Before you start training in UKG People Analytics

You know you have a lot of data in your UKG Pro (and now UKG Dimensions) system which you can access with People Analytics.

However, it’s not exactly an obvious tool to use.  Indeed, if you’ve worked with any kind of enterprise system, you may agree that “your users can write their own reports” may be the greatest lie told overstatement made by software salespeople.

I’ve delivered lots of training for BI reporting and as I approach people analytics, I believe that my basic approach still applies.

You need to distinguish between querying data and presenting data.

Querying means getting the right data out of the system using relational database concepts.   In the Cognos/People Analytics context it means understanding things like cardinality and joins.  A few days of training can get you started.*  But you need to work with it every week or you’ll forget everything and wonder why you spent the money.

Presenting takes that good data and makes it easy to consume.  That means choosing the right color, the right font, the right chart, among other challenges.

There are very few people who do both things well.  For myself, I have always enjoyed the querying.  I’ve written thousands of lines of SQL code in my career. So, while I’d prefer writing SQL, I can deal with joins in People Analytics.

In contrast, I am not visual.  I like reading financial statements.  A colleague once said that if you want to watch me sweat, make me create a Visio diagram. 

If you’re like most of our clients, your staff will probably be better with the presentation and not the querying.  In any case, consider the distinction before investing your money.

* For example, these posts on SQL For Super Users.

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