing broken dashboards due to data table changes, enabling a smoother workflow and more reliable data visualization.

Monitored Site Reliability

Ensuring the reliability of your people analytics platform is paramount, and One Model takes this responsibility seriously. By putting One Model in charge of site reliability, we provide peace of mind that your analytics tools will be available when you need them, supporting on-demand access to workforce insights.

Focus on Analytics, Not Software Maintenance

By taking on all software-related aspects of the build and maintenance, One Model allows your team to focus on what they do best: deriving meaningful insights from people analytics. This division of labor maximizes the value your team brings to strategic decision-making, consulting, and insight-creation, without being bogged down by the technical complexities of software maintenance.

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The Case for Vendor Partnerships

The decision to partner with a vendor for people analytics should not be taken lightly. It involves weighing the benefits of access to specialized expertise, efficiency gains, and the ability to stay ahead of HR technology trends against the perceived control and ownership benefits of an in-house solution. However, when considering the long-term implications, particularly in the realm of maintenance, the argument in favor of vendor partnerships becomes compelling.

Maintenance is not merely a technical challenge; it's a strategic imperative that ensures the people analytics platform remains relevant, effective, and aligned with organizational goals. In this context, vendors offer a partnership that transcends the mere provision of technology; they become collaborators in the journey towards achieving HR excellence.

In conclusion, as organizations navigate the complexities of modern HR practices, the choice of partnering with a vendor for people analytics offers a strategic advantage. It ensures access to cutting-edge technology, specialized expertise, and a scalable solution that evolves in tandem with the organization. The maintenance of a people analytics platform is a journey best undertaken with a partner like One Model who brings not only technology but also a commitment to innovation and excellence in the field of HR analytics.

Written By

Richard is an experienced practitioner in the field of people analytics. He is passionate about teaching others about people analytics, lowering the barrier to entry for HR professionals, designing and building organizations, and setting up HR data foundations. In his current role as Vice President of People Analytics Strategy at One Model, Richard focuses on building connections between ideas, developing communities, and creating content that supports HR and People Analytics leaders. He is also actively involved in the People Analytics community, attending and promoting meetups and sharing his insights on LinkedIn.

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