Ask any company for the location of their employee data and it will point to the employee records stored in its human capital management system. Not surprisingly, the information held within HCM skews strongly to the needs of the HR department – employee start date, contact details, current salary, bonuses, length of service, etc. – meaning the employee record is largely a collection of numbers.

It’s no wonder then that employees often feel that their company views them, their role and performance at the organization purely in numerical terms. There’s little that’s human within the traditional employee record. There’s no information, for instance, about the actual work an individual does on a day-to-day basis, who they work with, and what their community and coworkers think about them. With access to this much broader set of information, managers could gain a much more complete, real-time and actionable picture of an individual’s real worth to the organization as a whole, to their particular department and to their peers.

To my mind, a comprehensive system would optimally track, capture and present all the above rich employee information and much more besides in what I’ll call a ‘data-rich talent profile.’

Redefine Talent Profiles to Reflect the Entirety of Employee Data

For organizations running their businesses on a single unified cloud-based business management suite like NetSuite, there is the exciting opportunity to create an in-depth, real-time data-rich talent profile which brings together all the employee-related data stored within the suite. After all, an employee starts work by logging onto the suite and then proceeds to spend their entire working day within the suite executing tasks and completing their work. So, a large portion of what an individual does while at work can be captured and then used to create a data-rich talent profile which is dramatically broader in scope than the very limited and narrow traditional employee record.

We need to look beyond HR data as the sole source of employee-related information and mine three additional rich seams of employee information across the business management suite – enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and professional services automation (PSA). Let’s look at each of those data sources in turn:

  • ERP. Within finance and procurement data, we can access information concerning the kinds of financial transactions an employee has responsibility for, how much customer revenue is tied to them and their level of purchase approval.
  • CRM. Within sales and services data, we can gain insight into an employee’s recent interactions with customers and their team members and feedback on their performance as well as which customers they have responsibility for, which teams they are members of and all the managers they may report to in the course of the working day.
  • PSA. Within project data, as well as tracking competencies, skillsets and certifications, we can determine precisely which projects an individual is working on, assess feedback from their clients, their manager and fellow team members, which customers they are engaging with, and how projects are progressing in terms of delivering on milestones to the customer but also whether billing has been successfully collected

With the data-rich talent profile, we now have not one, but four major sources of employee data all originating from the business management suite. Then, we can layer over all that information point-of-presence as defined by the employee’s suite log-in time and location. The result is a complete and real-time view of an individual employee.

The Benefits of Data-Rich Talent Profiles

Armed with a data-rich talent profile, an individual employee and their managers and peers can all engage with each other much more productively since everyone has real-time knowledge and insight into that employee’s daily duties and responsibilities. Use of these profiles opens up a wealth of opportunities to benefit and empower everyone within an organization so that:

Employees can take full ownership of how their work is communicated to the organization.

  • Peers can more quickly learn about new team members and start creating bonds with them.
  • Managers and practice leaders can better identify internal candidates for new projects or roles.
  • Organizations can simplify cross-team interaction and collaboration.
  • Organizations have a more holistic view of all employees on which to base key HR decisions.

Data-rich talent profiles provide an organization with access to a much more real-time and human view of their employees. This kind of rich insight is particularly important when so many workforces are spread across multiple offices and remote locations and different time zones.

If an organization only looks at employees through the narrow lens of HR data, it misses out on a vast amount of other relevant and actionable information. By using a single unified business management suite, a company can then access the full wealth of employee data drawn from ERP, CRM, PSA and HCM and start treat employees as individual people, not numbers.