What is SAP SuccessFactors People Analytics?

SAP SuccessFactors People Analytics capabilities are coming for SuccessFactors customers at the end of 2019 and early 2020. The People Analytics term encompasses three different editions— embedded analytics, advanced reporting, and planning. The introduction of SAP Analytics Cloud to SuccessFactors is part of People Analytics, as well as an evolution of SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics.

SuccessFactors previewed People Analytics a last year’s SuccessConnect, but we spoke with Kim Lessley, SuccessFactors Director of Solution Management, and Rob Wood, SuccessFactors Principal Product Manager for People Analytics, to find out more about what we can expect out of People Analytics, and how it incorporates SAP Analytics Cloud.

Embedded Analytics Included

The major use of SAP Analytics Cloud will be an embedded analytics functionality that will be included in current SAP SuccessFactors modules. There will be no extra license required for this capability, and there will be no visibility to the end user that there is a separate solution involved.

“Embedded reporting and analytics comes with a two-pronged approach,” explains Wood. “We are unifying back end data models to simplify reporting for customers, and also unifying the front end visual tool for creating reports—that piece is enabled by SAP Analytics Cloud.”

This embedded functionality is currently in a beta program for selected customers and is expected to be generally available to all SuccessFactors customers by Q4 2019 or Q1 2020.

What are the benefits to customers in including SAP Analytics Cloud as part of the SuccessFactors solution? Lessley notes the additional visualization capabilities and the introduction of predictive capabilities are important. She also says bringing SAP Analytics Cloud to SuccessFactors connects it to the broader SAP Intelligent Enterprise, which will also be incorporating the analytics solution in a similar embedded fashion for other products. For example, SAP Fieldglass and SAP Concur are expected to have a similar look and feel.

“Having People Analytics is a key part of (connecting SuccessFactors to the Intelligent Enterprise),” says Lessley. “This is the way we take that information often isolated in HR and make it more relevant to the business.”

Advanced Reporting and Planning in SuccessFactors

On top of embedded analytics and reporting, People Analytics also includes two additional modules that build on previous Workforce Analytics and Planning functionality. These will be available through separate licenses within the SAP SuccessFactors suite.

The advanced reporting edition is intended to transform raw transactional information into a series of best practices measures and dimensions. This is done within the SAP HANA underlying database—which Wood says all SuccessFactors customers are currently utilizing—and SAP Analytics Cloud connects to the data engine to help create the clean metrics.

Workforce Analytics has had similar functionality, but People Analytics will bring additional visualizations and modeling that weren’t there before.

As for planning in People Analytics, this is an evolution of the current Workforce Planning solution. It utilizes the same HANA back end connecting through SAP Analytics Cloud as the advanced reporting.

The advanced edition will be a perquisite for the planning edition, as planning utilizes the metrics within the advanced solution. The good news for current Workforce Analytics and Workforce Planning customers is that those licenses will be retained and will come with the additional People Analytics functionality.

The advanced and planning editions will go into a beta program at the end of Q3 2019 with general availability expected in Q4 2019 or Q1 2020.

Preparing for People Analytics

Customers looking to capitalize on the enhanced functionality of People Analytics can do a few things to prepare for its upcoming release. Lessley has detailed key steps to take in a blog for SAP, including enabling and setting up role-based permissions, using report center, thinking about your HR data strategy, and your old, outdate reports to make room for new ones.

For expert insight on analytics and reporting, check out our blog on how HR analytics are important, and different than reporting.