HR analysis tools announced

Packaged software that can be used to analyse salaries, employee turnover rates and other human resources data is starting to appear on the market.

Minneapolis-based Lawson Software announced a set of HR analysis applications at a press conference here yesterday. And PeopleSoft in Pleasanton, California, plans to do the same thing later in the fourth quarter.

Lawson's Workforce Analytics package initially includes data marts that can store compensation, head count and turnover information, along with about 50 predefined analysis routines that end users can access from Web browsers. Additional data marts supporting recruitment and benefits data are due to follow in the next few months, Lawson executives said.

By next March, Lawson also plans to integrate HR benchmarking data compiled by Saratoga Institute in Santa Clara, California, so users of the analytic applications can compare their companies with other organizations in 25 different vertical industries.

Karen Moser, an analyst at Aberdeen Group in Boston, said applications such as those being developed by Lawson and PeopleSoft could help users evaluate ways to make their employees happier "without falling on a knife and cutting into the bottom line.'' Until now, companies have had to build their own data marts from scratch to do that kind of analysis, Moser said. But she added that it will likely take more than 12 months for the new packaged applications to reach mainstream usage.

For example, Lawson is just starting to install the Workforce Analytics package at beta-test sites now. Its goal is to have one to three users live with the software by year's end, said Larry Dunivan, vice president of global HR products at Lawson.

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