Back in 2001 we built a web-based data merging tool for human resource and pension data. There were about 7 sources of data and every time the data didn’t match for an employee, someone had to go in and make a decision as to which version (if any) was correct. This was happening across a dispersed team so a web front-end and shared database back-end made sense.
Recently we built a salary administration tool in Excel. The technology choice was made before we entered the picture and it turned out to be totally the wrong architecture. Excel is great, but not for this type of application where a lot of people are modifying data at the same time and you have to split and merge the data in a very short time-frame. Murphy’s law kicks in big time. Sure we got it going in the end with some really long hours, but we knew we could do better.
Then we built an Employee Slotting Tool for a fairly large company to merge two sets of employee data with different organizational hierarchies, compensation levels, and performance management standards.
We are still moving the tool forward more into the salary administration space. Essentially what we have is a (distributed) team-based data merging, analysis and decision tool; with full change logging and the ability to wrap business processes into it.
In the meantime I have been thinking about who else these tools might be useful for (and welcome any creative ideas).
Mergers and Acquisitions
During a merger or acquisition process you have to merge two cultures and two sets of data where there are considerable differences in standards. You have a limited time to get the job done.
Ok, it is downsizing wrapped in political correctness. But again, there is a lot of data and you need to make decisions about the people represented by it quickly.
Most large companies, especially those with a matrix organizations or those revamping levels/benefits, could use a tool to help with the annual or one-time process. This is a Salary Administration Tool.
Data Decision Tool
This is where we can start thinking outside of the box:
- What other HR data would require a process and a team decision?
- What other business processes (outside of HR) could benefit from a similar capability?
If anyone has answers to the last two questions, I would love to hear it.
In the meantime, I am sure other uses will reveal themselves, as long as we keep listening and an open mind.