by Thor Olavsrud

ADP delivers big data platform for workforce management insights

News Analysis
May 13, 20153 mins
AnalyticsBig Data

The payroll processing titan is leveraging data from its 600,000 clients and their 24 million employees to provide human resources professionals with benchmarking and predictive analytics .

ADP has some of the richest employment data available on tap, and it is opening that data up to business leaders and human resource (HR) professionals in the form of a new big data platform it calls ADP DataCloud.

ADP DataCloud will give organizations access to the data they need to boost business and workforce management goals ranging from workforce productivity and talent development to retention and the identification of flight risks, says Marc Rind, vice president of product development and chief data scientist at ADP.

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“Our big data platform actually powers our analytics and reporting but goes well beyond standard analytics,” Rind says. “Because of the massive data set that we’re able to source and bring together because of our 600,000 clients and their 24 million employees in the U.S., we’re able to deliver benchmarks to our clients that they normally would never see.”

Rind explains that ADP has built a consumer-grade experience together with analytics to provide deep insight across organizations’ human capital management (HCM) solutions. It’s embedded within ADP’s core solutions and can power reporting, analytics and three forthcoming features, which include:

  • Benchmarking. This feature offers companies the ability to compare HCM metrics with an aggregated and anonymous market benchmark at the industry, location and job-title level to inform key workforce decisions.
  • Data Exchange. This feature provides companies with the ability to combine workforce data with other types of business data, such as sales or customer satisfaction scores, from non-ADP platforms to identify key business insights and actions.
  • Predictive Analytics. This feature utilizes predictive models from ADP data to help employers make smarter, forward-looking workforce decisions by predicting the likelihood of specific workforce management outcomes.

Taken together, Rind says, these capabilities allow HR professionals to do things like zero-in on high performers that are leaving the company and search for trends. Is it pay? Are there certain things they are dissatisfied with inside the organization?

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Beyond that, Rind says ADP DataCloud could help HR professionals identify employees that are flight risks — perhaps their pay is below that of peers and their commute is over a certain threshold — and then take steps aimed at retention based on that data.

ADP has been testing ADP DataCloud’s capabilities with more than 1,000 ADP clients.

“A lot of the clients we’ve been working with, they love the way this all interacts and works together across the entire ADP suite,” Rind says. “We started hearing things like, ‘I wish I could also have my sales figures or manufacturing assets in here. Other data.’ What we’re starting to do is make it so clients can very easily move data into the big data cloud to be combined with their human resources data.”

That opens up other use cases. For instance, retailers could use the daily data from each store to understand their workforce planning.

“For human resources to be viewed as a credible strategic partner and have a seat at the executive table, HR leaders need to be able to show how their departments contribute to the overall business strategy of the company and help create revenue,” says Cathy Hulsey, CHRO of EPL, a privately held provider of core and software solutions to credit unions. “ADP DataCloud is a game-changing analytics platform that can serve as a management dashboard to quantify HR’s numerous impacts on strategic business outcomes, resulting in a competitive advantage for the company in the marketplace.”