So you’ve made it to the implementation planning stage for your organization’s new workplace management software solution. Now comes the fun part - ironing out all the details, including when and how often to sync data between the various sources. Like most businesses, your workforce is likely comprised of several departments, each utilizing a software solution which targets their particular tasks. Specifically in HR, where management of employee data is critical, your software needs to communicate and update regularly. Your IWMS is there to pull it all together.
A Human Resources department’s HR/ERP solution serves as a gateway to all things employee-related, making it a critical tool to integrate with your IWMS. More than likely, your HR department is using software like PeopleSoft, SAP, Workday, or Active Directory. Be sure to choose a workplace management tool that is fully integrable with these solutions and that it can offer a bidirectional feed between the two solutions.
But, how often should you be syncing your employee data and what is the most efficient process when doing so?
Organizational Size Defines Sync Demands
The frequency of HR data synchronization should be defined by the size and scope of the business. Smaller companies with a small user population, low frequency of changes, and very little employee turnover don’t need to data sync as often as a large corporation. Once a week is a good place to start; as the company grows larger or workforce needs change, you can always work with your software vendor to update the frequency.
For larger organizations who experience more frequent changes in employee status, we recommend a minimum of once a day. Some of our large-scale clients have found it necessary to automate synchronization for twice daily, ensuring management teams receive the information needed to perform.
Real-time vs. Batch Processing
Part of determining how often your data should be synced is defining HOW synchronization should occur. Many workplace management software solutions have the capability to sync in real-time or process in batches. In essence, real-time data is synced as it becomes available and batch processing pushes data at a predetermined time. While automating these transactions to occur in real-time might appear beneficial on the surface, it leaves room for error and removes the cushion of accountability you get from batch processing.
When batch processing, your ERP pushes out all active user data including new and updated user records in a single transaction at a preferred frequency. This is an automated process, where the IWMS matches and updates all data, including provisioning for new hire and terminations and the addition/removal/updating of employee information. If there is ever any question as to whether the process has been completed or how many user records were updated/added/removed or provisioned in new hire or termination requests, management can refer to a process log that automatically generates after each “batch update transaction” is complete. The process log offers an organized, summary account of all changes that have occurred from day to day.
With real-time updates, (where individual updates in one system are immediately pushed into other systems in real-time) you lose the transaction log that is generated as a result of each batch process, making it difficult to manage and troubleshoot potential errors. You could have thousands of transactions to sift through and no organized way of accounting for any changes or verification that the changes were processed. This method becomes a strain on time and resources.
To truly be effective, HR needs to implement a routine for regularly entering and syncing their data through the workplace management system. By keeping both HR and IWMS directories up to date, critical information across both platforms can be shared to better understand and manage the work environment.