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Dave Foxall Visier Workforce Analytics Software Review

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 By Dave Foxall

Visier's Workforce Planning & Analytics Software—A Vendor Solution Brief

Visier Inc. was founded in 2010 with a mission to build HR analytic applications that identify the most important insights and deliver them to HR professionals in an easy to use and rewarding way. With offices in both Vancouver and San Francisco, this privately-held company's focus is on providing innovative and intuitive workforce analytics software. At the 2011 Cloudbeat conference in California, Visier was one of nine finalists in the Innovation Showdown which showcased applications based on three criteria: freshness of idea, potential to disrupt an industry, and the success they can potentially drive for their customers.

Visier's Workforce Analytics Application Purpose

Visier Workforce Planning and Analytics software is an end-to-end, cloud-based application designed to identify and understand the ROI of human capital—as well as reveal avenues for reducing costs and improving productivity via workforce strategies including attracting and retaining top talent. Visier presents the analytics software as fulfilling four main themes:

  • Access – which includes the feature sets of: streamlined reporting timeframes; integration of HR and business data to extract, analyze, understand and report on large amounts of complex data from disparate systems; and provisioning of a true and accurate representation of workforce insights.
  • Measure – which features the capabilities of intuitive and interactive workforce analytics (encouraging a more strategic HR leadership approach), as well as out-of-the-box best practice analytics and measures which are customizable to meet organizations' unique business needs.
  • Predict – which allows for the use of past and present workforce data to develop pro forma models and produce predictive analytics—answering the critical questions of talent risk, recruitment sourcing, and root attrition causes. Further, use of a cluster analysis algorithm allows for the identification of the most common characteristics within set groups; e.g. leavers (to establish patterns for departure and therefore likely future leavers) and top talent (to identify their outstanding characteristics compared to the rest of the workforce).
  • Share – featuring capabilities for sharing of uncovered insights via simple data capture exported into a PowerPoint presentation; single click selection of key insights and visualizations; and instant refresh of data found in monthly or quarterly PowerPoint templates.

Visier's Customer Target Market

Visier is primarily based in the North American market, although there is no reason this workforce planning software solution could not be suitable for more international concerns. Still, with the product only launched for general application in October 2011 (and consequently few customers to draw experiences from), it is too early to identify which sectors are best suited to Visier's software offering.

Visier's Perfect Prospect Profile (PPP)

The Visier analytics software is geared towards any organization that regards the workforce as its greatest investment and wishes to maximize the return on that investment. In addition, a strategic partnership with organizational effectiveness firm Tekara aims to meet the needs of clients looking to combine workforce analytics with leadership and organizational development.

Visier's Technical Specs

While the vendor did not provide specific technical specifications, as a cloud-based solution with a multi-tenant architecture, it is known that Visier users can simply leverage their Internet browser for analytics access with Visier retaining responsibility for provisioning, maintaining, and upgrading both the hardware and software. HR data can be loaded via myriad repositories, including major HRMS software applications as well as spreadsheets, and once loaded, this workforce planning software's capabilities are driven by a flexible column-based in-memory engine. HR buyers considering Visier further are advised to further vet cloud deployment factors such as data center redundancies, delivery fail-over, information security management systems, Service Level Agreements and financial remuneration for non-conformance of guaranteed uptime.

Visier's Primary Competitors

Other HR software vendors focused on the workforce planning and analytics niche include OrcaEyes, Vemo, Aruspex's CAPTure, and OptTek Systems. Established players providing proven, scalable analytics as part of wider talent management software include PeopleFluent, SumTotal and SuccessFactors (now a part of the larger SAP solution). Tier 1 core HRMS vendors such as Oracle, SAP and Workday also provide strong HR analytics software solutions.

Strengths of Visier's Workforce Analytics System

  • Visier software integrates well with other HR systems such as SAP and Oracle (though both of these partner companies have similarly-situated analytics capabilities).
  • The presentation of the data is designed to be more intuitively-understood than the usual tables of figures and is built around data visualization functionality that truly allows users to "see" organizational insights.
  • Visier offers a full analytics package, with data-gathering, recommended business questions, report-building and dashboard.

Weaknesses of Visier's Workforce Analytics System

  • As a standalone HR analytics software application, system integration can be significant. Customers are required to import, integrate and exchange data with several legacy systems in order to get that data into the Visier analytics software application.
  • While applicable to all organizations, Visier's workforce planning applications will largely be overkill for those companies on the lower edge of the middle market and below.
  • Organizations have identified a need for a tablet-based version for greater mobility and flexibility.
  • Visier's marketing efforts to date have lacked the force with which to drive larger-scale adoptions. Further the business intelligence (BI) and human capital analytics software market is composed of many very large competitors making it difficult for Visier to be heard among the marketing rhetoric.

Bottom-line for Visier's Workforce Analytics Software

Ventana Research has found that only 30% of organizations are satisfied with their current workforce analytics software and that the majority (satisfied or not) are still using spreadsheets for data presentation. This first application from Visier is aiming to tap into this disgruntled market and offer something both comprehensive and visually unique. With recent commitments to rapid (even monthly) improvements based on research and customer feedback, and newly-acquired venture funding ($6M) from Foundation Capital, Visier may be within striking distance to compete among the market leaders in North America (if their marketing department can match their product strength with market presence—a task easier said than done). End

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Visier's analytics software is geared towards any organization that regards the workforce as its greatest investment and wishes to maximize the return on that investment.


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