HR Technology – Ultimate Software's Blog http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com Thoughts on Putting People First in the Workplace Tue, 18 Jul 2017 10:00:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 Big Data and Predicting Turnover http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/big-data-and-predicting-turnover/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/big-data-and-predicting-turnover/#respond Sun, 15 Apr 2012 10:13:21 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=111 I learned a lot about data during this year’s Ultimate Software Connections conference. Which is totally cool with me; I’m not afraid of numbers. One specific term was “big data.” Now, I admit that I had heard the term but didn’t really have my arms around what it meant or what it means for business. […]

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I learned a lot about data during this year’s Ultimate Software Connections conference. Which is totally cool with me; I’m not afraid of numbers. One specific term was “big data.” Now, I admit that I had heard the term but didn’t really have my arms around what it meant or what it means for business.

Chris McLatcher, director of business intelligence and analytics for Ultimate Software, really gave a great overview of big data during his session, “What’s Coming in the Area of Reporting, Metrics, Analytics & Predictive Analysis.” In case you’re wondering, the term “big data” refers to groups of data so large that they become challenging to work with. But we do it anyway, because of the trend data that we can pull from it. If you’d like to learn more, here’s a video that can help.

 

Data has always been important to our organizations. Now that lots of it exists and more is generated every second, data is even more important. But not just getting the data. It’s equally key that we can read, process, and make decisions based upon it.

This is where predictive analytics takes over. We can use these techniques to leverage the data. Because what our organizations are able to do as a result of the data will help them achieve success. Having data just for the sake of data isn’t achieving success. Ultimate Software talked about one of the ways they are able to use big data for their clients. Think about this scenario:

Your company is getting ready for their annual strategy session. Part of that session is setting business goals for the next operational year. During the conversation, someone mentions that they are concerned about achieving the goals being discussed because of the current talent situation in the company. “There are lots of reports in the media about people looking for new jobs. If we lose a couple key players, we won’t have the bench strength to make these goals a reality.”

Wouldn’t it be great if you could put the senior leadership team’s fears to rest? The question is: what could possibly be said? Ultimate Software has been successfully testing the use of predictive analytics to not only determine how much turnover an organization might expect but the likelihood of an individual to leave the organization. This is pretty powerful stuff!

If businesses had more accurate data regarding potential turnover, there would be opportunities to potentially change the outcome. Again, what our companies can do with data becomes incredibly valuable and has the potential to impact the bottom line. It all comes down to knowing and understanding the business data we have available.

If you want to stay on top of business analytics and how they can help your organization, consider joining the UltiPro Business Intelligence SIG on LinkedIn. Chris also mentioned two books: Investing in People by Wayne F. Cascio and John W. Boudreau and HR Analytics Handbook by Laurie McBassi. Neither are reads for sipping a pina colada by the pool, but when you need them, they will be very useful.

There’s an old cliché about knowledge being power. In today’s world, having access to the data you need, at the moment you need it, will create powerful opportunities for your company.

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Live from #UltiConnect 2012: Statistically Aware Human Resources http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/live-from-ulticonnect-2012-statistically-aware-human-resources/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/live-from-ulticonnect-2012-statistically-aware-human-resources/#respond Fri, 30 Mar 2012 06:03:39 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=95 I’ve always been a numbers person. I think there’s much we can learn from looking at data and statistics. And it’s never too late to embrace the numbers. In fact, Thomas Otter, vice president of research at Gartner Research coined the phrase “statistically aware HR” during his session on workforce analytics at the Ultimate Software Connections […]

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I’ve always been a numbers person. I think there’s much we can learn from looking at data and statistics. And it’s never too late to embrace the numbers. In fact, Thomas Otter, vice president of research at Gartner Research coined the phrase “statistically aware HR” during his session on workforce analytics at the Ultimate Software Connections conference and I believe it’s a perfect way to approach data.

When we think about it, we have tons of data about our workforce right at our fingertips. And how much of it are we actually using? When we’re faced with a problem, is the first question…let’s run some reports and see what the data tells us? I’m sure some companies are doing it. But Otter points to research that indicates “65% of organizations will fail to exploit workforce analytics because of a lack of skilled resources.”

So regardless of our current skill level, here are 4 things you can do to become more statistically aware:

  1. Invest in learning statistical skills. Take a class, read a book or blog. Find a way to learn more about the subject. Example: During Otter’s session, I learned about the Bradford Factor which says there’s a difference in being absent for 7 days and being absent 7 times for one day. This data is important because it can impact workplace productivity.
  1. Start with a small problem. Now is not the time to take on more than you can handle. Remember to consider operational factors in your calculations. And don’t promise numbers you can’t deliver!
  1. Leverage external data. Think about the partners you are working with who can provide data. Also leverage applications your employees are using, such as LinkedIn. With the popularity of the platform, make sure your organization is using the available data about your industry and competitive set.
  1. Learn from history and others. Collect historical data and use it as a test of what actually happened. That can offer insight into data analysis skills. Also, tap into the expertise around your company. For instance, work with marketing professionals who have become very knowledgeable about measuring brand awareness.

Like most skills, the more we work at something, the better we get at it. Once your analysis is complete, take action based upon your findings. Plan to evaluate the results at pre-determined milestones and adjust accordingly. Soon, you too will become one of the “statistically aware”.

