Avoiding the Butterfly Effect of Bad Data

Does it seem like you never have enough time and your schedule is always full? Does your department continue to be plagued by manual processes even though everyone says it’s the “digital age?” Did you follow the experts’ advice to get rid of paper and put data in electronic systems, yet still have a barrage of data problems?

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Too many companies have fallen into the trap of embracing digitalization without addressing their underlying infrastructure problems.  More specifically, for Human Resource and Payroll departments, this means operations that still rely on different databases and systems to handle hiring, benefits and payroll. When these three functions are handled by multiple, non-integrated systems, it can cause serious data accuracy issues and have a widespread, negative impact on operations.  

Consider, for a moment, the butterfly effect. Originally used with weather predictions, this concept explains how a very small change in an initial system can result in large differences at a later state. In other words, when data is changed in one system but not in another, it creates system-of-record conflicts that have far reaching consequences.

Imagine, for example, an employee changes his or her healthcare plan selection using an online benefits systems. The correct benefits plan is activated, however, payroll is not notified of the change and continues to deduct the original amount from the employee’s paycheck. Once the error is discovered, HR is faced with a long process of checking and confirming details with original documents or contacting the employee directly to determine which plan selection is correct. Eventually, payroll is notified and is tasked with figuring out how to go back in time to rectify the incorrect deductions issue. This scenario clearly illustrates how easy it is to make mistakes when systems are separated and how it can lead to a frustrating amount of wasted time.

However, HR teams that use different systems for hiring, benefits and payroll, have gotten creative with developing work arounds. These companies often rely on the human-developed solutions for getting to the right information. Unfortunately, when people leave, they often take this “tribal knowledge” on how to get accurate data with them.

A Single Core System of Record is Data You Can Trust
New HCM platforms, such as SyncHR, have been developed specifically to address the fundamental problem of bad data. Understanding that accurate information is the foundation for operational efficiency and success, these new solutions use what is called a “single core system of record.” With a single core system, the HR, benefits and payroll functions share one employee record, utilize the same application and access the same database.

Why is a single core system of record a better solution? The biggest benefit is that with one system and one set of data tables, data is never duplicated, creating a source of truth all users can trust. When a change is made to any employee record, it is instantly updated and accessible by all users. This eliminates the potential for data to get out of sync and saves a tremendous amount of time.

Maintaining accurate data is similar to telling the truth. If you tell the truth all the time, it is easy to ensure the same information is conveyed over and over again. However, if you tell a lie, it takes much more effort to make sure the lie is sustained over a long period of time. Any little change must be remembered and incorporated with each retelling. An HCM platform with a single core system eliminates any doubt in the accuracy of the data. Consequently, HR and payroll professionals no longer need to spend valuable time correcting mistakes, allowing them to focus on core HR services and supporting company growth without adding expensive headcount. The result is more efficient operations, improved profitability and greater employee satisfaction.

For more information on SyncHR’s single core system architecture, click here.

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John Cuellar

John Cuellar

John is responsible for SyncHR’s product, engineering, and system operations teams. He is focused on streamlining the business processes related to HCM and finance by distributing SyncHR to all members of the workforce and by using patented security and workflow to control these developments. John is also responsible for delivering SyncHR as a cloud based application with “extreme ratio” financial metrics.

He has a background in engineering, workplace applications, and business administration, bringing over 25 years of experience deploying strategic HCM applications. Prior to co-founding SyncHR, John was the CEO of Harbor Technologies, since acquired by Mellon Financial Corporation. Previous to Harbor Technology Group, he spent an internship with the Swiss Bank Corporation in their derivatives pricing and trading group and also worked as a senior manager for the US Navy. John received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and his Master of Business Administration from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley.

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