Stepping towards insightful HR and data driven decision making

HR professionals are increasingly interested in ways to improve HR effectiveness and efficiency. In today’s data-driven world, HR analytics is one way of doing so – People analytics provides people professionals and their stakeholders with insights about their workforce, policies and practices. Ultimately people analytics can help to improve evidence-based decision making. To help HR professionals to develop their people analytics practice, SAP continues to invest heavily into their SAP Cloud Analytics offering. In this post, I will focus on their people analytics offering and how it continues to enhance HR processes, whilst enabling a culture of evidence-based decision-making.

If you have already implemented SAP SuccessFactors previously, I hope you have had an opportunity to check out the recently updated version of SAP SuccessFactors People Analytics. For those of you who aren’t familiar with SAP SuccessFactors, their people analytics solution enables users to unlock the true value of workforce data, data that has been amassed through their existing HR management system.

Powered by an SAP Analytics Cloud front end, SuccessFactors People Analytics (formerly known as ‘Embedded Edition’) is the go-to solution for all SAP SuccessFactors Reporting. It is the unified interface for all operational report types, and replaces all legacy SuccessFactors operational reporting tools – with the new report type you are able to uncover the data behind your business, and tell a convincing story with advanced data exploration and modern visualizations.

This blogpost will guide you through what “Stories” are and how you can enable this feature within your own organization. Before we start, let me give you a little background – “Stories” in People Analytics consolidates all legacy SAP SuccessFactors transactional reporting tools into a single tool for reporting, insights, dashboards, etc. and enables HR professionals to perform cross-suite reporting, based on live transactional data across the SAP SuccessFactors HXM suite. “Stories” in People Analytics is available as part of the SAP SuccessFactors platform at no additional cost to the customer, leveraging SAP Analytics Cloud technology.

*Stories will be the eventual replacement for the existing SAP SuccessFactors reporting tools.

Story Reporting

Story Reports is the new report type found in your report center. It’s called a “Story” because this is where you can combine your data sources components to guide your reader through the HR data-based narrative. Stories are based on a designed query, which you may be familiar with from the Online Report Designer. Here you select columns, create calculations and apply filters and create intelligent joins to utilize cross module insights.


Based on your query, you are able to freestyle with your output in different widgets, i.e comparisons, trends, distributions, correlations, indicators, tables, grids and much more. Also with the calculation editor you are able to do formula based measures, restricted measures, aggregations, date differences and convert dimensions to measures. In this way you can play with your data and present close-to-process-KPIs.

The widgets are visually very appealing – Another great feature is the “Explorer view”, which allows users to investigate various details and filtrations, ranging from legal entities to individual employees.

Join the journey now

The canvas report type will slowly be replaced by “Story Reports”. So, as Stories is currently a work in progress, now is a good time to think about stepping on board the “Story” reporting journey.

Let’s be fair, “Stories” is still developing and is still quite immature, which means it still comes with a few teething issues.

  • General instability and immaturity of the tool.
  • Some features that are mandatory for “Story Templates” are still not fully functioning.
  • Certain custom fields are not yet available in “Story reports”.

It’s not perfect, but is definitely heading in the right direction with The SAP SuccessFactors 1H 2021 release delivering even more new and enhanced features and functionality for SAP SuccessFactors People Analytics.

It’s important to note that the solution is already full of existing benefits which can be readily utilized. At the core, the reporting tool is very user-friendly and extremely appealing. This means you can quickly utilize the SAP provided templates and convert your data into insights, which helps make strategic decisions, faster. Inside the report center you will find the content store which also provides users with preconfigured stories. Currently they are only EC-data based, but cross-module and module-specific templates will be part of the content store soon.

Utilize your solution to reach your strategic goals

Note that Embedded People Analytics comes with your SAP SuccessFactors license. It can be enabled through your upgrade center, with the only prerequisite being that an IAS/IPS is in place. This will ensure can you derive strategic HR actions from your data without being a genuine number cruncher.

Utilizing the massive amount of HR data available to you lets the numbers outline the story you want to tell.


Underneath the SAP SuccessFactors People Analytics umbrella, SAP are providing 3 separate editions. Embedded (formerly known as Reporting), Advanced (formerly known as Workforce Analytics) and Planning which was formerly known as Workforce Planning.

How can Gavdi Group help you?

Gavdi Group implements our Analytics Concept either as a project stream in a SuccessFactors implementation or as a solution optimization where you solely focus on your reporting capability. Our proposal is based on a packaged report repository. Initially we align the offering to fit your HR strategy. Once your People Analytics Embedded Version is live, Gavdi will enable you and your employees on best practices around the system as well as customizing the report features to your organizational needs.

We offer: 

  • Activation of People Analytics – embedded version
  • Activation of IAS/IPS
  • Valuable packaged reporting
  • Customized reporting to align with your HR Strategy
  • Advice on future operating models
  • Report scheduler
  • RBP concept & governance
  • Data privacy & protection
  • Strategic utilization of your analytics solution landscape
  • Self-enablement

Naturally we ensure all prerequisites are secured and all relevant reporting elements are activated.

<   Above is an outline of what our packaged reports and the categories cover. Each category covers different data and processes in order to deliver you the maximum value.

In summary; I would encourage all organizations to start creating a vision or strategy for data-driven HR if you haven’t already. Solutions like SAP People Analytics delivers business intelligence, planning, and predictive capabilities within the one product. In my opinion, people analytics will continue to be a hot topic in the strategic HR agenda.

About the author

Anne Linder Christensen, Gavdi Group is an experienced HR professional and a Certified SAP SuccessFactors consultant with a strong background in SAP SuccessFactors People Analytics, as well as being a certified expert in Qualtrics and Qualtrics Employee Experience. Anne has worked on multiple projects across a wide variety of industries and sectors.

As a graduate of Copenhagen Business School, Anne has an educational background in Business Administration, Economics and HR. She has also worked with the research group “Your Human Capital Analytics Profile” at Copenhagen Business School, which carries out both research and the promotion of analytics in HR organisations.

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