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Choosing a Decision-Support System

Use these tips in determining your decision-support system.

May 20, 2002
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Related Topics: Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS/HRIS)
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  1. Examine the vendor
    Ensure that the vendor is stable and well established. Otherwise, it might disappear soon after your system is installed. Also be sure the vendor has worked with companies of your size and scope and offers 24/7 support.

  2. Prioritize features and functions
    Decide what you want the system to do. For example, do you want to analyze compensation, performance, or productivity? Turnover, recruiting, or retention? No one package can do it all, and what is right for one company may not be right for another.

  3. Test the technology
    Be sure the decision-support tool you’re considering can capture data from the HR, CRM, and financial systems your company already has in place.

    "Some decision-support systems only work with the vendor’s own HR systems," says Harry Osle, a managing director of Hackett Best Practices, a benchmarking firm. He says that’s especially true of most of "the tier-one systems -- Oracle, SAP, Lawson, and PeopleSoft. They are not effective as stand-alone products."

    SunTrust, a regional bank in the southeast and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, is now implementing PeopleSoft’s Workforce Rewards application. "We chose that program primarily because we were already using PeopleSoft software in HR and payroll," says Richard Cherry, human resources systems manager. "That meant mapping data to the [data] warehouse was easier. Otherwise, setting up the data warehouse can be a huge job and takes a lot of time."

  4. Consider the users
    Decision-support/analytic tools make information more accessible to line managers and employees, which means they must learn the system’s benefits and its use. The easier the system is to understand and operate, the less training they’ll need.

  5. Determine the ROI
    Do a cost/benefit analysis. "Ensure that the tools create a value proposition in reduced expenses or increased efficiency or productivity against the cost to purchase, implement, and maintain," says Luanne Eskew, a vice president with e-peopleserve, an HR outsourcing company.

Workforce, June 2002, p. 52 -- Subscribe Now!

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