by Thor Olavsrud

Oracle takes aim at workforce analytics with new HCM offering

May 12, 2020
Cloud ComputingOracleTechnology Industry

Oracle Analytics for Cloud HCM offers self-service analytics capabilities to HR executives, analysts, and line-of-business leaders.

Credit: Oracle

Aiming to help organizations derive insight from workforce analytics, Oracle on Tuesday unveiled Oracle Analytics for Cloud HCM.

“Companies have a lot of analytics they want to do about their people and their finances, and typically to do that they’ve got to move their data left and right, it’s not integrated with their processes, it’s not integrated with their back-office applications,” says Bruno Aziza, group vice president of AI and Data Analytics Cloud at Oracle.

Oracle Analytics for Cloud HCM is Oracle’s answer. Its self-service analytics capabilities are intended to provide HR executives, analysts, and line-of-business leaders with insight into workforce composition, manager performance, span of control, diversity, turnover/retention, comparison ratio analysis, and top talent analysis. The offering, part of the Oracle Analytics for Fusion Applications suite, is intended to work hand-in-glove with Oracle Cloud ERP, giving insight into a broad swathe of back-office functions.

“There’s a lot of work these HR folks have to do in order to work with our data and we’re giving them an out-of-the-box solution that just provides them with pre-packaged content, and it just works with ERP,” Aziza says.

According to research firm Gartner, only 21 percent of HR leaders currently believe their organizations are effective at using talent data to inform business decisions. Gartner says 70 percent of organizations expect to spend more on talent analytics over the next several years.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, workforce analytics was responsible for about $600 million annually in software spending worldwide, according to research firm IDC.

“No doubt annual spending will likely come down for 2020, but we don’t have figures yet,” says Lisa Rowan, research vice president, HR, talent, and learning strategies, at IDC.

Currently, most workforce analytics comes from embedded capabilities in human capital management applications themselves. Rowan points to best-of-breed players such as Visier and Qualtrics, as well as embedded capabilities from players such as Workday and Cornerstone.

Analytics at work

Oracle Analytics for Cloud HCM features a cross-functional data model that sits within the Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse. A KPI and dashboard library offers more than 50 HR KPIs, dashboards, and reports for HR metrics. Some of the pre-built KPIs include:

  • Workforce demographics, span of control, and hire and promotion status
  • Turnover (voluntary and involuntary) and retention
  • Diversity statistics and trends
  • Compensation trends and ratios
  • Performance talent ratios

“Imagine the scenario where you have some finance data that tells you’ve got P&L problems,” Aziza says. “The source of that problem is related to your top performers not performing anymore and there’s some training that can make them better. The whole workflow can be run though Oracle Analytics, all the way to feeding back into the application and rolling these people into training to get better.”

Ultimately, Oracle sees the new offering fostering closer collaboration between HR and other key business units such as finance. While sales and marketing analytics have gotten much of the attention in the past several decades, HR and finance departments need analytic insight just as badly but haven’t been well served, Aziza says.

“There’s a lot of demand in doing analytics in sales, but the business-critical demand, where people are kind of in the dark, is often finance and HR,” Aziza says. “That’s the oxygen of an organization.”

These two areas also have unique data concerns. Employee data, for instance, needs to be kept in a highly secure environment, while finance data must be accurate. The move also underscores Oracle’s ongoing focus on its applications’ core domains, which includes financial operations, sales, and HR. Aziza says analytics could also be performed on data generated by non-Oracle applications that run on the Oracle Autonomous Database, integrating and connecting analytics to application workflows.

“Integration with other operational applications is critical,” says IDC’s Rowan. “Typically, it is critical that the workforce analytics platform be tightly integrated with the financial system and sales systems. For example, to understand sales performance by salesperson, you need to integrate the analytics tool with the sales tool.”