Earlier this month one of our resident experts, Steve Foster, hosted a webinar in which he discussed how HR professionals can set about creating a single source of truth for their HR data. Often seen as the holy grail in HR circles, a single source of truth can offer huge benefits to any organisation but as discussed in our webinar, it’s easier said than done.

With disparate systems, complex processes, and different ways of measuring and analysing the same data, it’s often difficult for HR professionals to know where to start.

That’s why we’ve put together 5 key takeaways from the webinar to help you get started.

1) Don’t wait… do!

Don’t wait until tomorrow, or next month, or until you have the perfect strategy in place to start making positive steps towards a single source of truth. The reality is, your company may never be in the perfect position to do this – so the next best thing is to do whatever you can. Start by focusing on a single metric or piece of data you can accurately and reliably measure then build from there. Once you’ve started to show off the benefits of tracking this single piece of information, you can set about building a business case for acquiring the right tools and improving processes.

2) Build a data culture

Try and encourage your team, your colleagues, and your senior leadership to think about data and recognise the long-term benefits that insight from HR data could have for your business. Focus on the data and metrics that will have the biggest impact by scoping out what matters most in your organisation. Consult with line managers and your c-suite and make sure they remain part of the data journey.

3) Network, network, network

Your company won’t be the only one looking to secure a single source of truth for HR data, so try and talk to others inside and outside of your organisation and never miss the chance to network. Share best practice, exchange benchmarking data, learn about the pitfalls others have faced and apply their learning in your own organisation.

4) Invest in the right software

Having fragmented systems often means data is siloed or difficult to run real-time reports on. Having a platform that integrates to cater for all your HR needs is the best way of ensuring you’re one step closer to a single source of truth. It will save time, improve consistency, and reduce errors by negating the need to continuously move data between systems.

5) Don’t forget the long-term

As with any project, think about the end game – what are you trying to achieve, how will you measure your success, what will you need to make it happen and over what time frame. Understanding your longer-term goals helps keep you focused and almost certainly helps when it comes to getting colleagues on board with what you are trying to achieve and why.