Personnel Manager/Director FAQ's

Data Auditing and Cleansing

Many companies use Human Resources Information Systems such as People Inc. or Vizual Personnel Manager to manage their employee data and whilst different systems offer a variety of features and functionality the most important aspect is the data itself.

In organisations of any size you will still have some margin of error when entering data. We can minimise this by making use of the tips shown in Part 1 and 2 of this post, but every now and then some small mistakes will get through, especially if you have many users.

The problem is, that its very difficult to spot these errors unless you actually look for them meaning that many of your key reports will be wrong, thus messing up your management figures each month etc.

The last part of this Post to get the most from the data in your database is to carryout regular audits of your data. Now you may think this sounds like a lot of work, or that its not really necessary, but trust me, all this involves is to run a couple of Audit reports each month and then correcting any errors and you will have an extremely efficient database all year round. If you dont do this each month, what you may find that when you run a report in several months time, or when you audit your data at the end of the year, that the information is not correct and has many different problems, which could be a big job to fix.

Vizual Personnel Manager

Using Vizual Personnel Manager as an example, I’m going to explain a simple process for auditing your data which will help towards keeping your data tidy throughout the year.

Firstly you will need to identify which fields are critical – the ones which are key to your main reports and which have to be up-to-date and correct. Then you will need to set up a “Headcount by <KEY FIELD>” report for each field. Fortunately several of these are already set up in the REPORTS>PERSONNEL section of the Reports Screen.

In this example we will use the DEPARTMENT field, which is often a key field. As mentioned, there is already a Headcount by Department report set up which we can use.

We run the report and look at the results. What we are looking for are any blanks with a number next to them. This shows us that x number of employees so not have a value in the Department field on their record. We are also looking for any duplication or any incorrect values, for example we may have ‘Admin’ and ‘Administration’ listed on the report. Obviously this is a duplication. Or we may have a department which no longer exists meaning that someone has the old value still selected in the Department field.

Another good reason for running this each month is that we can then file these key reports in a folder to show the figures for that month, incase you want to see how many people were in Administration 6 months ago, for example.

Once we have identified these ‘odd’ values, we now need to know how to fix the problem. Now we could design a report which instead of showing just the number of people in each Department (in this example) but which shows names etc instead. This is fine, but in order to skip this step and save time, we are going to take our Headcount by Department report and ‘SEARCH’ for the odd values and fix them straight away.

To do this we will use the SEARCH tool which can be found as a button on the toolbar.

When the tool pops up, simply choose the following options:

Screen = Employees,
Field = Department
Condition = Is Equal to
Value = [Click the Red ‘suggest values’ arrow button to see a list of values and select the one you want]

Then click the ADD TO LIST button
Then click FIND NOW
If searching for Blank values use the following:

Screen = Employee Details,
Field = Department
Condition = Is Blank
Value = [Leave blank]

Then click the ADD TO LIST button
Then click FIND NOW

The matching records will be displayed at the bottom of the Search screen. Simply double click on the first record to open the screen, then make the changes and save. Then repeat for each record with the incorrect value.

You can then repeat this process for each incorrect value on your report.

Done each month, you will only find the odd few incorrect values, so this shouldn’t take long at all, but if left you may find this becoming a huge job to fix.

NOTE: Try doing this on the Course Title field on the Training History screen in Vizual Personnel Manager to make sure your course list is consistent!

Data is the most important element in any database. Contact us if you need any advice on how to get more from your data.

agathonhr

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