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HR Reporting and Analytics in SuccessFactors – Part 1

SuccessFactors provides a lot of content in their modules from Recruitment Management to Employee Central to Compensation and one of the biggest things they advertise, is the library of more than 2,000 standard metrics, industry benchmarks, and HR best practices in SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics that help measure the things that matter. That sounds great in the first instance, but it can be a huge challange at the same time.

SuccessFactors ReportingA lot of HR leaders will ask „What will I do with 2,000 Reports?“. Most companies have strategic goals in place for their business and now its time to break these down for the HR department. Reports should be simple, easy to understand and fast to get. SuccessFactors provides different tools to create reports and monitor strategic KPIs in HR. Some are already in the system, some you can build and some need extra work or to be outsourced.

As a human resource manager, you want all the advantages of a modern human resources information system (HRIS). You want employee information, all kinds of reports and a user-friendly system. You need a wide range of reports on a weekly, monthly or ad-hoc basis. Who does not remember having to run several reports at the same time and then manually combining and converting the data to achieve the required result? This is not only time consuling, but also prone to errors. Another common problem often heard is HR Managers having to wait up to four weeks until the IT department has a resource available to program a new report into their HR system. That’s not exactly „AdHoc“ reporting Lets focus on what SuccessFactors can do for us to meet HR reporting requirements…

Following HR Reporting and Analytics topics in SuccessFactors

In this article I want to give you an overview of Reporting options in SuccessFactors. There are so many features and possibilities with reporting, one page would not be big enough to go through them all in detail!. So I will cover as many as possible in a series of blog articles in the next few weeks. Some of the topics that I will cover include:

Reporting Opportunities  – Quick Overview

Reporting is criticial for daily operations as well as strategic decisions for your organisation. Nobody want dozens of spread sheets floating around trying to match data from various sources and hoping that each is accurate and up to date. You want clear, informative reports which are simple and easy to understand and safe them for future reference. Key to this goal, are clear definitions for the report purpose, telling the user what data is used and what outcome is expected.

Overview of HR Reporting in SuccessFactors © by iProCon
Overview of HR Reporting in SuccessFactors © by iProCon

As seen in the metrix above Reporting can be visualized in different levels and each way can have pros and cons in functionality, flexibility and cost. We will get to know each Reporting tool in the next articles. There are different ways to find the right reporting solution for you in SuccessFactors such as:

Standard & Ad Hoc Reporting

You will find some basic reports delivered by SuccessFactors in your Reporting section. This are called Standard Reports (they are labeled Dashboard and Report Center), which belong to the SuccessFactors Platform. They work well if you follow the standard implementation. If you don’t use some of the standard fields, which are used in the standard reports or dashboards, the reports won’t work anymore. You can’t change the standard reports or dashboards!

In this case you can build your own report. Under Reports => Analytics => Ad Hoc Reports that you can build ad hoc reports for each module (Domain). This ad hoc reporting is really easy to use, but still not really flexible in its design or complexity. I’ll cover further details of the Standard and Ad-Hoc reporting in the next article of this reporting series for SuccessFactors.

ad hoc reporting in SuccessFactors

Visual Reporting with Dashboard 2.0 Reports

SuccessFatctors pre-deliver some Dashboard 2.0 Reports, but not a lot. Most of them are for the Performance & Goals and Compensation modules. These reports have a pretty nice design and can be used as a Tile on the welcome page. The Dashboards are built using an in house tool called YouCalc Dashboard Builder (stand alone piece of software). SuccessFactors bought the tool some years ago and it seems there are not many people out there who are familiar with this tool. It pick sup data from an ad-hoc report and visualizes it. Unfortunately, as a customer, you cannot build you own reports yet and need a partner to create these reports and dashboards for you.  I’ll cover details of what the YouCalc Dashboard Builder for SuccessFactors can do and how it looks in article 3 of this article series for SuccessFactors reporting.

Recruiting Dashboard

Visual Reporting with BIRT in SuccessFactors

BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tool) is an open source project and add-on for Eclipse. In SuccessFactors you can use BIRT to amend the presentation of your ad hoc reports. It also gives you the chance to show your data in pivot tables. Data is exported to BIRT to define the report. After that you upload a template to present your report as created before in BIRT. This feature is not for free, but BIRT itself is free of charge. You need to contact your SF sales manager to talk about a license to use this feature. In article number 4  I’ll show you how the templates look and describe more details of using BIRT.

