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The just released Oracle Analytics for Cloud HCM platform can do some familiar things for HR. It can, for instance, produce reports about profit and revenue per employee. But it also takes these familiar analytics one step further. HR can use the tool to, for instance, hunt for relationships between employee engagement and revenue data.
Until the release of Oracle Analytics for Cloud HCM, delivering some types of HR and finance data may have required coordination with finance. But the tool now gives HR the ability to run these reports as needed, according to the vendor.
Indeed, Mark Brandau, an analyst at Forrester Research, said the Oracle Analytics for Cloud HCM may give HR managers new ability to run their own analytics. HR will "have additional ways to leverage the people and operational data to make better decisions," he said.
Oracle Analytics for Cloud HCM, announced via an online conference, is available to its HCM users. It's part of the vendor's Oracle Analytics for Applications product line.
Bruno Aziza, group vice president of Oracle Analytics, said the HCM analytics application stores and makes data available for analytics in an "autonomous data warehouse," which has security, repair and high availability features that don't require user intervention. It will have a set of analytical HR modules around employee data, but it will also allow mashups of data from other sources, he said.
Use of unstructured data
Where Aziza believes the analytics application will differentiate itself is in its ability to take unstructured survey data, or something like 360-degree feedback data, and combine it with financial data.
For instance, take a firm analyzing the performance of sales teams across geographies, Aziza said. In this process, HR may use Oracle Analytics for Cloud HCM and discover a performance problem in a specific region.
Katherine ThompsonHead of reporting and analytics for the Metis Program, Home Office
"Maybe there are some dimensions that explain this lack of performance related to HR components," Aziza said. It could be a consequence of new employees, dissatisfied employees or engagement issues, he said.
All the major HCM vendors -- Oracle, Workday, SuccessFactors, Ultimate Software -- have made significant investments in analytics, Forrester's Brandau said. Part of the drive to analytics is to "help standardize some of the practices and metrics and the way that HR operates," he said.
At its online launch, Oracle hosted a customer panel that included Katherine Thompson, head of reporting and analytics for the Metis Program at the Home Office in the U.K. The Home Office is responsible for immigration, security and other issues. The Metis Program is the name for a migration to cloud-based ERP using Oracle.
Thompson said the Home Office has been using Oracle's analytics to identify ways to improve the time it takes to hire someone. It involves different systems, including recruiting and security clearances. "We couldn't really see where the blockages were, and we worked closely with the HR teams to make relationships," she said. The Home Office has since sped up the hiring process, she said.