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Informatica taps Visier for workforce analysis

Informatica deployed Visier after finding it hard to perform workforce analysis on data from its Workday system.

When it decided to purchase analytics for its HR processes, Informatica, a noted leader in big data integration,...

went with cloud software from Visier.

"The appeal of Visier is its predictive analytics and its ability to layer on top of Workday and our applicant tracking system," said Jo Stoner, chief HR officer at Informatica. "It's also easy and intuitive to use."

Visier also complements Workday, which Informatica began using for core HR before it purchased Visier, she said.

In a webinar and case study, Kumud Kokal, a now former senior director of HR technology at Informatica, said it was difficult to get answers to talent questions and hard to get information from Workday before the company deployed Visier in 2013.

Even though Informatica was using Workday in 2012, it chose Visier for analytics. "I don't know if Workday's analytics or reporting was as advanced back then as it is now," Stoner said by email. "I don't believe they could do what Visier could back in 2012 when we first connected with Visier."

Since then, Workday has added new capabilities for workforce analytics, such as trend reports and visualization -- the latter of which is meant to simplify how workforce information is delivered -- and expanded reporting. Workday this year also released the first pieces of Insight Applications, a suite of new predictive analytics options.

Stoner said Visier can, for example, pull basic employee information from Workday and give Informatica a better handle on the costs and frequency of turnover.

Informatica, based in Redwood City, Calif., went live with cloud software from Workday in January 2012, replacing an old PeopleSoft system.

Meanwhile, Informatica rolled out Visier for workforce analysis in April 2013, according to the case study from Informatica. Visier just recently began bringing in data from the applicant tracking system at Informatica, Stoner said.

Informatica uses Workday for core HR, such as benefits, compensation, employee and manager self-service, open enrollment and some talent management functions, including onboarding and quarterly goal development.

HR exec critical of absent communication

Stoner said Workday's user interface is very good and its core HR functions are among the best in the business, but Workday needs improvement in reaching out to her about new products and functions.

She said Informatica does not get the same level of attention from Workday as it does from Salesforce, for example, which provides cloud services for customer relationship management. Salesforce meets with IT and business user teams at Informatica every quarter to share its roadmap and future thinking, she said. Like Workday, Salesforce is a software as a service company that has grown into a giant in its field.

She gave some of her feedback to Workday late last year when Informatica signed a three-year renewal contract. She said her company is making progress with Workday.

"I think Workday understands that some of their midsize clients need more attention. I don't know how they are allocating resources to make that happen. I think it is a work in progress."

Visier points company to talent answers

Visier cloud software can answer several hundred core strategic and workforce analysis questions, Stoner said.

The software helps Informatica measure, manage and predict issues involving talent, she said. In an analysis of turnover, for example, Visier can help pinpoint possible trouble spots within the company.

"It helps you get to the problem," she said. "It is not going to solve anything but it gives you a lot of pointers as to what the cause might be."

Visier extracts data from Workday, such as an employee's job title and code, age, start date, tenure and compensation and provides a quick workforce analysis, she said.

"At an aggregate level, your attrition rates might look healthy," Stoner said. "Visier lets you click down a level, then another level, in order to focus in on the problem spots where the rates are very high. It also then highlights the most common factors that are causing attrition, which is where the predictive aspect comes in. That's extremely helpful."

Visier cloud software can answer several hundred core strategic and workforce analysis questions

For example, Visier might find that Informatica is losing new employees in a certain office, region or country.

"Then you think, what are we doing? Is our interview process working? Are we presenting the wrong opportunity? Are we hiring the wrong skills? Is it onboarding? It starts to focus you in a way you might need to look to fix that problem. Are we paying enough? What is the compensation rate in the market?"

Useful option creates slide sets

Another nice capability for workforce analysis is that Visier can automatically turn data into a PowerPoint slide to share with company leaders, she said.

"We don't need to ask our friends in IT to help us extract that data and understand that data," she said. "It is completely self-service. I use it myself to get what I want from it, to get answers to questions, to get a report and a set of slides."

Her only criticism of Visier is that when transferring data into PowerPoint slides, the font is small and only comes out in one size.

A spokeswoman for Visier said the company has created an option that allows users to change the font size in PowerPoint. However, this feature is only available for users who share the slideshows online, rather than download them.

Stoner said she often recommends Visier.

"I think we have a great relationship. It is a good partnership."

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