Data is what makes the world go round. And it’s what virtually all of today’s most successful organizations are built upon.
It’s no secret that data has a vital role to play in any forward-thinking business – no matter the industry. By taking a data-driven approach that incorporates real-time analytics and reporting, organizations of all sizes can unlock valuable business intelligence, improve decision-making and transform the way they operate.
Indeed, without access to in-depth, real-time data, businesses will lack the level of insight needed to make smarter, more informed decisions that can have a material impact on both short-term and long-term growth.
That’s why it is such a key component of many business functions. For example, sales teams rely on data to inform sales strategy and work more effectively, while marketing teams commonly employ data-driven strategies to track the success of campaigns and optimize customer-facing content.
However, certain business functions are still all-too-often overlooked when it comes to realizing the value that data can provide. Three key pillars in particular – HR, insurance and payroll – should be at the center of today’s data-centric businesses.
HR hasn’t traditionally been a data-focused function. However, the use of HR data has accelerated in recent years, and it is now playing a prominent role in helping HR managers and their teams become more efficient and effective.
Peak Indicators’ 2021 ‘Data Science in HR’ report found that HR departments are now second only to finance teams in their focus on data-driven business decision-making, with 61% using data in most decisions. HR directors (13%) were the most likely to say that every decision in their organisation is backed with data insight and just 6% said they don’t collect or collate data systematically.
This illustrates how HR data has become vital to strategic business decisions, largely because it enables businesses to intelligently solve their most complex people problems. For example, adopting a data-driven approach makes it easier for businesses to analyze employee trends, boost staff retention and increase engagement.
Take company leave as an example. According to our platform, December (12%) and January (10%) are the two most popular months of the year for vacation requests in the UAE, with just 5% of vacations being taken in September. More than half of leave requests (53%) are for three days or less and the average number of annual vacation days provided to UAE employees is 29. This is all valuable information for HR teams, allowing them to plan in advance and provide packages that will attract employees.
A platform that provides deep insight and real-time visibility into HR operations also empowers HR teams to optimize key processes. As well as enabling HR professionals to focus on adding value to the business and its employees, this visibility helps HR leaders understand the impact of HR strategies on business performance.
As such, all businesses should be focused on making data their HR partner. In today’s digital world, this is the key to making smarter HR decisions that have a material impact on long-term business success.
Medical insurance is a key consideration for any business operating in the UAE. However, it often isn’t given the attention it requires. As a result, many businesses end up overpaying on their policies or failing to adequately meet the needs and expectations of their employees.
But paying attention to the data can make all the difference. Having visibility into insurance policy usage and employee habits can help organizations keep premiums down upon renewal, saving valuable money that can go towards other areas of the business. By digitizing insurance processes, HR managers can more easily stay on top of key policy details, upcoming expiries and pending requests.
Most importantly, data can provide valuable insights into how business insurance policies are used by employees, providing answers to questions such as:
- What are the most common claim requests?
- Which types of claims are most often reimbursed?
- Why do claims get rejected?
- Does the time of year affect when claims are made?
Our platform shows that general medicine (36%), obstetrics and gynecology (23%), dermatology (18%) are the top three consultations booked by UAE employees. Businesses can use this data to optimize their insurance policies in a way that meets their employees’ needs while guaranteeing the best value for money.
They can also use policy data to see how they compare to their competitors. For example, knowing that the average company with 501+ employees has four different insurance categories and pays nearly 1.3 million AED Dirhams for health insurance per year provides a yardstick that businesses can use to measure their level of maturity and ensure they are doing everything possible to attract the best people.
Maintaining the transparency and accuracy of financial data is one of the biggest challenges facing finance managers today. Particularly in light of the uncertainty caused by COVID-19. They are under extreme pressure to ensure that all financial data is accessible and in the right format to inform strategic decisions and support business growth.
Having access to simple, easily segmented and digestible data to present to senior decision-makers in other areas of the business is therefore more important than ever.
By gaining deeper insights into business costs, payment trends and financial workflows, financial managers will be better placed to drive efficiency and save the business both time and money. For example, they can use data to analyze compensation and incentives in relation to industry averages and competitors, in order to ensure that employees are on the appropriate packages. Or they could see that 17% of UAE salaries are allocated to finance departments, followed by marketing (14%) and sales (12%).
They can also gain insight into areas such as:
- The average number of annual reimbursements per employee
- The average amount reimbursed per employee every year
- The average monthly payroll of similar-sized companies
At a personal level, embracing data through a digital platform that brings all the key information together in one place can empower finance professionals to transform the way they work. No more Excel headaches – just the right data when and where they need it.
Ultimately, leveraging HR data provides businesses with many material benefits – from increasing operational efficiencies to reducing operating costs and empowering better decisions. It also offers a valuable opportunity to transform key internal operations, giving employees the information they need to have an impact on business performance.
We know that building a successful business in the current competitive climate requires a smarter approach. One that is driven by real-time data insights. Those that fail to appreciate the value data can bring, will be the ones that fall behind.