The way from Excel to data preparation and analysis

Wuppertal public utilities rely on noventum HR analytics

// Business Intelligence, HR-Analytics, noventum

In future, the Wuppertal public utility company will use the HR-Analytics analysis software from noventum consulting in Münster for its personnel controlling. At this year's Zukunft Personal Europe trade fair in Cologne, they jointly presented the successful implementation project and gave an outlook on future developments. The benefit of the software for HR controllers is that they can analyse complex interrelationships with minimal effort and make targeted recommendations for action.

The WSW (Wuppertaler Stadtwerke) work to supply their city (350,000 inhabitants) with electricity, gas and district heating, produce drinking water and take care of drainage. They operate local public transport (e.g. the suspension railway) and transport about 90 million people a year with their mobility services. Together with their association partner AWG, they also organise waste disposal and, with this comprehensive supply mandate, see themselves as partners responsible for people and nature. With 3,046 employees, the WSW Group is one of the largest employers in Wuppertal.

Efficient data management is often just a wish, the reality is different

A central task of human resource management is the collection and dissemination of key figures and values, which are obtained from various sources such as SAP or other systems. The individual recipients of reports - from management and departments to the works council or external authorities - have different needs for information and correspondingly diverse requirements. The collected figures are needed for controlling and planning, measures are derived from them or projects are developed. Data is usually passed on via the usual Office products (Word, Excel or PowerPoint). The manual effort for collection, consolidation and dissemination is considerable and ties up resources. Data timeliness is correspondingly weak and HR departments often reach their limits.

"This can be done better," is how Sascha Fette, HR Controlling and Cost Planning Officer at WSW, formulates WSW's urgent wish for change and the goal of "setting up HR management more efficiently and having more time for analyses and measures." In their search for support, the management consultancy noventum consulting came into play for the Wuppertal-based company with its noventum HR-Analytics solution. "We are on the road with many clients and usually find exactly such a situation," Kay Kamphans of noventum confirms the widespread situation in HR departments.

HR controlling is a key strategic function

Personnel controlling works to optimise personnel deployment and provides management and departments with the necessary figures. For this purpose, the existing data is analysed and processed. This is where noventum HR-Analytics comes in and supports HR departments in their usually time-consuming work through efficient data management.

noventum Graphic 1 Personel Controlling

Requirements for a modern reporting system

"We have defined our requirements for a uniform reporting system. We not only want to report, but also visualise," Sascha Fette outlines the initial situation of the project. "We need a uniform database, reliable, secure and precise at a given point in time: personnel master data, payroll data, absences, data from personnel planning. As a company with strong co-determination, our natural contact for this is always the works council, which we actively involved in our project from the very beginning." The starting point for WSW's HR analytics project is SAP data and data from a digital personnel planning application created in-house.

noventum HR Analytics is a complete solution for reporting, analysis and planning.

Kay Kamphans, project manager at noventum consulting responsible for the introduction of HR-Analytics at WSW, presented the structure and advantages of the noventum software solution. At its core, noventum HR-Analytics is an integrated solution for reporting, planning and analysis in the human resources sector. It is essentially based on three pillars: HR planning, HR dashboards and the HR data mart.

 

HR-Planning is the solution for personnel planning and covers personnel requirement planning, headcount planning and cost planning. Planning can be carried out, forecasts created and scenarios calculated at individual data record level and on the basis of previous situations. The results of such observations flow continuously into the master data and can be displayed in combination with other data in the dashboards, e.g. for target/actual comparisons.

The HR dashboards are the visualisation component for reports and analyses. Data and reports are prepared and made available in an addressee-oriented manner.  As a rule, interactive and predefined dashboards are provided. However, ad-hoc reporting is also possible when short-term enquiries reach the HR department or analyses are to be carried out that cannot be depicted in existing reports. In this context, the establishment of a multi-level authorisation management always plays a special role, so that the sensitive reports reach the right addressees.

At the core of the noventum HR Analytics solution is the HR Data Mart. Data from any source system is automatically prepared, processed and made available for reporting. The data from e.g. accounting systems, HRM systems or recruiting systems are brought together in an analysis-oriented data room and made jointly evaluable. Automated processes ensure that this data consolidation does not have to be carried out again for every reporting or ad-hoc request and that the current data is always available in a quality-assured manner.

Bringing together individual source data in the data mart to form a single point of truth is the real effort for an HR analytics project.

HR data is often held in very heterogeneous systems. Combining them at the level of the HR data mart to a usable and combinable quality may require adjustments that make every noventum HR analytics project special. For WSW, for example, data from an individual personnel planning system had to be extracted and integrated.

The HR processes that produce the different data qualities include

  • Personnel management
  • Time management
  • Payroll
  • Recruiting
  • Learning
  • Employee satisfaction
  • ...

 

"We integrate the data from all the different processes into a central data pool, so that in the end the combination of source systems, processing procedures, reporting and planning system creates a comprehensive suite that provides you with the data for your reporting," Kay Kamphans summarises the central function of the HR Data Mart.

noventum Graphic 3 Technical overview noventum HR-Analytics

The WSW project: from manual data preparation to analyses and recommendations for action

In her presentation, Lena Seeger, HR Management Officer at Wuppertaler Stadtwerke, pointed out some of the special features that shaped the HR Analytics project and were both a challenge and the key to success.

The data basis for HR work at WSW is essentially the HCM master data from SAP and the data from the in-house digital personnel planning. These had to be made available through appropriate technical interfaces. A special innovation for the Wuppertal-based company was the visualisation of the data in the HR dashboards through the Microsoft Power BI front-end. The immediate availability of the extensive data stock as well as the flexibility of the report creation now opened up new possibilities and analysis scenarios that were previously not available in the manual reporting process.

 

The project carried out completely remote

The speakers gave each other special praise at the end of the presentation. Due to Corona, the project was carried out completely remotely and the project partners saw each other in person for the first time at the Zukunft Personal trade fair. "We are meeting Mr Kamphans from noventum live for the first time today. Until now, we have only communicated via teams." The result shows that this extraordinary situation was successfully mastered.

 

The main goal of the project is reporting. "Before we could build the frontend, we had to design the reports and ask ourselves, what can we evaluate and present? We wanted to get away from paper and different file types and give our results digitally to the company. In the end, every recipient should find his or her dashboard individually, i.e. prepared for specific target groups," explained Lena Seeger in her summary. "Designing simple and intuitive dashboards is not that easy and requires some conceptual work." For this reason, noventum introduced the future users to the new possibilities in focused training sessions in their own data room and accompanied them in individual coaching sessions during the development of the WSW solution.

WSW Graphic: Benefit for HR-Reporting

Whereas reports were previously produced on a monthly or quarterly basis in Excel, ad hoc enquiries can now be answered quickly at any time. With a click or a filter, figures for weekly, monthly or annual overviews can be provided and compared with each other. If, for example, the focus is to be placed on individual company divisions or departments in the case of absence figures, this can be done without effort. Age distribution, length of service or gender can be included as distinguishing features in the analyses.

"Today we have daily updated data in our dashboards and can deal with analyses and measures," Lena Seeger sums up the success of the project. "Now it's a matter of taking our new possibilities into the company."




noventum HR-Analytics at Wuppertaler Stadtwerke - Motivation, Benefits and Outlook - Presentation at Zukunft Personal in Cologne on 13 September 2022

   




More Information

Thank you for your interest in noventum HR-Analytics!

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noventum consulting

Dr. Matthias Rensing

REDAKTION nc360°

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