 

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Buying a House, Saving for Retirement and Choosing Benefits http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/buying-a-house-saving-for-retirement-and-choosing-benefits/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/buying-a-house-saving-for-retirement-and-choosing-benefits/#respond Tue, 20 Mar 2012 12:23:24 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=93 Today I want to talk about something that is very important to all of us: choosing the right benefits. I relate to this because as someone with a wife and two small sons at home, it’s absolutely critical that I choose the right benefits for my family. Given that I’m responsible for HR & Benefits […]

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Today I want to talk about something that is very important to all of us: choosing the right benefits. I relate to this because as someone with a wife and two small sons at home, it’s absolutely critical that I choose the right benefits for my family. Given that I’m responsible for HR & Benefits within Ultimate’s UltiPro and I’ve spent my entire career studying and managing benefits solutions, I am fortunate to have the knowledge and tools necessary to make informed benefits decisions. Unfortunately, for most people, knowing how to differentiate and select benefits can be confusing and daunting. This fact is very concerning because outside of buying a house and saving for retirement, choosing the right benefits is probably the most important decision a person will make.

At this point you may be thinking, “He’s just saying this because he has spent his career in benefits.” This may be true but let me explain it from my vantage point.

The reality is that benefits are important because of their potential impact on one’s personal and financial well-being. Based on recent data from Mercer, an employee’s annual healthcare cost for a family of four is expected to top $10,000 in 2012. That is approaching almost $1,000 per month! At that level, we are in the ballpark of a monthly mortgage payment. This is where the similarities end. The reason is that unlike buying a house, if you choose the wrong benefit plan you could suffer catastrophic financial losses should you get sick or have a health problem that is not covered. Even worse you might not even be able to get the medical treatment you desperately need. I think this makes it pretty clear why understanding how to choose the right benefits is important.

What’s ironic is that most people spend only a few minutes choosing their benefits and do so with very little information. This is where the need for benefits decision support comes in. As a business owner or HR leader who wants your people to make informed benefit decisions, it is critical that you provide the tools for them to do so. This includes: 1) definitions of key benefit terms, 2) the pros and cons of each benefit plan being offered, and 3) comparison tools that can be used to determine the benefit plan that is best tailored towards their unique personal situation. Historically speaking, people have relied on their employers to provide the information needed to make informed benefits decisions. This approach, however, is becoming ineffective at a very rapid pace. This is because the younger generations entering the workforce rely almost solely on their social networks for all kinds of advice. Now I’m not new to the workforce, but soliciting benefits advice from my friends and family using my social network seems like a much better approach to me.

So my message is, take your time and be wise in your benefits decisions. If you are the person responsible for benefits management in your organization, take it upon yourself to provide your people with the information and tools they need to make informed benefits decisions. Put yourself in their shoes. Failure to do so can have terrible consequences for everyone.

Here’s to putting people first.

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Sharing At Its Best http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/sharing-at-its-best/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/sharing-at-its-best/#respond Mon, 12 Mar 2012 13:23:25 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=92 Ever since my kids were old enough to understand the concept of sharing, my wife and I have been encouraging them to do it often. With three kids that are very close in age, that is easier said than done, but I am always proud of them when they manage to pull it off.  We […]

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Ever since my kids were old enough to understand the concept of sharing, my wife and I have been encouraging them to do it often. With three kids that are very close in age, that is easier said than done, but I am always proud of them when they manage to pull it off.  We nearly fell out of our chairs the other day when witnessing our ten-year old son actually offer the last couple of cookies to his older sister. Of course, he’s recently been trying to win us over to buy him some new technology, so we’re wondering just how genuine that “share” really was.

Though sharing may not always come easily for kids, sharing between adults has never been easier. The rise of the social web has made it really simple to share everything from advice on how to fix a leaky faucet to the latest videos of your cat doing something weird. It still amazes me how quickly the technology has gotten us to this point.

As a SaaS provider, sharing is in Ultimate’s DNA. When we made the decision to move to the cloud over ten years ago, we knew that by sharing common infrastructure, we’d lower costs and ease the administrative burden for our customers. What we couldn’t foresee was just how much sharing would eventually take place within our user community because of this shift. There are dozens of UltiPro User Communities on LinkedIn, thousands of participants in our Ideas community, and the content and thoughts that are being shared in these forums are both practical and engaging.

I’m responsible for the Business Intelligence & Analytics products at Ultimate, so I want to highlight some of the sharing taking place between the BI users within our customer community. The author of a recent ZDNet article urges business people to be “BI savvy,” and I couldn’t agree more.  However, our users are wearing multiple hats and have limited time to develop their expertise. They know that UltiPro Business Intelligence allows them to tap the vast amounts of information living with their employee records, so they are turning to the communities to help them. At nearly 900 members as of this writing, the Business Intelligence forum on LinkedIn is one of the largest and most active. Collaborating with other users to share tips, tricks, ideas, and even reports is a great example of how the cloud proves its value. Users are sharing reports on a wide range of topics including total compensation, bonus distribution by performance rating, and benefit election comparisons. This is something that we’ve coined “Consume/Author/Share” within UltiPro.

Across the enterprise applications market, there is so much room to innovate and expand upon making data and analytics accessible, understandable, and pervasive throughout solutions, and we’re totally focused on this at Ultimate. The good news is that with the help of collaboration and the cloud, people, i.e., our customers, can work together and benefit from one another today. Because of this, hundreds of report templates have been downloaded thousands of times. This is sharing at its best. And though I may not have quite the same sense of pride as when my son offered my daughter the last cookie, I’m still awfully proud to be a part of this community. Keep on sharing!

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