Spreadsheet Hell! Do You Need An HRIS?
It is not all that uncommon even in medium sized organizations to see all the HR Data managed in Excel spreadsheets. A spreadsheet for basic information, one for pay information, one for evaluations, the list goes on and on and the data never seems to match up perfectly between spreadsheets. John Smith is in this spreadsheet, so why wasn’t he added to the other one. Why is the name spelled one way in one spreadsheet and another way in the other. Oops! There was a typo on Mary’s employee number, so it is different in that spreadsheet.
I call this Spreadsheet Hell! While spreadsheets are a great place to look at and manipulate data, they are not meant to take the place of a relational database. Spreadsheets are prone to human error and make storing related data very difficult.
HRIS Systems using a relational database as a foundation are designed to ensure “referential integrity”. This means that related data is tied together by keys and it is not possible to have a compensation record for Johnny if he does not have a parent record with his base information. The two are tied together. An HRIS system also utilizes dropdowns and programming logic to ensure data accuracy and consistency.
If you still love to look at your data in spreadsheets, most HRIS Systems can export specified data to Excel where you can analyze it and play with it while the data remains safely stored in the HRIS’s database.
Aside from tying all the data together and ensuring referential integrity, the HRIS allows you to run a number of predefined or adhoc reports and filter data to get at exactly what you need whether it is as simple as a birthday listing or summarizing data into an EEO Analysis by Department.
A simple Google or Yahoo search for Small Business HRIS will get you on the road to better organized data and more efficient business operations.