Dueling Data: Getting to a Single Source of Truth in HCM

Data silos in human capital management (HCM) are a major issue, especially for midsize and large organizations. Each department within a company typically develops its own processes for data input and storage based on its unique priorities and responsibilities. However, when it comes time to generate a report analyzing the entire organization, competing data points from different systems often lead to inaccurate, incomplete, or inconclusive reporting.

Deloitte Survey: Most Organizations Struggling With Dueling Data

The challenge of dueling data is typically a direct result of the use of disparate systems. However, many departments are resistant to the idea of migrating to a single, unified system. It’s particularly difficult for HR, payroll, and other teams that are required to protect employees’ personal information. Transferring or consolidating systems creates not only an operational headache, but also compliance issues.Another common misperception is that transitioning to new HCM software would be cost-prohibitive. However, the fact remains: transitioning to a “single source of truth” is the best way to collect accurate, up-to-date information about your workforce.Getting to a single source of truth is a goal for many companies today—but they are facing obstacles along the path. More than 50% of organizations surveyed by Deloitte described their use of HR data to predict workforce performance as “weak.” Common sense dictates that the more sources of information you have, the more likely it is those sources will conflict—leaving you unsure what to believe.

Inconclusive Reporting Impedes Strategic HCM

Depending on where you look for a certain piece of information, you might encounter erroneous, outdated, or conflicting data points. If a department has recently been reorganized or a new business unit has been acquired, existing systems and data entries need to be reconciled with the company’s central HCM software. Miniscule human errors such as a missed keystroke in an Excel equation can lead to huge costs. For example, outdated salary or benefits records could trigger overpayment of health insurance premiums or payroll taxes.Isolated data silos also constrain standard business reporting processes and disrupt the flow of information to leadership. Imagine a company’s CFO requests a report that includes data on payroll, benefits, time and attendance. Without enterprise-wide digital reporting capabilities, manually pulling information from all of these disparate systems can become costly and impractical. It could take days or weeks to collect and validate all of the data and compile a report—and by then some of the information might already be outdated.

Creating Your Single Source of Truth

To minimize the costs of error and generate more actionable information for strategic planning, companies must develop a reliable single source of HCM information. With one source of truth and common reporting capabilities for all of your HR, payroll, benefits, and other workforce support functions, managing data becomes a seamless process across the entire organization. In turn, integrated HCM software makes it easier for the C-suite to accurately forecast expenses, evaluate performance, and improve efficiency.   

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