To utilize a workforce effectively requires information about it and the ability to analyze that in the context of the business’s needs. Yet it has long been the case that the use of analytics and business intelligence (BI) is least advanced in the human resources function. It remains so even as organizations introduce talent management applications to supplement or replace legacy human resource management systems (HRMSs). We believe that to apply analytics effectively to talent management processes in HR and also support the finance and operations management teams, organizations should examine new technology tools. I recently wrote about the challenges in workforce analytics (See: “Workforce Analytics: Do You Know How Much Your People Matter?“) and noted confusion about vendors and their offerings to meet this need.
I have been examining Accero, which introduced in April a product called Accero Workforce Intelligence. Accero is not new to this market; previously called Cyborg Systems it has provided payroll and benefits software since 1974. Workforce Intelligence provides a set of tools and dashboards built on its platform and analytical capabilities that can meet a range of needs from executives to analysts. Most important is prebuilt content that can be used to collect views and metrics for a range of HR processes including hiring, attendance, compensation, performance, compliance and other critical areas. This enables users to get up and running quickly and offers a way to get the data they require from disparate systems. Accero provides the basic data integration but has not yet expanded to support specific cloud computing-based talent management, HRMS or ERP systems, but other providers such as Informatica, Jitterbit and Pervasive can help bridge that gap as I have already written about recently.
Accero is part of a handful of other providers including DoubleStar, IBM, Oracle, SAP and ones I have recently assessed including Kronos, Softscape and SuccessFactors that have combined analytical tools focused on the workforce with prebuilt content for fast implementation in HR. Accero does not require any of its payroll or benefit applications unlike many of the talent management and HRMS providers that require their existing applications to get workforce analytics or in some cases must upgrade to the latest releases to get complete valye. In this way Accero simplifies workforce analytics so any organization can get data, integrate it with analytics and models, and generate metrics that provide both a historical perspective and insights into future outcomes. Accero uses the BI foundation of Microsoft SQL Server to benefit from its capabilities in the database including data integration and to build its tools on. I hope to see the company expand its capabilities for collaboration and mobility, but for now it provides a solid approach to workforce analytics that can easily replace old reporting approaches or the use of siloed spreadsheets, both of which plague HR organizations with inefficiency. If you are interested in workforce analytics, consider Accero, which already has gotten attention in the industry for the completeness and simplicity of its Workforce Intelligence solution.
Mark Smith – CEO & EVP Research