This is the first of a multi-part series on developing reporting systems for HR. Though the focus is on HR-related metrics many of the themes will apply to other reporting applications.
Too often HR Reporting is an afterthought. A system or process is developed and after implementation reporting is considered. As a result, much reporting is substandard; either not meeting the user needs and / or not being used.
Reporting design falls into our two key practice areas, involving both measurement & analytics and employee/user-centric design. Too often reporting is seen as a technical discipline yet for a report to be used, and useful, arguably the usability is the key component. This usability can be defined, measured and refined in a structured manner.
In an ideal world reporting would be designed at the same time as the process or system that it is illuminating. In many instances, however, data is being collected and reporting needs to be built upon this. The implication is that some valuable data may not be initially captured and a system or process change needed or external measurement system needed. There are few systems that capture all the information typically needed for effective information (event-based systems rarely capture user experience for example) so integrating information from multiple systems is usually needed.
Information is typically needed in, and to support, five key areas:
In the following articles we’ll address the 5 steps of a typical reporting design project: