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News roundup: Business and HR misaligned on value of HR metrics

According to research from the Human Capital Institute, business leaders aren't necessarily interested in the HR metrics being measured.

HR metrics: What HR is selling, the business isn't buying

When it comes to HR metrics, HR departments and business leaders aren't quite seeing eye to eye, according to recently-released research from the Human Capital Institute. A survey of 358 business and HR professionals revealed gaps between the data that business leaders are asking for and what HR is providing.

For the most part, the survey showed that even though HR is measuring a fair amount of metrics, business leaders aren't always interested. For example, while 77.6% of respondents said they had tracked length of employment in the last year, only 56.3% said business leaders had asked for this information in the same time period. Similar disconnects existed regarding the time to fill a position vacancy -- which 70.1% of respondents measured and 58.4% of business leaders requested -- and cost per hire, with a 61.9% measurement and 50.5% request rate.

However, the trend was reversed in three areas -- labor productivity ratio, dollar value on increased workforce productivity year to year and leadership bench strength satisfaction -- with the number of business leaders requesting information exceeding the number of organizations measuring those data points. Of these three HR metrics, the last had the widest gap between supply and demand -- although 44% of business leaders had asked for leadership bench strength data in the last 12 months, only 37.5% of respondents tracked it.

The report also noted that overall, "most organizations operate within a low maturity model of talent analytics." With this in mind, the survey asked respondents what steps they are taking to bulk up their HR analytics programs.

It seems the gap between HR metric supply and demand were not lost on respondents, as 59.7% said they are working with business leaders to determine what analytics are important to them, while 43.4% said they are implementing a plan for sharing and reporting HR data with the business side. Investing in more sophisticated human resource information system technologies garnered 38.4%, training the HR staff on data analytics ranked lower, with 23.8%, and hiring data scientists or "statisticians" garnered the smallest response, with 5.3%. A sizable number of respondents -- 18% -- said they were doing nothing to become more effective at data and analytics.

More agile planning ahead for finance

Even though CFOs' confidence in the economy has increased, they plan to do more frequent scenario planning, according to Adaptive Insights' and BPI Network's Business Volatility and Variables Poll. Conducted in the final quarter of 2013, the survey found that 67% of respondents characterized the economic uncertainty facing their organizations as either medium or low, compared to 26% who said it was high. Despite this statistic, 48% said they intended to reforecast and perform more what-if scenario planning in the upcoming fiscal quarter, while 84% had done these types of revisions at least once in the previous quarter.

The survey also addressed the CFO's expanding job description. Approximately 43% of respondents said their role in making decisions about business strategy had increased in the past year, which was the second-highest response after financial planning and budgeting. Other areas that CFOs have become more heavily involved in include IT at 30.8%, business intelligence and operational performance measurement at 26.2% and human resources at 14.8%.

Tidemark expands CPM portfolio with financial consolidation

Cloud-based corporate performance management and analytics vendor Tidemark has announced a new financial consolidation product. "With the Tidemark Financial Consolidation App, financial and operational business users are able to reconcile intercompany variances, explain differences and justify adjustments as conversations, collaborations, annotations and unstructured content are preserved throughout the consolidation process," according to a press release.

CEO Christian Gheorghe underscored the tool's real-time and collaborative capabilities. "We really focus on reimagining for a highly mobile [and] user-driven workforce," he said.

Tidemark was not included in Gartner's 2014 Magic Quadrant for corporate performance management suites because it did not meet the criteria for inclusion, one aspect of which is financial consolidation and close capability. However, the report did feature the company in the "other vendors to consider" section.

Tidemark's Financial Consolidation App will be part of the vendor's Spring 2014 release.

Emma Snider is the associate editor for SearchFinancialApplications. Follow her on Twitter @emmajs24 and the site @SearchFinApps.

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