Digitisation of HR data: How to ensure a smooth transition


The benefits of switching to HRMS (Human resource management system) are endless. However, there are challenges in implementation that cannot be ignored. Here’s how to cope.

According to Brian Sommers, a leading HR technology analyst, one of the first steps while embarking on a digital transformation journey is to have clarity. Being clear about the journey includes:

1) Honestly state your current status

2) Be conscious of each step of change and don’t assume you can move up to the top right away; and

3) Don’t under estimate the impact of each step.

The technologies at the top of the maturity pyramid –which have the potential to transform the industry, include those using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and predictive analytics. Then comes those technologies using big data, and below them are technologies using Cloud based ERPs with basic analytics capabilities. At the bottom end of the pyramid, are companies which use excel spreadsheets and on-premise ERPs.

That said, HR being a highly document-centric function, is very data-centric. The transition from paper to digital to automated operations has come a long way. Be it a reduction of paperwork or automation of repetitive processes or creation of borderless workplaces, the benefits of switching to HRMS (Human resource management system) are endless. At the same time, however, there are challenges in implementation that cannot be overlooked.

“Data recorded by HR is crunched to yield significant results, such as predictive analysis. It helps an organization take a lot of important decisions, be it forecasting, devising strategies or getting business solutions. It is critical that HR uses the correct techniques for data mining else all data will be nothing but garbage,” says Capt. Partha Samai, group head- HR, AGS Transact Technologies.

Taking this idea ahead, Jayant Kumar, chief human resources officer, Tata Power, says, “In pen and paper era, HR has limited data points and was conservative in collecting data. With the help of Artificial Intelligence, HR can collect multiple aspects of data in large amounts. They can add a personal touch to the data like capturing the user’s mood, emotions, what excites them, what depresses them etc. This can be analyzed and used by the HR function to come out with sharp and and customized solutions.”

The shift from manual to HRMS, however, is a challenging process. While it begins with the implementation of HRMS, it does not end there.


Find out how if these 39 HR problems are affecting you or not?


It is a regular ongoing process of maintenance and updating. Let us look at the hurdles that may complicate the implementation and updating process and the steps to be taken to ensure a smooth transition.

Cosmetic data Hygiene Small errors, such as spelling mistakes and data duplicity can lead to incorrect data, wrong reports, and so on. Simple tactics, such as validation points can ensure the good health of data. Before any data is entered in the HRMS, HR must ensure it is error free.

Compact and Relevant DataIt is important for HR to minimize the amount of data collected to only what is necessary. Concise data structures are easier to understand, time-saving for crunching and help produce relevant reports.

HRIS Workflow Every organization is unique in itself and every system behaves differently when it receives data. The HRIS needs to be set up in such a manner that its policies and processes are integrated well into the system’s framework. If the HRIS workflow is set up properly, the efficiency of the HR function can be maximized through the automation of processes and optimization of time consumption.

Geographical BarriersCompanies with a large and scattered user base face the brunt of geographical hazards hindering the smooth functioning of HRMS. HR should keep this in mind and find solutions to overcome such challenges.

Access Rights One of the major clauses for data security is access. The correct amount of access should be given to the user. Access to unlimited or irrelevant information exposes the user to the organization’s confidential data and may lead to a breach of data security. It is important that only absolutely necessary access rights are given to all users, while only limited resources, who are empowered by the organization, should be given access to confidential data.

Loopholes Trial and error is the only way to make HRMS free of any loopholes. Manual testing by multiple HRs will help understand the look and feel of the HRMS, as well as point out any gaps in the system.

New culture People, by nature, are resistant to change. Acceptance and regular use of HRMS is imperative, else it will become redundant. HR has to strategize and implement a fool-proof game plan to ensure that the HRMS seamlessly fits into the day-to-day lives of the users.

User-friendliness User delight can be achieved only when the HR puts user experience before individual requirement. HRMS is also a key tool for user engagement. Gone are the days when HRMS was used only to wish birthdays and work anniversaries. It has now become an informative and collaborative platform that integrates user self-service, social media, organizational developments, alumni networks, tools, such as gamification, and so on.

System LengthToo many pages or too many questions will not only eat into the productive time of the users but will also make them disinterested. Be it, candidates or employees, this is the first step for users resisting HRMS.

User TrainingIt is important for all users to be educated on how to use the HRMS. With the help of physical and online training and manuals, understanding the HRMS and accepting it becomes a smooth journey for the users. Having something as simple as FAQs can resolve generic queries and save time for both HR and users.

Hands-on query Resolution Team With the onboarding of HRMS, users are empowered with the self-service functionality. This, in turn, considerably decreases personalized interaction between the HR and the user. However, HR should not forget that they deal with human capital and that everything cannot be automated. For grievances and doubts, which cannot be solved by the HRMS, the HR department needs to have a dedicated query-resolution team, and also an escalation matrix in case of unresolved queries.

User feedback and Adoption Understanding the other side acts as a critical aspect of bridging any gap between the HR and the user. HR should not only take regular feedback from users but also implement those changes in the HRMS. This will help the HRMS to shape user experience and ensure its unanimous adoption.


Here’s a link to assess your HRIS state of technology & future-readiness: TakeMeToTheSurvey




  1. Employee peer recognition is one of the most important building blocks in building a fantastic company culture. In most organisations, management oversees more employees and bigger departments, it can be difficult to see what is going right and employees tend to be neglected.

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