A Closer Look SAP Fieldglass Live Insights, A New Market Intelligence-Based Decisioning Tool

In late April, we covered the introduction of SAP Fieldglass Live Insights, an analytical decision support capability that Fieldglass clients can use to make data-informed judgments prior to creating and releasing a requisition, as well as to analyze different sourcing strategies and scenarios. Since that time, we have had the opportunity to receive a demo of Live Insights and an update on launch progress. (Note: Since screenshots were not made available, we are only able to describe what we saw and heard during the demo.)

Demo Overview

SAP Fieldglass Live Insights offers users a highly intuitive and visual interface, as well as the ability to do real-time slicing and dicing and drill downs into labor market data (client data, Fieldglass data and external data). Simplicity and usability were clearly design priorities, given that the are only two main interface points or dashboards — but powerful ones — for business users:

  • Workforce Index is a highly intuitive interactive interface (i.e., dashboard) that allows users to flexibly generate — in real time — a set of key sourcing data points (e.g., bill rates, time-to-fill ratios, candidates available by industry, etc.). Using easy pull downs, users can slice-and-dice by job category, job role, state, location and time period. Visualization features are prominent, with a live geographical visualization in the center of the display and other visualizations (such as a scatter plot of bill rates versus time-to-fill ratios, a quality of assignment outcome graphic, etc.). Contextual information (at this time cost of living data, educational levels) is also presented in graphical form. While it may seem like the interface must be extremely crowded and hard to navigate, the opposite is true.
  • Local Simulation is a simple, even sparse, interface that provides users with the ability to easily specify, explore and examine different contract external workforce sourcing scenarios by location. Again, this can be done for specific industry, job category, job role and time period. The user is presented with four key data points (external bill rate, permanent hourly wage, time-to-fill and candidates per job). These can also be benchmarked against national averages. Finally, the interface presents two bar charts showing the five locations with the highest and the lowest bill rates and time-to-fill ratios.

An important point to re-emphasize is that SAP Fieldglass Live Insights can be used tactically and strategically. Tactically, it can used, for example, to support the development of a job requisition with the benefit of significant market intelligence. Strategically, it can be used to game out different sourcing strategies. For instance, don’t source talent in the high cost market where a client’s main headquarters is located; instead, source in a lower cost, high supply market where the client has a satellite location with unused office space.

Technology

A key technology behind Live Insights is SAP HANA, SAP’s “in-memory database” solution that makes flexible, on-the-fly, real-time interactions possible. In addition, machine learning is used today to normalize jobs and job names — certainly something that brings efficiency and supports more precise, quality outputs. Market data-driven predictive analytics are also embedded in the Local Simulation capability.

Finally, we’ve discussed the interface at length already, but it doesn’t hurt to reemphasize that it is top-notch in terms of simplicity, visualization and usability. Moreover, power users can easily go under the covers to work more directly with the actual underlying data.

Summary

SAP Fieldglass Live Insights, even in its first rev, is an impressive analytical decision support capability for business users. Traditionally, business users have had little labor market intelligence available prior to creating a requisition, and essentially no data-driven tools have been available to support strategy/scenario modeling. Theoretically, SAP Fieldglass Live Insights gives business users significant capabilities to positively influence sourcing outcomes in terms cost, speed and quality. And it provides these sophisticated capabilities though a simple and intuitive interface.

As noted above, Live Insights became commercially available in late April after a pilot period with three unnamed Fieldglass clients. Therefore, it is a new solution that will now be tested in the market. We look forward to following up in the future to gauge adoption and client perspectives and learn more about the product roadmap.

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