BIRT in SuccessFactors

Advanced Reporting & Online Report Designer

A kind of combination of advanced ad hoc reporting and visual reporting in SuccessFactors is what you can find in the Online Report Designer (ORD). This feature is available and ready to use in SuccessFactors out of the box. The Online Report Designer is a self-service, easy to use, non technical reporting tool, which can be used by anyone in the organization, subject to permissions. Online Report Designer can be enable by Customer Support with no extra cost to the customer. It is not as flexible as a 3rd Party BI Tool. In Employee Central (EC) we also talk about Advanced Reporting because MDF Objects, effective dated information, and cross domain reporting are limited or not supported in the ad hoc reporting. We will discuss this further in article 5 in the Reporting and Analytics for SucessFactors series..

iProCon Online Report Designer ORD SuccessFactors

Workforce and Analytics Module (WFA)

SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics, one of the SuccessFactors modules, provides concrete and actionable insights on workforce data to drive your business strategies today, and help you plan for the future. It helps to increase the effectiveness of HR through a comprehensive library of more than 2,000 standard metrics, industry benchmarks, and HR best practices that help measure the things that matter. This module also supports cross domain reporting and new charts library with Online Report Designer (yes, it is included). You also get the fancy headlines you may have seen in a some sales demos. In a nutshel: it’s the Rolls Royce of SuccessFactors reporting tools. That also applies to cost, as it’s a separate module subscription and also requires considerable effort to implement. We will dive deeper into this in part 6 of the blog series.

Workforce Analytics in SuccessFactors

HR Reporting and Anaytics in SuccessFactors: Conclusion

Reporting has never been easy! It is getting better with SuccessFactors, but it is still challenging to find out what you can do and what suits your organisation best. There are a lot of different ways to create reports and build up a Dashboard to fulfill all your reporting needs and expectations. Some features are free to use out of the box, for some you need training or support from your partner and for some you need to pay an additional subscription fee. First of all it is important to know and describe what you really need, what you expect your reporting to do for you, what reports are must haves and what reports are nice to haves. If you want to know more about SuccessFactors Reporting watch this space for further articles or contact us today.

This Article is part of a series in “HR Reporting and Analytics in SuccessFactors”

SuccessFactors Training and Demo

You still don’t have enough and want to learn more? We offer various SuccessFactor Reporting Trainings. If you have bespoke training needs, the packages can be adjusted accordingly. Just ask – we are happy to help. Same counts for a SuccessFactors Demo. Accordingly to your requirements we prepare a SF Demo to show how things work and what options you have.

6 Responses
  1. Nicky

    How do I remove multiple lines for Employees and how do I add an As of Date prompt at the start of the report? I am trying to report on information on our employees as of today only and dont want multiple lines per employee (i.e. historic records)?

    1. 1. Multiple lines of employees > Check function „Distinct“ and also if there are table joins. Sometimes it makes sense to have multiple lines of an Employee. You have more options with ORD.

      2. Filter > Go to Filter Section and Select the Date Filter as Prompted.

  2. susheel thakur

    find very helpful and various tools seem to be very intuitive to meet desired customer expectations for standard. Adhoc reporting ! Wish to see more post like this one…

  3. Rommel

    Hi Chris. Nice article. I’m looking forward to reading your next articles. I have a question please. Is it possible to a scheduled reporting in Ad hoc reporting? In my EC training, we can do it in ORD but not sure in ad hoc. Please advise. Thanks.

    1. Yes, you can do this via the Quartz Scheduling Tool in Provisioning. You create a scheduled job using the type „Ad Hoc Reports Export“ and then select the user/report that needs to be run. The job will show up under the Scheduled Reports section when they go to Reports/Analytics in SuccessFactors. You can also set the job to be exported to the FTP server.

      Please note that this will only make the report available to one person, so you can’t set it to run the report for a group of people at the same time.

  4. Elio DAmore

    Its a coincise, real and clear overview of what tools SF provide to produce what kind of HR report, Im looking forward to read the coming deep dives.
    Thanks for sharing this valuable work!

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