Oracle has tacked a suite of cloud analytics tools onto its human resources platform with the aim of helping HR teams and line-of-business leaders do some number crunching without outside help.
Emphasising pre-defined metrics and Key Performance Indicators, and reliant on Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse on the Oracle Analytics Cloud, the "Human Capital Management" tools aim to take IT out of the equation.
TK Anand, senior veep for Oracle Analytics, said: "Customers are now able to leverage out-of-the-box HR analytics to gain unprecedented intelligence and reduce the organisation's reliance on outside IT support. This allows for closer collaboration between HR and other key business units – such as finance – to help our customers navigate uncertain times and position them for sustained business growth."
Dave Menninger, SVP, Ventana Research, said using pre-prepared cloud tools to take the IT grunt work out of analytics meant the data was visible across the organisation. It was better than users copying information from enterprise applications into desktop spread-sheets and squirreling away islands of data throughout the business.
"There are lots of tools for doing analytics ad hoc. They are fine if you have the time, but a small percentage of people can use those tools, and even then it is a lot of work," he said. "Having pre-built access to analytics, is giving people better access to information, and that does not mean the ad hoc tools go away either."
Oracle Analytics for Cloud HCM comes with a KPI and dashboard library which offers 50 standard HR KPIs, dashboards, and reports for key HR metrics off-the-peg, including workforce composition, turnover and retention, and team effectiveness, Oracle said.
Big Red said that by using its scalable cloud-based Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse it allowed users to scrutinise data from other applications, such as sales and CRM tools, enabling alignment across business functions.
Menninger said that while many vendors had brought analytics close to the application, Oracle "differentiator" was that it allowed users to pull data from a variety of business applications. "In effect, it takes Oracle assets in applications and analytics and puts them together. Users can draw data not just HCM, but other Oracle applications too. So you can look at your most valuable salespeople in the HCM analytics tool, for example."
But the caveat is you need to have the suite of Oracle applications to get this reach across business activities. While Oracle allowed organisations to draw data into its data warehouse from other vendor applications, aligning data the data would be the user company's job.
"If you have information within Salesforce or SAP, you can bring it in, but you do that on your own," Menninger said.
Although Oracle was to some extent cutting the IT department out of the HR analytics, that was not necessarily a bad thing, he said. "In my experience, IT does not want to be the middle man in providing analytics.
"They want to provide the infrastructure, governance, and business continuity, but not the analytics. I don’t see a conflict. It frees up IT to focus on their priorities and lets business people to focus on their goals."
Oracle Analytics for Cloud HCM is part of a group of the products under the banner of Oracle Analytics for Fusion Applications. ®