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SAP SuccessFactors People Analytics: bringing data insights to HR

Oct 28, 2020

SAP has been continuously improving SuccessFactors reporting over time. Where the landscape was very scattered a couple of years ago, everything is now becoming highly centralized. SAP started this journey a couple of years ago with the introduction of the Report Center, a hub where the HR team can find all the reports they have created or that have been shared.

Moving toward full centralization in SuccessFactors

Using the Report Center, it’s also possible to launch all the reporting tools in SuccessFactors, including:

  • Report - Table – quick list reports on various domains in SuccessFactors, but no learning or custom object data.
  • Dashboard and tiles – quick overview of KPIs with the possibility to drill down, but the same limitations as the report table.
  • Report - Canvas – a tool for creating print reports that can contain tables, graphs, images and text. Offers more advanced capabilities, like calculated columns, etc.
    • Detailed reporting – offers the same reporting domains as the table and dashboard tool, with the addition of learning data.
    • Advanced reporting – offers the possibility to report on custom object data in Employee Central.

By centralizing all the reporting tool into one hub, SAP had taken an initial large and necessary step toward unified reporting across the platform. SAP had to introduce a new tool to make unified reporting possible: People Analytics, also known as Report – Story. People Analytics enables you to report on all SuccessFactors data using a single tool* and combine data from different modules more easily. This new reporting functionality allows you to create a visually attractive dashboard which can include tables, heatmaps, (stacked) bar charts and geomaps. The visualization possibilities are almost endless.

* At the moment of writing, learning data and onboarding 1.0 data are not available. Onboarding 2.0 data is already available. 

More flexibility, fewer headaches for the HR team

For this tool, SAP integrated its own SAP Analytics Cloud into SuccessFactors (SAC). Integrating this tool instead of using the already available data connector to SAC offers some additional reporting advantages for HR. You can use all the capabilities from SAC without needing to worry about data modeling. The data that you are working with is live operational data. And when it comes to privacy, everything is handled by the permissions already configured in SuccessFactors.

People Analytics comes in three editions:

<ulstyle="list-style-type:>
  • Embedded edition – included in the standard offering of SuccessFactors, and no additional licenses are needed. It offers all SAC capabilities using live SF data.
  • Planning edition – replaces workforce planning, and will offer planning capabilities for workforce and costs. (Planning edition has been postponed until further notice.)
  • Advanced edition – replaces Workforce Analytics and will offer metric packs, benchmarks and trend analysis capabilities. (Advanced edition has been postponed until further notice.)
  • </ulstyle="list-style-type:>

    Things to keep in mind before jumping in

    Before you can get started, it’s necessary to first comply with two prerequisites:


    1. The Report Center should be active in your instance. This should not cause a problem, as the Report Center was universally pushed by SAP in 2019.
    2. IAS and IPS authentication must be used. All SAP products connect to a central application, the IAS, which connects to an Active Directory, ensuring that the authentication is handled in a unified way. 
    Screenshot SAP People Analytics

    After fulfilling these requirements, there are plenty of actions you can take to prepare your organization for the transition to People Analytics.


    1. Get to know the ins and outs of People Analytics. Try to create a couple of (simple) reports and see if you report meets your expectations.
    2. Do an inventory of which reports are still in use, how often, who uses them and what they are used for.
    3. As soon as you have completed step two above, create a summary of the reports in Excel. As there is no transition tool available, all reports will have to be recreated manually.
    4. Recreate your old reports in People Analytics.

    SAP’s current state of the art

    People Analytics has become available in all productive data centers in H1 2020, but should you now already step over to this new tool? There are a couple of limitations which should be kept into consideration. Some of those limitations might be blocking for your reporting needs.

    As of HY 1 2020, SAP is still responding to the following limitations:

  • LMS and onboarding 1.0 data is not available;
  • it is not possible to report on fields containing custom object data;
  • there is no way to schedule an individual table.
  • Start exploring today

    People Analytics offers new reporting capabilities for all modules in SuccessFactors, and is available for you to implement in your production environment. You can already make the move to People Analytics, as long as current limitations don’t interfere with your reporting needs. Otherwise, now is a great time to start exploring the new tool.

    Need help with your implementation of SAP People Analytics? Our dedicated SAP experts are here to guide you.

    Get in touch