Which Visualisation Tools are Available in Employee Central Dashboards 2.0?

By Craig Mackie – Consultant.

I was prompted to write this blog because this question comes up from both new and existing SuccessFactors Employee Central customers alike.  Dashboards 2.0 is a standard out of the box visualisation tool provided to SuccessFactors customers when they purchase core components such as Employee Central, Performance & Goals, Recruitment and Succession.

From my experience of working alongside customers who have already implemented SuccessFactors, most of them don’t have dashboards 2.0 enabled or even know the functionality existed!

Tiles can be placed on the homepage…

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…or within a dashboard which can be accessed from the reporting menu:

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The dashboards allow you to drill down, as well as add permissions so that only certain employees or managers can view them:

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So this all looks fantastic right? Let’s explain a few pro’s and con’s:

There are standard dashboards and tiles provided which you can activate and switch on, however there is no guarantee they will work. Each customer will have different system requirements, so these standard dashboards and tiles will generally need a bit of playing about with to make them work. Also, to be fair to SAP, they do explicitly state this fact when you visit their SuccessStore to download the example templates.

So if the standard dashboards and tiles don’t work for you, what next?  Well SAP will allow you, the customer, to build and customise your own. Alternatively you can just ask your implementation partner to help you with this.

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There are a couple of limitations with building your own custom tiles:

Tiles rely on Ad Hoc Reporting framework (domains). The Ad Hoc Reporting tool is a standard reporting tool to help you build your own reports to look at data in an xls or a csv format. However, at the time of writing you can’t build Ad Hoc Reports to look at the domain that holds time off bookings or absence data, or the domain that is used by any custom screens (MDF’s) that your implementation partner would have built to capture the input of employee data. Examples of these instances are disciplinary or grievances.  I’ll cover the differences between Ad Hoc, Advance Reporting and Online Report Designer in another blog but let’s get back to the tiles…

Recruitment sits in its own domain, Succession sit’s in its own domain also. This means that if you wanted to grab data from the Employee Central domain and some data from the Recruitment domain and pull it altogether into a visual pie chart to sit inside a tile, this is difficult if not impossible.

The other limitation worth mentioning is how you define metrics. As you can see in this example you can only select 1 category and 1 metric. This means that if your requirements were a little more advanced you won’t have much scope to play about with this.

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Overall though you can easily create visuals to display simple data from Recruitment, Succession, Performance & Goals or Employee Central. The data will be in real-time and the performance is exceptionally good. In addition, you can also permission tiles and dashboards to ensure that only relevant people can see them, and you don’t need any technical skills to learn how to do it yourselves!

Moving on, another tool worth mentioning is ‘YouCalc’, a standalone app which sits outside SuccessFactors. This offering is only available to implementation partners and allows you to pull data from multiple domains, import your Ad Hoc reports to manipulate the data, play around with the chart visualisation options (pie chart, line chart, and bar graph) and re-import the data back into SuccessFactors. You can then add this into a custom tile.

Here’s a quick summary of Employee Central Dashboard 2.0 so far:

Pro’s

  • Metrics are simple and one dimension
  • Visually appealing, ensuring the results are easy to read
  • Seamlessly integrated with most SuccessFactors modules
  • Lots of functionality
  • Flexible permissions enable you to modify who can see all data
  • Drill down into the tiles allows you to see the data behind the KPI’s and export that information into csv and xls formats

Con’s

  • Limited domains and cross domain reporting
  • YouCalc only available to SAP and implementation partners

At this point it’s worth mentioning an app we’ve recently built in collaboration with one of our customers. Called People Insights, the app eradicates some of the aforementioned limitations and increases functionality, such as showing true turnover figures.

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People Insights allows you to improve Employee Central dashboards by visualising HR KPI’s and data sets such as employee turnover, alongside standard and customised tiles

Built on the SAP Cloud Platform (previously known as SAP HCP), using standard API’s you can easily integrate this onto your homepage. People Insights sits nicely alongside any standard or custom tiles which have been built and allows combinations of multi-domain data sets that aren’t possible in standard dashboards.  The app is based on a 3 month commitment meaning that when SAP add more functionality to the report centre in the future, this application will reduce in necessity over time.

We know there will be plenty of great new functionality coming up in Employee Central in the next 18 months, but for an immediate fix, we suggest the People Insights app.

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SAP themselves offer Workforce Analytics which is worth considering for the long term, although we would advise those interested that decent HR data and internal resources with the right skills are worth building before implementing. At the end of the day it really does come down to how you manage your KPI’s and how you want to visually represent data to your senior managers, which can range from simple to complex statistics.

There are plenty of options out there for you to explore; perhaps just sticking with Microsoft Excel, which can mean of hours manipulating lookups and playing with pivot tables in order to display the information these tools can do within seconds, is the way to go – it’s your choice!

For more information on People Insights, click here to visit the dedicated overview page. 

Alternatively leave a comment below or get in touch for more. 

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