Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems like Workday are fantastic tools for housing, aggregating, and reporting on a multitude of data points. The amount of data you can get out of Workday can be overwhelming, and chances are good that you migrated to Workday because you were previously facing challenges like disparate systems that didn’t talk to another other, inconsistent data points, and other frustrating challenges. Having the ability to go to a single source of truth and have access to a reliable report no doubt came as a relief.
But is that the be all, end all of data?
Data is a means to an end. Yes, there are times when you need only transactional data points, numbers crunched and reviewed, but strategic HR and Finance leaders know that when they are reviewing their data, they don’t just evaluate for accuracy, they also consider the data points against their future goals. How is staffing trending? What about cash flow? Where does the company strive to be in five years and what are the steps to get there? Those are the data points that should be analyzed by managers who strive to be business partners in the company’s growth.
When it comes to using data in a strategic way, the first thing to be sure of is its accuracy. If the data in your system is incorrect or unreliable, your reporting will be, too. During your Workday implementation process, you should have evaluated your data in the legacy systems to ensure it was accurate and reporting on what was needed vs what had always been before translating that into your Workday configuration. If you are not confident that your data is what you need, consider taking a step back and examining your configurations.
The next step in strategic data evaluation is asking how this data drives business processes. Perhaps you have been concerned about turnover and have been running staffing projects. The answer may instead come from vacation utilization – are your employees empowered and encouraged to use their PTO and avoid burnout? That in turn changes management and HR policies. Think bigger pictures rather than mechanics.
Not sure what the bigger picture is? Reach out to your own manager; listen to the questions they’re asking you and how that plays into the company’s goals. When you can connect the dots for them, rather than wait to be asked, you’ll demonstrate your value as a manager and a partner.