Breaking the HR Spreadsheet Culture

By Posted April 18th, 2013

One of the first things I was taught when I started working in HR many years ago was how to put data into spreadsheets. Spreadsheets were the lifeblood of HR. Planning a benefits enrollment? Create a spreadsheet. Compensation? Create ten spreadsheets and merge them. Reconciling year-end payroll? Well, that’s too painful to even reminisce about. We even had a spreadsheet that tracked the names of all of our spreadsheets. Back then, anyone who was proficient with formulas like VLOOKUP was very popular in our department.

spreadsheet cultureAfter becoming accustomed to the HR spreadsheet culture, it was no surprise that one of the first things I learned when I started working with SAP was how to extract data for creating spreadsheets. If we needed a report, we exported data or used a table extract from SE16. If we needed to run a mail merge, we exported data and manipulated it in spreadsheets before creating the merged documents. We used spreadsheets for reports, imports, exports, interface files, data matching … the list went on and on. It was assumed that we had no choice but to take data out of SAP in order to do these things.

Why am I writing a blog post about spreadsheets? I was reminded of all of these “Excel-lent” (sorry) memories recently when I was speaking with a SpinifexIT customer. When talking about how their team uses Easy Reporter, they said, “Do you realize SpinifexIT is nearly single-handedly responsible for breaking the spreadsheet culture here?” We both laughed, but the reality of that statement sunk in later. SAP HR/Payroll users don’t need to be reliant on spreadsheets anymore. Our customers use Easy Reporter, Easy Documents, Easy Balance and other SpinifexIT solutions to perform reports, calculations, comparisons, trends, and analysis directly in SAP. By running these reports, documents and analyses inside SAP, our customers are not only saving time and eliminating spreadsheets, they are protecting their data and creating more accurate, real-time reports. One system, one set of data. And no confusing VLOOKUPs!

If you’re still stuck in the spreadsheet culture, there is a way out. SpinifexIT has the solutions you need to break your spreadsheet habit and we would love to show you how. I think you’ll be amazed at what your users can do directly inside SAP.