Its common place these days to open your email and see a pile of LinkedIn group chats on HR reporting. HR departments are struggling to get proper reports, and IT departments are struggling to provide them what they need.

So what is each side of the argument? I have seen both positions first-hand. For HR, it’s all about needing visibility. In order to support business requirements, HR needs to see timely reports. But since HR professionals typically don’t moonlight as technical experts, they don’t have the skill set or access to the tools that are required to build the report they need. So who do they call? The IT department.

“35% of an HR administrator’s time is spent on Ad-Hoc reporting.”

However it’s often the case that reporting is a secondary function of IT. This is typically because IT doesn’t have the functional knowledge to create HR reports without a handover. So to ensure best practice, IT implements a change management processes, meaning every report request requires detailed documentation on what the need is and what the report should have. IT usually requires testing and approvals before anything goes near production.

Change management takes time. Because of this, HR departments get frustrated that they can’t get their answers fast. And thus the war between HR and IT begins.

This issue is only become more frequent in organization and IT departments are opting to run lean. This leaves time for them to work on their core tasks only, and report-writing often becomes a secondary task.

I have seen some crazy proposals suggesting that IT should learn “how the business works” and become experts in every department, or that HR should be forced to learn coding languages and table joins to build and deliver their own reports. Is this sustainable. Not even close. It’s true that HR are experts in their functional area, but should be focusing on their task, and not coding or learning databases. And IT is far too busy to learn the nuances of each departments’ business issues. So what’s the solution? Empowering the end users with a solution they understand so they can run the reports they need without needed to know how to code! The people who are experts in their area should be the ones creating their own reports – but it doesn’t need to be a technical process.

Want to learn more? Download this ebook on how to get IT out of the report writing business.

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