Automate Data Consolidation

HR departments are becoming increasingly dependent on data to make accurate talent decisions and be agile in their people strategies. Therefore, they are constantly looking for tools, platforms, and systems to help them produce the needed data. However, as mountains of data points pile up, the concern of HR teams now is how to consolidate these to deliver insights they can use.  

The Need For Data Consolidation in Succession Planning

While talent data plays an essential role throughout the talent lifecycle in an organization, the focus on data in succession planning has become critical in building a strong leadership bench strength. This is because HR teams are being pressured to make succession planning decisions faster, more efficient, and of better quality. Yet, all this is dependent on one critical calculation, role suitability. This is the process of matching the right person to the right role at the right time.

Typically a subjective process, role suitability can determine if or not an organization is identifying the right people to move roles successfully. Although there are 3 critical components to look at in determining role suitability, there are many data points to be considered. If these data points are not consolidated, the interpretation is left to manual intervention, often slow and inaccurate. The table below displays how these 3 components and their data points are used in role suitability.

Suitability The Right Role The Right Person The Right Time
Key Components Job Design Talent Data Learning & Development
Data Points Proficiencies
Technical Skills
Soft Skills
Critical Gaps
Learning Capabilities
3 components and their data points are used in role suitability

These data points all need to come together for an organization to accurately calculate a person’s role suitability. However, this is easier said than done as these data points often sit in multiple systems that do not integrate or help consolidate data points. In fact, a study by Deloitte found that large organizations on average use 13-15 different HR systems. Therefore, data consolidation cannot be automated.

Unconsolidated Data – 3 Common Reasons

1. Multiple Systems Leading To Costly Workarounds

When HR teams source for systems, they typically think about the problem it is solving for them today rather than anticipating any future needs they may have for it. Therefore, when new challenges or agenda’s occur, these teams often seek a new system to solve their newly arisen needs. As this continues, more systems are added to the architecture that is rarely interconnected. This is why Josh Bersin says on average, HR teams depend on 11 systems. For example, an organization may purchase a new HRMS then, upon usage, discover that the Succession Planning module isn’t as robust as they need it to be. They then proceed to ob-board a succession planning solution separately only to discover the assessment tools aren’t powerful enough. Now a third assessment platform needs to be brought in. This continues until there is data sitting everywhere, but no single consolidated outcome.


  1. Spreadsheets become the consolidation tool
  2. More expenses are needed for integration of systems
  3. Reporting and analytics are not real time

2. Multiple Systems Need Multiple Updates

When the above type of purchases happens, the impact does not only put a strain on HR teams. This is because the data that is essentially fueling these systems are provided by employees. When systems are siloed, employees are unfortunately forced to update information in many places causing an inconvenience to them. This has led to much dissatisfaction toward HR teams who rather than seem like a strategic partner, turn out to be more operational in doing reminders. This then leads to disengagement among employees towards HR initiatives that are put in place to in fact benefit them.

Succession Management Software
HR teams need to know how to consolidate data in order to deliver insights

Integrating Performance Management with Succession Planning


  1. HR teams spend more time being operational rather than strategic
  2. Rise in employee frustration and disengagement towards HR
  3. Data sources contain incomplete or inaccurate information

3. Multiple Tools Means Heavy Intervention

Aside from systems and platforms, assessment tools are a critical part of producing data for succession planning. They provide HR with data to assist in talent identification and insights into development. Yet, talent assessment tools can also contribute to having a non-consolidated data architecture. This scenario happens when assessment tools that are used cannot be scaled through the organization because they can’t assess multiple job levels. In this case, different tools need to be on-boarded to ensure assessment data is available throughout the organization. The problem now is that having multiple tools can rarely be combined to tell a singular story. HR now has data from different tools across different levels but due to it not being consolidated cannot deduce insights.


  1. HR starts spending too much time trying to interpret results
  2. Multiple vendors of the same category with individual contracts
  3. Manual assessment data consolidation is prone to mistakes

The Real Impact Of Unconsolidated Data

The above states the importance of having consolidated data in succession planning and 3 common reasons why this does not happen in many organizations, but the real impact of unconsolidated data impacts the quality of an organization’s talent pipeline. Because role suitability relies heavily on insights from multiple data sources, HR teams are unable to identify quality talents and that causes the quality of their leadership pipeline for succession planning to be weak. They start moving from the state they want HR to be in (data-driven, objective, and predictive with succession planning) to the state HR ends up in (opinion-driven, subjective, and reactive succession planning) mostly due to pressure to fulfill empty roles as fast as possible.

To find out how Accendo’s TalentPulse helps overcome this problem, watch the full webinar

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