Staffing Software & Running Useful Reports

Business Data Dashboard Analysis By Ingenious Computer Software

It has become an axiom in business that “Only what gets measured, gets managed”. There is a corollary to this principle that is stated a little differently, as, “What gets measured gets done”.

There is a subtle but real distinction between them which we will get to shortly, but both “observations” are extremely helpful in planning,especially, but also in execution, i.e., we measure results too!

The initial quote (and its corollary) is attributed to Peter Drucker, who was, perhaps, the greatest business management thinker and writer in American history (39 books, 10 year WSJ columnist, articles, lectures etc.) .

Drucker added to his measure/manage idea that it was true whether the data(“measurements) being used were ultimately useful for the company or not. The data you choose to manage will be foundational to your management plan and if the data points chosen are not sufficiently related, the plan may fail.

In today’s computer/digitally driven businesses we can collect every bit of data entered automatically and retrieve it in a variety of formats. Much of this will be extremely useful,but not all. We must choose what data we want to selectively “pull” from our databases which will be useful for management to achieve its goals. I repeat “useful”. What do we want to accomplish? Why will this set of data help management to get it done?

“Pulling data” or generating useful reports from your software’s databases

With many staffing software packages there are usually three different kinds of reports that can be generated. Two of these, standard and (Custom)generate reports using specialized software which is embedded in the general staffing software package and called Crystal Reports.

Crystal is now(Since 2007) a part of SAP or System Analysis Program which specializes in report generation for many industries around the world. It is a large company with 105,000 employees.

There are 150 standard Crystal Reports that can be run without any additional programing. These reports cover the following 12 categories:

YTD PayrollPeriod BatchApplicants
Check HistoryStandardBill History
Current BatchCurrent Checks

Under one of these categories in the reports library , “Bill History”, you will find fifteen standard  detailed reports:

Actual Compensation to dateBilling totals – Amt. billed only
Average Employee billedBilling totals by Loc by GL acct.
Bill history for applicantBilling totals by location
Billing analysis totals by stateBilling totals by week
Billing analysis totals w/sales taxBilling totals – net pay & Taxes
Billing by week by sales repBilling w/payroll by customer

So, with the categories listed above and with 10-12 standard Reports per category you have a total of 150 reports instantly available to run anytime.

Additionally, you can often make simple modifications to these standard reports and file them (for future use) in the same general category located but under the “non-standard” tab. If it is one that you will probably run frequently it can be moved to one of your favorites: 1, 2 & 3.

Although these are Custom Reports, your staffing software provider’s support department can often guide you in making the needed modifications to a standard report.

Custom Reports or Queries

When the desired information needed is complex and modification of a standard report is not possible the creation of a custom query maybe required”.  Queries are basically custom programs designed by engineering to extract specific data from the database.  Here is an actual example:

A staffing company received a government request (requirement!) for; “all records of employees, the clients they worked for, notes pertaining to the employees and the clients, the amount of money paid over the course of 3 years”, and “on a per check basis”.

The company’s staffing software database contains all that information but to pull it together, in the format needed can be complex enough that specific programming is necessary.  These Custom “queries” can be stored (after initial use) in the query window within Temps Plus for future use if needed.

(Note: Two years later the same request was made to this same company for a different period, and the same programmed Query was simply accessed, new period typed in, and the report was completed within minutes).

Staffing software developers create Custom Queries for their clients not just to please some governmental agency, although they have greatly helped with many including Affordable Care Act (ACA), Pandemic era programs like FFCRA, PPP, and others.

But most often staffing companies are looking to pull information for their own, often unique, planning needs.

For example, a sales director may want to get a list of all clients who had “zero billing” during the last 6 months, year, or period of years,billing history for those companies together with notes in the client files. These notes would probably have the client’s contact person(s), the agency representative(s) who called on them together with other useful information.

Such a report may also want to pull the employees’ files who worked for these clients, together with their file notations which might contain a “DNR – Do Not Return” notice, or other critical information.

This would be a good time to state, what may be obvious, which is;that you can only get from any report what you have, at some point, entered. This is critical, so a good deal of thought needs to go into what you want to record in your daily operations and strategic planning.

Staffing software’s database design is usually comprehensive, but their fields need to be used. Also, staffing software is built with some ability to expand fields or add new ones. So, information will you need or desire in your future planning and sales activities needs to be a part of your routine data entry.

What might take a couple of minutes in your daily entries could yield tremendous results.

Your staffing software developer would be a good source to consult on this topic and could also provide suggestions.

Finally, it should be kept in mind that especially if it is fully utilized, your software’s database is a “treasure trove” of extremely useful information that can be instantly retrieved at any time, in a variety of formats, and for any purpose.

As always, “Stay Safe” and continue to pray for Ukraine.