In this three part posting, I will share insights from my experience of reporting from the last 17 years. I have worked on multiple reporting platforms in the past and while parts of this article is system agnostic, my primary focus and references will be to that of Workday.
Reports and analytical reporting are crucial to spotlight a company’s proficiency to display value and share knowledge to all levels of an organization. Seemingly during the project there exists a passive consensus to continue with the mainstay reporting process. If, or when, the realization for the importance of reporting in the new system does begin to take traction amongst stakeholders, it is often too late in the project cycle to correct course before launch resulting in ‘triage’ styled support and providing a lower quality reporting service to users than the prior legacy process, something the new system was slated to improve. The immediate atmosphere with users will be one of frustration with the long term potential to lose faith in the vast reporting capabilities of Workday and instead result in fragmented decentralized reporting.
It’s not unheard of within organizations for internal policies and programs to be supported by numerous ad hoc reports developed inconsistently across teams or individuals. In doing so the reports are at risk to being written incorrectly or are myopic to the needs of the writer and subsequently copied and shared across departments of an entire organization. This manner of reporting will be no more scalable in Workday than it was in the previous system and will only reveal HR operational gaps and data integrity issues on a far broader scale than before.
Establish a Committee
Before ever sending out a report it is important to understand that the data will tell a story. Often times accompanied with charts as visual representation describing the data. Its very purpose is to raise questions and take needful action(s). That said, take to heart that no matter what the intended focus a report may have been, be prepared for the focus to divert elsewhere.
At a high level, the image above shows an example of how an organizations employee information may be linked from the perspective of reporting.
With that understanding, it is best to create a reporting committee tasked with establishing guidelines and best practices in relation to development:
- Report and calculated field naming conventions
- Primary data sources and business objects
- Common user filter settings
- Establishing and maintaining report request process and guidelines
In establishing an internal oversight team, centralized teams across regions can develop and maintain reports under the governance guidelines. This will provide structure to report management as requests come in and can be maintained and tracked on the simplest of case management systems. Additionally, if issues are identified in the data or functional changes are to be made in Workday, a systematic approach can be taken to resolve.