If you own and operate a staffing firm, you’re probably not doing it because you love numbers. You’re most likely driven by a passion to connect candidates looking for work with potential employers. But any staffing leader knows there’s no escaping data. If you’re directing a recruitment firm, you rely on certain business intelligence to run your staffing agency, manage your people, negotiate with customers and vendors, and communicate with bankers and regulators.
Undoubtedly, when you make a placement, you’re probably also running a mini P&L calculator in your head – what’s the hourly rate, what are you going to pay, what’s the loaded cost for worker’s compensation, and, most importantly, what’s your gross margin?
Business analytics is essential for modern agencies to make better informed, data-driven decisions. They provide insights into customer behavior, operational efficiency, and overall performance. Thus, having the right business intelligence (BI) tool at your fingertips is crucial in ensuring that your agency remains profitable and compliant. And, the reports you run to obtain critical data must be reliable, repeatable, and easy to access.
Whether your dashboards are relatively simple or highly complex, not all methods for obtaining valuable business information are easy or trustworthy – and not all business intelligence tools are created equal.
So, what should you look for when investing in a new BI tool? You may want to check for these 4 critical factors:
1. Is it end-to-end?
End-to-end staffing requires end-to-end analytics. Your BI tool should have a complete, 360-degree view of your agency and cover all business operations, including sales, recruiting, payroll, accounts receivable, and financials. It should be able to look at the complete workflow that runs through it, from ATS to workforce management, payroll, and beyond, with each generating its own reporting.
Simply put, your BI tool should be able to easily harmonize critical data that is stored and maintained across every platform your business uses and provide actionable insights that can help you make critical business decisions – providing your business with a competitive advantage in the market. And with dynamic or contingent employment, you’ll want to be able to roll up all instances of work by recruiter, employer client, individual client, or vertical industry.
2. Is it easy to maintain?
Chances are, if you’re using multiple, unintegrated tools and platforms to manage your business, you also have to manage and support multiple systems to retrieve and maintain critical data. This then requires businesses to buy 3rd party software or hire 3rd party integrators to build and sustain a separate analytics system for you. And the significant design and maintenance costs associated with this process will most likely go above and beyond the software’s price.
In fact, businesses who build their own BI system have at least 1-2 full-time staff members who manage the design and maintenance of these systems at a high pay rate. And their jobs are far from easy, as they have to oversee the upkeep and security of all these systems, while monitoring changes in data fields across various platforms. In fact, every separate system where you’re integrating data into one tool can become a single point of failure.
The most cost-effective BI tools will, therefore, be built on an end-to-end system (as previously described) which doesn’t require special software or people to engineer and maintain it, and which has easy access to all operational data across your entire employment workflow.
3. Is it scalable?
As your business grows, so does the amount of data it generates. This creates a need for BI tools that can scale with your business. Ask yourself: Can the tool process a large amount of data analytics without slowing down or crashing? Can it manage multiple queries at once? And can it accommodate an increasing number of users?
The information your business stores as your agency expands can get ever more complicated and harder to manage. Thus, a scalable BI tool that can quickly process an increasing amount of data, users, and queries – and provide faster insights and analyses – is key to properly managing your company during growth.
4. Is it secure?
Information security is becoming increasingly vital as data breaches get more sophisticated and the amount of PII that your business manages grows. If your firm isn’t operating on a secure, high-availability platform, your agency could experience a system outage or data breach that could harm your brand and your talent, lead to fines and penalties, and destroy your most valued client relationships.
The level of IT security can vary widely among BI tools, which means that some tools may be more vulnerable to security breaches than others. And many BI tools involve the constant movement of data, which can leave critical PII vulnerable to leaks and human error if not automated within a secure platform. For these reasons, the same considerations you use when evaluating your ATS, CRM, payroll, and other business management platforms should also extend to your analytics tool(s).
Get a Comprehensive View of Your Agency with Avionté INSIGHTS, our Business Intelligence Solution for the Staffing Industry
To help our clients easily retrieve the data they need to successfully manage their firms, Avionté has released its own business intelligence solution! Avionté INSIGHTS is a next-generation BI system that helps alleviate administrative burden, reduce business risk, and supply a scalable and secure database architecture that outpaces other analytic tools in the staffing industry.
Why? Simply put, Avionté INSIGHTS holds a fundamental advantage over companies that offer a separate CRM or ATS platform. By being built on top of an already robust end-to-end system, INSIGHTS offers clients seamless integration, comprehensive data, pre-built reports, and real-time insights across all critical areas of an agency’s business.
With INSIGHTS, you don’t have to worry about a misalignment in your database structures or wonder how to harmonize critical information that is stored and maintained across five or six different platforms. Our business intelligence solution integrates all critical data in one place so you can deploy multiple dashboards and reports with ease to help you manage front-line performance and top-down results.
Therefore, right out of the box, you can flip the switch and have the instrumentation you need to run your agency. Moreover, with INSIGHTS your database is organized and stored in the same secure, cloud-driven platform that you have come to trust from your Avionté staffing software and technology.
So, whether you’re a numbers person or not – whether you wish to build more complex dashboards for exploring trends or unusual business activity – or just need simple dashboards with helpful insights into gross margins, a true end-to-end overview of all front-office, back-office, recruiter, client, and talent information will ensure that your firm can make the types of strategic decisions that drive meaningful change.