Analytics: An indispensable business tool

Myles Halliday, B. CompSc. (Hons.) (Co-op)

Myles Halliday, B. CompSc. (Hons.) (Co-op)

Vice President of Product Management, Payworks Myles has spent almost 35 years immersed in product architecture and information technology roles, leveraging this wealth of knowledge to ensure Payworks customers can grow their businesses with us through unmatched solutions finely tuned to meet and anticipate their needs.

Article written by Payworks expert Myles Halliday, Vice President, Product Management, as featured in Dialogue Magazine.

Do you find it challenging to report on or compare data across years? If you were asked to report all bonuses or overtime paid out by pay period over the last two years, how long would it take you? Do you know your current headcount? Do you know your turnover rates by department? By using analytics, these types of questions can be answered in less than 30 seconds.

Payroll and HR departments have been expected to produce accurate and timely reports with limited access to the right information at the right time and in the right format. It’s difficult to stay informed of trends and events within a business and its workforce without the correct tools.

Analytics is the solution that solves these challenges.

What is Analytics?

You may hear terms like Workforce Analytics, People Analytics and HR Analytics being used to describe very similar solutions, but practically speaking there are only two types of analytics tools employed by organizations today.

Descriptive Analytics is often referred to as Business Intelligence or BI. It has been used by many large organizations and is now an essential tool for payroll and HR departments in both small and medium sized organizations. Descriptive analytics presents information about what is or what was happening within an organization over a specified period of time. The data is presented through a series of interactive graphs or tables often grouped within dashboards. These visuals can be filtered, providing timely answers to “Was” or “Did” questions such as, “Was my overtime this year the same as last year?”

Predictive Analytics uses past data to predict future trends or outcomes, given a set of rules. Predictive analytics for businesses is becoming more common over the last three to five years in medium to large organizations. Predictive analytics requires large data sets and the right rules to develop statistical relationships that can be turned into accurate predictions. Find answers to “When” or “Will” questions, such as, “When will overtime costs be high enough during the year to justify a new hire?”

Regardless of business size, analytics will improve efficiencies, produce valuable information, discover changes, and increase the effectiveness of an organization’s Payroll and HR teams.

Taking the time to understand how these tools drive value for your business is important. Much more than a series of intuitive charts and graphs, an analytic solution provides businesses insight into their performance and enables informed, timely and data-driven decision making.

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